Location: 423 S. Mill Avenue
Survey Number: HPS-238
Year Built: 1893
Architectural Style: Victorian remodeled to / Spanish Colonial Revival
The 1893 Vienna Bakery Building is significant as an example of the conversion of early Victorian style commercial buildings to the Spanish Colonial Revival style; for its association with John S. Armstrong, with the Charles Bauer Family, with German-born residents in Arizona, and as the only brick bay Territorial commercial building remaining on Mill Avenue.
A. HISTORIC EVENTS
The Vienna Bakery Building is significant for association with waves of commercial remodeling and redevelopment in the downtown commercial area. The Vienna Bakery built in 1893 in the Victorian commercial style, was modernized in 1928, to the Spanish Colonial Revival style that was popular at the time. Restored in 1980, it was one of the first major historic rehabilitation projects in downtown Tempe.
The 1893 Vienna Bakery Building is associated with a German immigrant family which carried on a bakery business in this location from 1904 until 1963, making it one of the longest-running businesses in Tempe. It is representative of the contributions of German-born residents in Arizona, at one time the largest group of non-Anglo-Saxon immigrants in Arizona.
The building was constructed in March of 1893 by John S. Armstrong, who had served as a postmaster in Tempe, president of the Farmers and Merchants Bank, and a member of the Thirteenth Territorial Legislature, where he introduced the bill that established the Territorial Normal School in Tempe in 1885. The first business in the building was T. F. Hudson’s drugstore, which opened in April of 1893. Three years later, John Hodnett opened a hardware and undertaking establishment in the building. When Hodnett was appointed postmaster in 1897, this store became Tempe’s post office, where it remained until 1900.
In 1904, Charles Bauer leased the building and opened the Vienna Bakery. The son of a flour miller in Bavaria, Bauer left his homeland to avoid conscription into the Prussian army and sought his fortune in the California Gold Rush. After losing a considerable fortune, he came to Phoenix to work on a telegraph line. He then worked for the Phoenix Bakery, and then came to Tempe to work for William Hilge, another German immigrant, at the Tempe Bakery (HPS-236). At that time (1900) Bauer sent for his wife and children, who had remained in Los Angeles. The Vienna Bakery was operated in the same location until 1963.
The Vienna Bakery is a one-story brick building, rectangular in plan consisting of a plain façade, now stucco, with three round arched openings. Two of the original windows were bayed, extending out from the façade, but they are now in a single plane with the central double-door opening, and are made of plate glass. It is the only brick bay Territorial commercial building remaining on Mill Avenue. Its pier-supported, individual bay, Commercial Victorian-style brick facade is the only example of this type in downtown Tempe. The Vienna Bakery was originally built in the Victorian commercial style. Like many of downtown Tempe's businesses, this one-story brick building was modernized in 1928, and changed to reflect the Spanish Colonial Revival style that was popular at the time. The 1928 appearance of the Vienna Bakery (white plastered walls, arched windows, and a Spanish tile cap) was restored in 1980. It was one of the first major rehabilitation projects in downtown Tempe. Creative design solutions and alternate construction methods were used to overcome conflicting requirements of federal, state, and local agencies. Its success showed that preserving historic buildings could be an important part of downtown redevelopment.B: PERSONS
National Register Nomination, 1980
Tempe History Museum Historic Property Survey: HPS-238 Vienna Bakery Building