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Community rallies to preserve Cultural Center

July 19, 2010

Patricia Myers, a long-time Scottsdale resident, organized a group called Concerned Citizens for ASU’s Kerr Cultural Center in February 2007, and began rallying Scottsdale residents, ASU staff, members of the Kerr family and local musicians to support the preservation of Kerr Cultural Center.

Concerned Citizens for ASU’s Kerr Cultural Center is an advocacy group formed to support and preserve the unique identity and original purpose of this historic adobe arts center.

Myers presented petitions to the Scottsdale Historic Preservation Commission and encouraged people to come to commission meetings to support Kerr.

In June 2008 the Scottsdale City Council approved a conservation easement for Kerr, a 50-year legal arrangement with ASU that protects the buildings from demolition. (The parking lot and building usage were not part of the easement.)

Following that, Kerr Cultural Center was listed in the City of Scottsdale Register of Historic Places, the State Register of Historic Places, and finally, in April 2010, the National Register of Historic Places.

Don Meserve, historical preservation planner for the city of Scottsdale, who filed the application for the city’s Register of Historic Places, said the citizen support garnered by Myers helped influence the city’s decisions.

According to Meserve, “The fact that Patricia Myers organized those folks into a petition drive because they were interested in long-term preservation of property was important. The city council saw that there was a lot of public support.”