George N. Gage House

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Location:  115 W. University Dr.
Survey Number: HPS-203
Year Built: 1888
Architectural Style: Georgian Revival


BACKGROUND + STATUS
Although eligible, this property has not been listed in the Tempe Historic Property Register or in the National Register of Historic Places. On May 3, 2001, the Tempe Historic Preservation Office held a public hearing and classified the 1888 George N. Gage House Historic Eligible (HE).

SUMMARY
As secretary of the Tempe Land & Improvement Company, George N. Gage was one of the most significant Tempe developers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (1888-1909) and was responsible for much of the early urban development of Tempe. The Gage Addition of the historic Maple-Ash Neighborhood bears his name and serves as a perpetual vestige of Gage’s involvement in the early development of Tempe.

HISTORIC ASSOCIATION
The George N. Gage House, built in 1888, is significant for its association with Gage and for its architectural qualities as a fine example of Georgian Revival-influenced residential frame construction.

PERSONAL ASSOCIATION
George N. Gage (1842-1913) helped found the Tempe Land and Improvement Company (along with several other capitalists) in the late nineteenth century. From 1888-1909, the company, with Gage acting as local secretary and supervisor, actively promoted the development of Tempe during the city’s first pronounced period of growth. Tempe Land and Improvement Company worked towards formal development of Tempe as a townsite. It promoted the sale of lots within the new townsite, built commercial buildings in the town’s business district along Mill Avenue, assisted in the organization of the local bank, and operated a lumber yard that provided materials for new home construction.

Gage’s final developmental undertaking in Tempe prior to his relocation to Los Angeles came in 1909 with the Gage Addition of the Maple-Ash Neighborhood. The 80-acre Gage Addition was recorded by Gage in conjunction with L.W. Blinn. The addition was located south of University Drive and west of Mill Avenue and represented the first substantial period of growth and development in Tempe, which lasted from 1909-1930. Thus, Gage left his mark on the community by serving as the catalyst for economic growth and development. Gage would pass away in 1913 at the age of 71, just four years after leaving Tempe.

ARCHITECTURAL ASSOCIATION
The George N. Gage House is a superb example of the Georgian Revival style of the late nineteenth century. It is built of wood frame with wide clapboard siding and is a single story in height. The roof is medium pitched and comprised of intersecting gables with modern asphalt shingles. It features an entry porch accentuated by a hipped roof portico with a centrally-aligned front door, which is flanked on both sides by tall double-hung windows. The surrounding landscaping consists of palm trees and a grass lawn. George N. Gage lived in the house until 1909, when he moved to Los Angeles. A frame addition was made to the rear of the house in 1916, prior to it being moved to its current location.

The home was originally constructed at the southwest corner of 8th Street and Mill Avenue, but was moved to its present location at 115 W. University Dr. in 1939. When the house was moved, the original veranda was replaced with the now-existing portico. Despite this change in location, the house retains all of the vital components that are indicative of the Georgian Revival style of architecture and is an exceptionally rare example of that architectural style in Tempe.

SOURCES
Janus Associates, Tempe Historic Property Survey and Multiple Resource Area Nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, Tempe: Tempe Historical Society, 1983. http://www.nr.nps.gov/multiples/64000056.pdf

Ryden Architects, City of Tempe Multiple Resource Area Update, Vol. 2: Inventory Forms, Tempe: City of Tempe, 1997.

Lisa Selin Davis, Deserted in Tempe, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2003. http://www.preservationnation.org/magazine/story-of-the-week/2003/deserted-in-tempe.html

Tempe Historic Preservation Office, Maple Ash Neighborhood History, 2006.

Tempe History Museum, Tempe Historic Property Survey, 1984.

UTM Reference: Zone 12, Easting 412500, Northing 3698230