Farmer-Goodwin House

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Survey Number: HPS-243
Year Built: 1883
Architectural Style: Folk Victorian/Georgian Revival

THEME / CONTEXT
The Farmer/Goodwin House is associated with the context of Community Planning and Development. It falls under the theme of housing - custom house.

HISTORIC ASSOCIATION
The Farmer/Goodwin House is significant for its association with two prominent figures in the history of Tempe; Hiram Bradford Farmer and James Cooper Goodwin. The first improvements on this property were made by Pierce Carrick Shannon, a local saloonkeeper, who purchased the land in 1880. The house was complete in March of 1883, and was one of the largest and most substantial residences in the small community then growing up on the south side of the Salt River. Shannon encountered a number of financial difficulties, and then was sent to Yuma Territorial Prison for selling liquor to the Indians; the property passed out of his hands. In January 1886, the property was sold to Hiram Bradford Farmer for $3,000.00.

ARCHITECTURAL ASSOCIATION
The Farmer/Goodwin House is one of the best-preserved and unique adobe structures in the state. It is a good example of a Folk expression of Victorian-era architecture. Its massing is similar to other Victorian-era styles, but this building lacks the "gingerbread" detailing often found in Victorian-era buildings. The wall dormers are a character-defining element as well as the front veranda porch.

SUMMARY
The Farmer/Goodwin House is significant for its association with two prominent figures in the history of Tempe: Hiram Bradford Farmer and James Cooper Goodwin. The house is also one of the best-preserved and unique adobe structures in the state. When construction of the house was completed in March of 1883, it was one of the largest residences in the small community then growing upon the south side of the Salt River. Hiram Bradford Farmer purchased the house for $3,000 in January of 1886. Farmer was the first professor and principal at the Territorial Normal School (now Arizona State University) when it opened in February of 1886. In addition to serving as a residence for its first administrator, the Farmer/Goodwin House also served as a dormitory for young women students who came to the school from out of town.

When the railroad arrived in 1887, Farmer developed his 160 acres into one of the town’s early subdivisions - Farmer’s Addition. When Farmer left the Salt River Valley in 1890, the house passed through a number of owners until it was acquired in 1897 by James Wilson. Wilson’s daughter, Libbie, married James C. Goodwin in 1902, and the house was deeded to her. Goodwin was a prominent Tempe rancher and businessman who first came to the community in the 1880s. He was a member of Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War, and was elected to the Arizona Territorial Legislature in 1897. James C. Goodwin served in the Arizona State Legislature from 1915 to 1918. The house continued to be owned by the Goodwin family until the death of James and Libbie's son, Woodrow Wilson Goodwin, in 1992.

The Farmer/Goodwin House is a good example of a Folk expression of Victorian-era architecture. Its massing is similar to other Victorian-era styles, but this building lacks the "gingerbread" detailing often found in Victorian-era buildings. It is a one-and-a-half story adobe structure, rectangular in plan, surmounted by a hipped roof punctuated by ten flush wall dormers. It is symmetrical both in plan and elevation with the east and west facades divided into three equal bays. The exterior adobe walls are finished with plaster, which has been scored with lines to simulate cut stone construction. Exterior corners are detailed with quoins of built-up plaster. In plan the house is composed of a central hall or zaguan with approximately equal-sized rooms occurring symmetrically on either side of it. The room arrangement is identical on the upper story and access is by a stairway in the central hall. The wall dormers are a character-defining element, as is the rebuilt front veranda porch.

SOURCES
Tempe 1997 Multiple Resource Area Update
Tempe Historic Property Survey HPS-243 - Farmer/Goodwin House