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Garfield Goodwin Building

 

 

Survey Number: HPS-141
Year Built: 1907
Architectural Style: Panel Brick Commercial

THEME / CONTEXT
The Goodwin building is associated with the context of Commerce/Tourism and is typical of commercial structures seen in rural America in the early 1900’s. It is located on Mill Avenue next to the Tempe Hardware Building (1898) with which it shares a common wall to the south. At the time the Goodwin Building was built, the properties to the north were occupied by the Bell Telegraph Company, A.G. Drugs, and the undertaker. The U.S. Post Office is now located on the site previously occupied by A.G. Drugs and the undertaker. A single tenant retail building was constructed between the U.S. Post Office and the Goodwin Building in 1998. The façade of the new tenant building closely resembles the character of the Goodwin Building.

HISTORIC ASSOCIATION
The Garfield Goodwin Building is significant for its association with Garfield Abram Goodwin, a prominent citizen of Tempe and operator of the Goodwin Curio Store for 41 years. Garfield Goodwin came to Tempe as a child in 1888. He enrolled at the Territorial Normal School (now ASU) in 1896. He was an outstanding athlete, and played on the school's first football team before he graduated in 1899. He started a career as an agent for Wells Fargo & Co. and the American Railway Express Co. but his main business was running the Goodwin Curio Store, where he sold a variety of Indian crafts and artifacts. In the summer each year he would go to Indian reservations and to Albuquerque and Santa Fe to buy silver jewelry, pottery, blankets, and prehistoric artifacts. He also excavated artifacts at sites throughout Arizona.  Goodwin sold his first collection to Mrs. Mae Heard, who later used her personal collection of Native American art to establish the Heard Museum. Goodwin operated his curio store, located in the Goodwin Building (514 S. Mill Avenue) for 41 years, from about 1903 until his death in 1944.

Mr. Goodwin served on the Tempe City Council, 1922-1928, including one term as Mayor of Tempe, 1924-1926. In 1934, he headed the Tempe Beach Committee, which planned the construction of new facilities in the community's first park. He served as Secretary of the Arizona State Teachers College Board of Education in 1930s and '40s, and led efforts to make the Tempe school a 4-year liberal arts college. He also promoted building a new Arizona State Teachers College football stadium, which was completed in 1937 and named Goodwin Stadium in his honor. Goodwin also served terms as President of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce and the Tempe Rotary Club.

ARCHITECTURAL ASSOCIATION
The Goodwin Building is Tempe’s only one story cast-iron storefront commercial building still in existence and it retains a significant portion of its integrity. The building represents the best remaining Tempe example of a once common type of commercial structural system, namely the cast-iron façade. Through numerous tenant changes, the building has maintained structurally unique features including the cast iron pilasters and the double steel “I” beams that span the storefront openings. A portion of the original glass and wood storefronts still remain especially above the transom beam. The south two bays of the storefront retain most of the original character while the north two bays were modified in the 1950’s. The south bays feature recessed windows in wooden frames, tung & grove ceilings, transom windows and cast iron pilasters. Between 1990 and 1991 the two north bays were restored to a similar appearance as the south two bays utilizing a similar color palette. The canopy above the entrance was replaced with a metal awning on the original frame. The canopy was installed on an angle to allow a pedestrian view of the transom windows.

SUMMARY
The Garfield Goodwin Building is significant for its association with Garfield A. Goodwin, a prominent citizen of Tempe and operator of the Goodwin Curio Store for 41 years. Goodwin was mayor of Tempe and served on the Arizona State Teachers College Board of Education in the 1930s and 1940s under Governors Moeur, Jones, and Osborn. He was instrumental in the construction of the football stadium (1937) which was named for him (which no longer exists). Goodwin was also president of Chamber of Commerce and led construction of Tempe Beach facilities.

The Garfield Goodwin Building is Tempe's only one-story cast iron frame commercial building and retains a significant portion of its exterior and interior integrity.

SOURCES
Tempe 1997 Multiple Resource Area Update

Tempe Historic Property Survey HPS-141 Goodwin Building

Tempe Historical Museum Biographical File - Garfield Abram Goodwin