Merging history with the city's water future
Eisendrath House is an historic, 1930’s Pueblo Revival adobe house in Tempe that has been restored by the Rio Salado Foundation in partnership with the City of Tempe, SRP, SRPMIC and the Tempe Historic Preservation Foundation. $4.3 million has been raised over the past ten years for the restoration.
Recently renamed the Eisendrath Center for Water Conservation, the property is quickly becoming a focal point for Tempe’s water conservation efforts. It is located adjacent to Tempe’s Johnny G. Martinez Water Treatment Plant, which provides potable tap water to Tempe residents. The newly built SRP Water Education Facility is located on site and provides a free, functional meeting space for water conservation and landscaping classes. Future plans for the house include interactive displays inside the house that will tell the city’s water story and help promote conservation efforts for the entire region.
Beginning in January 2016 the house will be available to rent for special events, receptions, corporate conferences, dinners and weddings. Additionally, docent-led tours of the historic house will be open to the public by appointment on Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations are being booked by calling 480-473-0245.
Rose Eisendrath House history and context
Year Built: 1930
Architectural Style: Pueblo Revival
The Eisendrath House was built as the winter residence of Rose Eisendrath, widow of the wealthy Chicago glove manufacturer, Joseph N. Eisendrath. The Eisendrath House survives as an example of a seasonal residence typical of the first wave of wealthy winter visitors vacationing in the Salt River Valley. From the 1920s this phenomenon constituted a significant aspect of valley tourism and foretold of an incipient Phoenix and Chicago economic association.
After Mrs. Eisendrath's death in 1936, the house passed through several owners and continued to be used as a retreat for the wealthy. This residence represents an outstanding example of the Pueblo Revival style.
ArchitectureThe Eisendrath House, constructed in 1930, is a significant work of noted Arizona architect Robert T. Evans. The building is an important example of Evans’ skill and mastery of adobe architecture. The construction of the Eisendrath House, and of other buildings designed by Evans, helped inspire a revival of adobe architecture in the Salt River Valley from the mid-twenties to the start of World War II.
The two-story structure represents a masterwork of traditional building materials executed in high style. While maintaining the inherent environmental appropriateness of adobe, this elegant Pueblo Revival home renders traditional materials in a refined design constructed with a degree of skill and sophistication noticeably above what is normally encountered in vernacular adobe architecture.
Vernacular landscapeThe site provides a significant visual and historic framework for the Eisendrath House, including two distinct landscape typologies. The "natural landscape" constitutes the majority of the nine-plus acre site, and includes a native Sonoran plant palette characteristic of Papago Park. Here the most common species include saguaro [Saguaro gigantea], creosote [Larrea tridentata], prickly pear [Opuntia various species], and Velvet mesquite [Prosopis veluntia].
The "cultivated landscape" includes areas immediately surrounding the house and garage. These areas were planted to enhance aesthetic quality and to provide shade for the environs adjacent to the house. With a microclimate tempered by landscaping, the patios, balconies and courtyards strengthened the connection of the the Eisendrath House to the site and enhanced comfort and livability. An historic fruit tree orchard had been planted on site.
SignificanceThe subject property meets the following criteria for designation, as found in section 14A-4 (a) of the Tempe City Code.
(1) It meets the criteria for listing on the Arizona or national register of historic places;
(2) It is found to be of exceptional significance and expresses a distinctive character, resulting from:
a. A significant portion of it is at least fifty (50) years old; is reflective of the city's cultural, social, political or economic past; and is associated with a person or event significant in local, state or national history; and
b. It represents an established and familiar visual feature of an area of the city,
due to a prominent location or singular physical feature.
Eisendrath House at the Carl Hayden Campus for Sustainability Case for Support
Historical Summary from the 1999 Building Condition Assessment Report
prepared by Robert G. Graham & Larry R. Sorenson
Eisendrath House National Register Nomination : : Listed on the National Register 04/20/11
prepared by Robert Graham, Doulas Kupel, PhD. Motley Design Group LLC
Arizona State Historic Preservation Office : : Notification of Listing on the National Register
letter from the Arizona SHPO dated 05/10/2011 notifying HPO of successful nomination
Tempe Historic Preservation Foundation founded in 2005 as a private non-profit organization
to raise awareness of Tempe’s historic at risk structures http://www.tempehpf.com/