Historic preservation effort keeps City Hall true to community’s vision

Dignified. Distinctive. Reflective of the Southwest and the spirit of Scottsdale. Those were the goals when a growing community sought to build a new local government center in the mid-1960s.

Scottsdale City Hall opened in October 1968. Arizona architect Bennie Gonzales’ design for the building, the adjacent Civic Center Library and the surrounding open space beat out 35 other proposals. 

More than five decades later, the City Council recently initiated both a Zoning District Map Amendment and a Historic Preservation Case to retain the community’s original vision for Scottsdale City Hall and preserve one of Arizona’s most prominent public spaces.

City Hall, the library, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and those open spaces—now known as the Scottsdale Civic Center—were designed to be special. The open chamber in City Hall, patterned after the Hopi Indians’ ceremonial Kiva, was a symbolic nod to Native American culture and accessible government.

“A goal of Scottsdale General Plan 2035 is to identify and protect Scottsdale’s historic, archeological and cultural resources and sustain community character,” Planning & Development Area Manager Adam Yaron said. “The Old Town Scottsdale Character Area Plan reinforces the idea that to strengthen and enhance Old Town’s character, it’s important to protect prominent historic resources. This effort supports both of those plans.”

No changes are proposed to City Hall, but rezoning and historical designation will establish City Hall as a significant local resource, protecting and preserving it into the future, and allowing the spirit and the vision of those residents who first conceived the project to live on. 

Following further recommendations from the Historic Preservation and Planning commissions, City Council is scheduled to consider adoption June 13.

Read more and submit comments for these City Hall Historic Preservation cases under consideration: 


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