These articles are written by GCPA member, Ron Short. He has volunteered to write an article each month for our webpage. Ron is the retired Deputy Director for Long Range Planning, City of Glendale. Ron has been instrumental in many historic projects around the City of Glendale. We look forward to learning a lot about the history of Glendale from Ron!
In the Shadow of the Beet Sugar Factory
Most Glendale residents are aware of the Beet Sugar Factory (National Register listed January 20, 1978) - that magnificent four-story brick factory building located at 52nd Avenue and Glendale Avenue. The Beet Sugar Factory defined Glendale for many years. The factory provided both jobs and was a major economic stimulus for growth. The factory was built between 1903 and 1906 and processed sugar beets until 1913. The plant could process 1,000 tons of sugar beets per day. The processing capacity demanded a major workforce to operate the factory. Where would these new workers live and eat?
The Hoghe Bunkhouse, located at the intersection of Lamar Road and North 53rd Avenue, answered that question, initially. The Hoghe Bunkhouse is the only remaining example of workers housing associated with the Beet Sugar Factory. The bunkhouse is named after Leo M. Hoghe. He built the building in 1906. He expected to house sixty workers on the factory site. Mr. Hoghe even built a restaurant next to the bunkhouse. He opened a temporary restaurant south of the factory building in November 1905 and when the installation of factory equipment occurred he built a wood frame 40’x 50’ restaurant building on the site that could service 140 workers. Then in June 1906, with factory construction nearly complete and the beet harvest season near, he built the 24’ x 72’ bunk house. The building was divided into three “pods” of bunk rooms. The exterior walls were exposed brick. The floors were and remain exposed concrete slab-on-grade. The concrete material was rare at that time, but probably available due to the construction of the factory. The building after the closing of the factory was made into a duplex (1938) and later a triplex (1950). The bunkhouse is not listed on the National Register.
An interesting story about Leo M. Hoghe relates to his restaurant, which burned down on July 7, 1907. Mr. Hoghe is credited by a November 14, 1905 Arizona Republican article of being the inventor of the “improved hamburger steak”. He opened up the Hoffman House Café in 1910 at Center and Broadway in Phoenix and quickly developed the nickname of “Hamburger Man” through local newspaper stories. He became a successful businessman and became Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Health. He died March 12, 1932 at 66 years of age.
Go Back to School
Yes, go back to school, way back, and see what is was like attending one of the nation’s unique experiments in school design, the unit plan. On July 10, 1891, the Glendale School District No. 40 was established, but was officially called Jefferson School District until June 20, 1892. The first school in Glendale was built in 1895, three years after the German Baptist Brethren and the River Brethren found the community as a religious colony. Glendale had a population of 350 at that time. The school was a large two story structure at the intersection of 58th Avenue and Palmaire Avenue. This building has since been demolished.
The school was sufficient until 1913 when the town had outgrown it. In fact, students paraded in the streets demanding new school facilities! The voters of Glendale passed a $25,000 bond issue. The money was used to buy 20 acres in the heart of Catlin Court and five buildings were built. The school opened in 1913. Two additional buildings were added in 1915. In 1917, voters approved an auditorium, administrative building, heating plant, domestic arts building and nine unit buildings. Additional bonds were passed in 1919 to build 10 additional buildings. The buildings were completed in 1920 with construction of eight more buildings. The total cost of school construction from 1913 to 1920 was $190,000.
L.G. Knipe, Arizona territorial architect, developed the unit plan. Rather than designing a large building for students, this architect planned a dramatically different master plan for the 20 acres. He designed a complex of 34 separate classroom buildings. Eleven buildings were built west of the auditorium for K-3 and 11 buildings east of the auditorium for grades 3-4. The remaining 12 buildings were located north of the auditorium for grades 5-8. The unit plan served as a model for school design in the Sunbelt and received national acclaim. The concept allowed for better lighting, ventilation, reduced noise, better health control, reduced fire hazard, flexibility of adding and removing classrooms and ease in classroom grade configuration.. The unit plan served Glendale well in that no new schools were built until the Isaac Imes School in 1942. Between 1964 and the mid 1970’s, the one-room classroom buildings were removed, except for one that was built as part of the last buildings from 1920.
The remaining One-Room Class Building is located at 7301 North 58th Avenue in back of the Glendale School District #40 Administration Building. You can access it from the administration parking lot. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building has kept a high degree of integrity of its original design and materials. There are three metal bands around the top of the building for structure stabilization, and it needs about $150,000 worth of restoration.
Please go back to school and enjoy this important part of Glendale’s history!
The Little House On Myrtle Avenue
You have passed this little house many times going between Grand Avenue and 59th Avenue. It is an attractive and interesting National Folk Victorian style house built in 1897. The house is one of the oldest homes remaining in Glendale. The address is 5919 W. Myrtle Avenue, and there is a bronze interpretative plaque in the front yard of the home which tells the story of the house.
The Jonas McNair house is a one story wood framed National Folk Victorian cottage. The National Folk Victorian style represents “gable front and wing” form with Victorian era wooden porch details. The original house was only three rooms with front and rear porches. In 1929, a rear addition allowed for kitchen and bath facilities. The exterior of the house has remarkable integrity with original siding, porch posts, windows, metal roofing and entry door, probably from a 1929 remodel.
Jonas McNair came to Glendale as part of the second wave of colonists in 1894. He opened a butcher shop and meat market going into partnership with another settler. The business was named McNair & Heist Butchers and provided “the best alfalfa beef” in the area. On June 6, 1896, Jonas purchased Lots 5 and 6 Block 4 of the Glendale plat from the New England Land Company paying $100. He then hired J.B Doner to build the house in 1897. Mr. Doner had a large two story house just to the east of McNair’s lots. Jonas obtained a $400 mortgage from Phoenix Building and Loan Association for the house. Jonas lived in his house only as short time. He became ill in the fall of 1899 and sold his share of the business to A.W. Bennett. Jonas McNair died in 1905. The property went to probate court and was sold in 1905 to Mary R. Pierce at auction for $500 in gold coin.
The Jonas McNair House is a rare surviving example of nineteenth century architecture in Glendale, Arizona.