City of Buckeye downtown is growing and becoming more vibrant and a bit of art is on its way. The Buckeye Mainstreet Coalition is working on a project to incorporate art to the Historic Downtown. The art also incorporates trash receptacles. We have seen adding trash receptacles has cleaned up areas of the downtown as evident at Benbow Park. The sculptures are located along Monroe near 6th street.
Buckeye Public Art Aerial
With the collaboration of many folks, Charlene Powers of Powers Leavitt Insurance, a longtime resident, local business owner and Buckeye Coalition Board Member for the initial concept, Lara Serbin of Serbin Studio, Design Chair for the Buckeye Coalition, for the design, detailing, permitting and project coordination. Hondo Jimenez from the Buckeye Union High School to assist on constructability and ultimately fabrication and installation of the steel sculptures using local High School talent. The local corrections facility for the design and fabrication of the trash receptacles. The City of Buckeye for providing a portion of the funding through the Economic Development Catalyst Grant Program.
The project consists of 4 sculptures of varying sizes and colors. They are constructed of 3/8″ thick steel. Portions will be allowed to have a rust patina finish while other pieces will be powder coated. They will be permanently anchored into new concrete footings around city sidewalks.
The largest piece is a tractor to symbolize the influence of farming upon the local community. A great photo opportunity is coming so get your cameras ready. It will stand over 8′ tall and have a powder coated green finish to reflect the influence of John Deere tractors.
Buckeye Public Art Tractor
If you have been to a Buckeye Rodeo, you will have seen the NASCAR of horse racing. Women race around barrels on horseback as fast as the equine can take them without knocking the barrel’s over. This sculpture symbolizes a cowgirl racing around City Hall and incorporates the City of Buckeye ‘Orange’ into the sculpture.
Buckeye Public Art Barrel Racer
At rodeo’s and farms across Buckeye, roping can be seen to round up the stray cattle upon the ranch. This sculpture symbolizes the work of the cowboy wrangling up the trash in Downtown Buckeye.
Buckeye Public Art Roper
Cotton has been grown in the Buckeye Valley since the early 1900’s. This cotton boll, yet larger than life, symbolizes this important industry which helped put Buckeye on the map.
Buckeye Public Art Cotton Boll
This project is just the beginning for more art to be interwoven into the Historic Buckeye fabric. The project is to be completed by early summer of 2016.
On January 1, 2014 the Town of Buckeye in Western Maricopa County became a City. Over a year has come and gone and becoming a City is a big responsibility and the residences in Buckeye are stepping up to the challenge. Late last year, the City of Buckeye provided a Grant (catalyst) to assist business owners to improve its cache of buildings to attract more business.
Buckeye is open for business
We are seeing allot of excitement coming in the near future from the recently awarded projects. We are all Chomping at the bit just like first settlers who must have watched with excitement as the waters flowed down the Buckeye Canal system in 1907.
Serbin Studio’s involvement on the Buckeye Main Street Coalition, we take pride of assisting business owners in many ways. Whether it’s educating others how important it is for your business presence to communicate to the public, whether its your web presence or physical storefront, we have been working on our design muscles.
Downtown Buckeye along Monroe has a collection of historic buildings (OK they aren’t actually on the historic register), but they do have history. Buckeye wants to preserve and improve upon what stock we have. Just like a cowboy trying to stay on the horse a little bit longer, we are all working on improving how we do things.
The Carniceria Y Taqueraa Durango resides in one building in the heart of downtown Buckeye. Located a stones throw from City Hall and Buckeye Valley Chamber, a portion of it currently sits vacant. It is begging for some TLC to inspire others to occupy and utilize it. Late December 2014, a design was proposed by Serbin Studio to the City of Buckeye Council and was approved.
Serbin Studio is currently developing the design and providing the necessary details so it is a successful build.
As Mayor Meck states, Buckeye is truly open for business.
Demolition derby is once again upon us in Buckeye, Arizona. The event is this Saturday Nov 22 at 7 pm. This event has been part of Buckeye for over the past 20+ years. As the contestants are getting their vehicles ready to mash them up and put another notch in their fan belt, members of the Buckeye Rotary and Buckeye Main Street Coalition were prettying up the beer both that resides at the Helzapoppin Rodeo Arena.
Besides sitting in the sun and painting a beer booth (The ironic thing is I don’t even drink beer) for an entire day reminiscing about Ralph Macchio in the Karate Kid, what did I gain from this experience?
Community involvement is definetely a fun and awarding way to work along people in your community. Usually work meetings come and go and topics are mainly business and politics, but sharing the day with others while working on something collectively that improves your City makes you even more proud of where you live. What other City can you go to an event and Mayor Meck calls you by name.
Lara Serbin painting the pickets
Lily Serbin Taking a break to have some fun!
Jeff Serbin getting a bit too detailed
The beer booth, an attraction for the demolition derby, known for raising College scholarship funds by the Buckeye Rotary Club by selling beer, looked like it had gone through its own derby and was in need of some TLC. Years of weathered siding was re-branded like a cow.
Beer booth before
Did you know, the rodeo is coming back to the Helzapoppin’ Arena in January 2015 so get your irons out. We don’t want any stray cows running through downtown Buckeye, except for the Parade organized by the Buckeye Main Street Coalition on Monroe Avenue that occurs during that afternoon.
Through months of planning, working closely with the Buckye Rotary, we came up with some enhancements to make the Saloon a bit more attractive. With a reality check of budget and constructability issues, we begin our fury of work this weekend.
Beer Booth concept, now the “Saloon”
One thing we learned was that 7 gallons of paint can be your best friend, if slowly applied and well brushed. Some of us tackled the inside with new lighting and power and others tackled the outside. Thanks to a local artist, Ron Clarke, the beer booth was re-branded as a “Saloon”.
Saloon. Anyone have some horns we can mount on top? Let Lara know.
Over time we will be adding further elements to make this unique to Buckeye, Arizona. Now all of you will know where to go before and after the derby to say hello to all the Buckeye Rotarian’s serving up some nice cold ones.
After attending the event, it was an eye opener to see all that attended and to witness the activity around the Saloon. It just goes to show that clear signage is important to people know what you may be doing, which in this case was selling beer. All proceeds from this Rotary event go to a B.U.H.S. Scholarship fund. That is Buckeye Union High School Folks.
Beer booth After
Night of the Demolition Derby November 22, 2014
A few months ago, Serbin Studio was approached by the Buckeye Valley Historical Society with an architectural challenge. A conceptual design for the exterior of the existing ‘Buckeye Valley Museum’ so that the architecture reflects their mission, ‘To bring a better understanding and appreciation of the history and cultural significance of Buckeye Valley’.
Click on it for larger image
Conceptual Design of Buckeye Valley Museum
The building today lightly reflects back to the historic architecture of Buckeye Valley and through time has blended into the historic fabric in a way that the building is not apparent to the average visitor in Buckeye.
Original Museum renovation to look like Kell store
Current museum 2014 . Beige is not the new black. Consult a color specialist when you paint your building. Did I mention Lara Serbin is a color expert.
Buckeye has a long history dating back to 1885. Prior to the mid 1970’s, the main highway from Phoenix to California passed through downtown Buckeye. But just as we have seen in the ‘CARS‘ movie, the highway system was created and now by-passes historic downtown.
If you want to get a good glimpse of the history of Buckeye, two books written by Verlyne Meck capture Buckeye through images and words. “Buckeye, then and now” & “Buckeye (AZ) images of America”.
Since being part of a 3rd generation Arizona family and member of the Buckeye Main Street Coalition, I had a good strong foundation for understanding the Museum’s architectural significance. However with every project, further research exposed us to hidden treasures that are only talked about amongst Buckeye residents.
Some inspirations were:
Kell Store built in 1890’s
Hillbilly Hilton. If you get a chance, take a tour of this snapshot in time
Our intent was to minimally alter the interior exhibits and through the use of architectural features, contextual materials and textures enhance the exterior of the building so it clearly indicates what it is, ‘Buckeye Valley Museum’. We created a sense of arrival and a clear pathway into Buckeye’s history. The exterior is now a snapshot of the history and hidden gems within.
The museum had a re-opening on September 27, 2014 and is open Friday’s and Saturday’s from 11 am – 4 pm. The interior renovation is complete. The museum is now on a fund raising campaign to raise money and materials to complete the exterior facade upgrades. For further information, contact the Buckeye Valley Museum at 602-230-1299.
Alice Dryer Insurance Building is a project Serbin Studio has been working on for the last year. If you read last weeks post I talked about the alley improvements along the Benbow Veterans Park. See the big green mesquite tree in the before and after photos, well that is where the Benbow Park is and the alley as well. This is the epicenter of revitalization all the result of Buckeye Main Street Coalition steadfast commitment to change.
So what do you think of the dusty teal? The photo to the right is what Alice’s current building looks like. She has occupied this building for the last 36 years and is ready to clean up the look. If you can see Levi’s Absolute Screen building a little further down, it is a denim blue color. Brick on the San Linda Hotel on the far corner, blue denim on Levi’s building, brick on Café 24:35 and then dusty teal on Alice’s building. Rhythm. I can’t wait for construction on this project!
Many piles of cardboard and glue were the result of me coming up with alternative ideas to improve the façade but at the end of the day I kept it simple just like the original Buckeye Tin Shop of 1900’s Buckeye. The Tin Shop later evolved into grocery, bath house and audio shop. In the 30’s an addition was built on the east end for a slim burger joint called Joe’s Eats. The remains of the bar stools are still there in the floor today. Ann McArthur who works with Alice can remember sitting on those bar stools watching the flow of a sweaty cook hashing out patties for a Buckeye lunch rush. The Wimpy from Popeye graphic is still on the interior bearing wall with the famous saying, “I will gladly pay Tuesday for a hamburger today!”
Special thank you to Buckeye Mayor Meck, Council members and Buckeye Main Street Coalition for making this project a reality.