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Celebrating Arizona’s centennial with archive exhibit

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Shepley Bulfinch is marking Arizona’s centennial with “Where were you in 1912?”, an exhibit of architectural renderings from the firm’s extensive archives that is now on display at the firm’s Phoenix studio. The selected works cover the period from 1910 to 1920, the decade of Arizona’s statehood. The exhibit’s highlight is a series of renderings of Phoenix’s Trinity Cathedral and Parish House.

Shepley Bulfinch’s presence in Arizona predates statehood, with the design of the Trinity Cathedral campus in 1910. The Parish House was dedicated in 1915 and the Cathedral was consecrated in 1920. Although its location in the Roosevelt Historic District today places it in the heart of the city, at the time of its completion the site was considered to be far north of Phoenix’s business district. Other works on display include a Maine train station, an Oregon bank, a proposed hospital in Tokyo, and a girls’ school in Istanbul.

Over 75 guests, including ALAC’s Mario Mendia, Don Keuth of the Phoenix Community Alliance, and Duke Reiter of the ASU Foundation, celebrated the exhibit’s opening at a reception hosted by Shepley Bulfinch at their office in midtown Phoenix.

Archivist Rob Roche, who curated the exhibit, came from Boston for the event, sharing stories of the firm’s design history, which spanned the globe a century ago. “People were struck by the firm’s geographic reach in the early 20th century, with projects from China to Turkey,” he said. “In design terms, there was a lot of interest in the diverse architectural styles on display, and the way that detail was called out on the same page as an entire elevation.”

“Shepley Bulfinch is proud to have been part of Arizona’s story and its architecture for more than a hundred years,” said principal Chris Nieto. “A century ago, Shepley was exploring the urban texture of the Trinity Cathedral campus, something we’re carrying forward today in adaptive reuse projects across the Valley of the Sun.”

The exhibit will be on display in the firm’s office at 1437 North 1st Street in Phoenix through the end of the summer. It is open to the public on Thursdays from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.

Projects on display:
- American College for Girls (Constantinople, Turkey, 1914)
- First Congregational Church (Fall River, Massachusetts, 1913)
- First National Bank of Portland (Portland, Oregon, 1916)
- Passenger Station (Rumford Falls, Maine, 1914)
- Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, Massachusetts, 1915)
- Merchant’s National Bank (Boston, Massachusetts, 1914)
- Provident Institution for Savings (Boston, Massachusetts, 1904)
- Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (Princeton, NJ, 1917)
- Saint Luke’s International Hospital (Tokyo, Japan, 1918)
- Trinity Cathedral and Parish House (Phoenix, Arizona, 1921)
- YMCA (Boston, Massachusetts, 1913)

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