Historic Preservation Commission
The Historic Preservation Commission consists of seven members, appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council. The duties of the Commission include advising the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council on issues such as the identification and designation of landmarks and historic districts, and the utilization of funds to promote the preservation of such landmarks and historic districts within the City of Peoria. The role of the Commission is also to increase public awareness of the importance of historic, cultural, and architectural preservation.
2013 Historic Preservation Commission Awards Nomination Forms Available. Click here for more information.
Click here for awards application.
Peoria History (Courtesy of the Peoria Chamber of Commerce)
Upon completion of the Arizona canal and its 20 laterals in 1885, four farming families who had arrived here from the Midwest settled the area. They purchased land, platted it and named it Peoria after their hometown in Illinois. These four habitations constituted the visible Peoria settlement located on the old desert freighting road between Phoenix and the town of Seymour on the Hassayampa.
These early settlers either built adobe homes or used large tents. One half of the tent contained a floor and served as the living quarters while the other half housed grain, hay, spare furniture and tools. Rattlesnakes, scorpions and desert rats often sought refuge under the floor from the hot desert sun. Life was even more difficult if floods washed out the canal diversion dam. When this happened, it was a six-mile trek to the Grand Canal for domestic and stock water. Once there, the settlers had to dip water from the canal into barrels. The water trips often occurred every other day and lasted for months to keep up with demands.
With the growth in production at Vulture Mine came an increase in traffic along this route, and so it was named Grand Avenue in 1887. By 1888, Peoria was really on the map with the establishment of a U.S. Post Office for its soaring population of 27. After the proposed town site had been surveyed and a well dug in the northwest corner of section 26 the center of Peoria was firmly set at Washington and Grand Avenue.
To accommodate the expanding community, Central School was built in 1906 and used continuously for the next 70 years. Today it is home to the Peoria Museum where tantalizing tidbits from the past await you.
Gradually our town was born as entrepreneurial businesses moved in to meet the needs of the growing community. By 1970 the town still only had about 2,500 people. However, it did have all of the shops of a small, self-sufficient and warm-hearted community. Today, with a population of more than 155,000, Peoria continues to grow and prosper.
Applying National Criteria for Evaluation
Citizens Guide to Section 106
Evaluating & Registering Archaeological Properties
Guidelines for Local Surveys
Historic Residential Suburbs
National Register Listing Information & Benefits
Researching Historic Properties
CLG Newsletter 2011
CLG Newsletter 2009-2010
CLG Annual Report 2008
Old Paths Cemetery Records and Photos
Self Guided Walking Tour - 83rd Ave. & Madison St.
Self Guided Walking Tour - Old Town Commercial
Peoria Register of Historic Places
Historic Resources Survey 1997
Historic Resources Survey 2005
Historic Preservation Master Plan 2012
Palo Verde Interpretive Plan
Minutes and Application
Historic Preservation Commission Meeting MinutesApplication
Links to other Organizations