The Future of Riordan
From the Desk of Kathy Farretta, Riordan Mansion State Historic Park Volunteer
Although we often think of an historic house museum as a static place of preservation, the Riordan family homes remain a vibrant part of the Flagstaff community. A site for frequent weddings and gatherings, the beautiful courtyard in front of the homes is often filled with laughter. The homes and visitor center not only host thousands of tourists, but also hundreds of school children learning about the story of their own community. There are two free lectures every month in the visitor center, which allow other historic topics to be explored as well. Upcoming topics include Prohibition in Flagstaff, Homesteads in Oak Creek Canyon, and Music in Territorial Arizona.
Regular fundraising efforts take place to keep the homes open, the most recent being participation in “Arizona Gives Day” with dedications totaling over $3,400 on April 5, 2016. And in September 2016, the homes will again be the featured project of the Full Circle Trade and Thrift fundraising non-profit.
In 2015, the Riordan Action Network contributed $11,441 to preservation and education activities at the Riordan Mansion. $6,478 of that was for the repair of the back porch. Repairs began three weeks ago and full costs we hope will come in just under $10,000.
Another important project for 2016 will be the repair and conservation of an historic stained glass panel which was damaged during the winter. We’re also excited to share that a new inter-governmental agreement between Arizona State Parks and the Arizona Historical Society will be signed on May 10th to keep this wonderful partnership up and running.
And we’d like to officially invite all of you to join us in celebration at Riordan Day of Summer on June 18. This annual community “thank you” is focused on Route 66 this year. There will be a display about the history of the “Mother Road” in the West House, and the Riordans’ travels in the Southwest. The Route 66 Car Club will be displaying their cars, and the Flagstaff Community Band will perform as well.
With your help, Riordan will continue to be a shining example of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the West and a place for all of us to call home for many years to come. We hope you’ll visit us during your travels and please visit the Riordan Action Network website to stay updated on the latest news, events and restoration projects.
Our thanks to Kathy Farretta and the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park for joining us these last three weeks. Do you have a favorite Arts and Crafts historic home or landmark that you think we should feature? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story!