Today: Feb 18 , 2020

Learn about 'Love' - Prescott's Ernest A. Love Field

01 February 2008  
(Includes photo gallery) She has been the Preservation Specialist for the City of Prescott since 1990 and Nancy Burgess has access to the resources for developing the story of unique places.


Nancy Burgess will be speaking about Ernest A. Love Field from the 1920's to present.
When approached by American Aviation Historical Society’s program chairman Tom Britton about giving a talk on the history of Prescott’s Love Field, Nancy Burgess was somewhat nonplussed. “Knowing nothing about the Ernest A. Love Field or aviation in general left me with a challenge not uncommon to historic preservationists,” Nancy confided when we spoke about her upcoming public presentation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU).


As the Preservation Specialist for the City of Prescott since 1990 and a professional historic preservation consultant since 1988, Nancy Burgess knows and has access to the resources for developing the story of unique places, but she normally works in the 19th Century era of downtown Prescott. Once she was able to establish Prescott’s Municipal Airport—Ernest A. Love Field—as a site to study, she was off to the Sharlot Hall Museum archives and the airport itself to study the records, gather photographs, and take some photographs of her own to incorporate into the program being presented free to the public at ERAU the evening of February 13.

Nancy Burgess, a native Arizonan, came to the profession of historic preservation via an enlightening and personal choice path that strikes this writer as interestingly validating. From the late 60s to the mid 70s, Burgess worked in the home furnishings industry in Phoenix and learned the operational functions of interior design and the retail furniture business. After completing her Paralegal training in 1975, she was prepared for her career in private, general legal practice law firms and an intervening stint with the City of Phoenix Law Department/Criminal Division.

Born and raised in Phoenix, Burgess lived through the almost daily demolition and destruction of the place she called home. “It really didn’t matter where you lived in Phoenix during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, buildings and homes were being bulldozed on a regular basis to make way for progress,” Nancy reported. “I experienced the destruction and personally felt the loss,” she said. Life moves on for each of us and you meet the challenges day after day, but in 1984 Nancy and Jim, her husband, decided to act on their desire to get away from the oppressive heat, smog, traffic, and what was happening in and to Phoenix. Happily they relocated to Prescott.

With a strong employment background in interior design and legal research and a personal love of community and historic beauty, Nancy found her soul through studies at Prescott College where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Photography. Additional study, at the Historic Preservation Field School of the University of South Carolina through the College of Charleston, set the course for her third career. Burgess established herself as an independent preservation consultant in 1988 and continues her private practice while serving as the Historic Preservation Specialist for the City of Prescott. Author of numerous articles and several books and recipient of the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation five times, Nancy Burgess is in the right career to do what she enjoys most.

For her presentation at ERAU, Burgess is concentrating on the land use and the remarkable development of Prescott’s Love Field from a 1928 airstrip named for Prescott’s WWI aviator hero Ernest A. Love through the residential/golf course glory to the bustling commercial/industrial complex of today.

To learn more about this fascinating place that, according to Burgess was, at one time, the second busiest airport in Arizona, attend “A History Of Prescott’s Ernest A. Love Field” on Wednesday, February 13, at 7 p.m. on campus at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s DLC Auditorium, 3700 Willow Creek Road, Prescott. For additional information about this free, public event, call professor Nick Manderfield at 928-777-6985 or e-mail

Photo Gallery

Click on a thumbnail to view the larger photos, some as wide as 750 pixels.