Today: May 19 , 2019

Preservation Committee Votes Against Renaming of Block on Montezuma

10 November 2012  

The final issue on Prescott's Preservation Committee agenda today was probably the most controversial, and that was the decision of whether or not to rename the block just south of Gurley on Montezuma Street to "Historic Whiskey Row". Dave Michaelson, owner of the Historic Palace Restaurant and Saloon was the applicant for this request.

Cat Moody, the City's Preservation Specialist, presented a packet of information to the Committee members, which included comments both for and against the proposal. Michaelson was there to make his request in person and to answer any questions that might arise.

By a vote of 5-2, the Preservation Committee says no to renaming Montezuma St. as "Historic Whiskey Row"

According to the report from Moody, 11 property owners were contacted on the west side of the street. Five are in favor of the renaming; one is against the renaming; one is neutral, and willing to go with the majority; and four did not respond.

Additionally, 24 businesses were asked their opinion on the matter. Twelve are in favor of the renaming, one is against the renaming and 11 did not respond.

Moody also solicited opinions from the adjoining blocks, where 18 property owners were contacted. Five were in favor, three were against and ten did not respond.

Various governmental entities were asked for their thoughts on the matter.

City of Prescott Transportation Engineering Division:

City's Addressing staff, the County's Addressing staff, and the Regional Dispatch Center: Approved the change with strong reservations, stating, "Yes, with reservations for street naming convention to maintain continuous street name. This would interrupt the Street Naming for Montezuma and make it confusing for visitors to Prescott."

The State Historic Preservation Office: Consensus is that the name should not be changed, but that the "row" of buildings could still be marketed. However, they said the final decision should be left to the citizens of Prescott.

Board of Supervisors: Did not take action, but did not affirm the idea, either. Here is the audio from the Monday Board of Supervisor's meeting.

But, what seemed to sway the Committee the most were the comments from the businesses and property owners in the area. In particular, it was noted that there would be additional expense to the business owners, it might be confusing for visitors and some businesses would prefer not to be associated with the word, 'whiskey'. And the letter from property owner Mark Favour caught the attention of Elisabeth Ruffner.

(Read all comments in the Agenda Packet.)

In the end, the Committee voted 5-2 not to recommend the proposal. Vice Chairman Lee Vega and Russ Buchanan were in the minority.

Afterwards Michaelson said he felt the decision was disappointing, but he'd wait to see what the Prescott Council decided. Michaelson reiterated that he had obtained the consent of all the business owners on the block before seeking the official change.

Now the measure goes to the full City Council, which has the final say on the matter.

 

Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.

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