Williams panel creates a guide to help businesses retain Route 66 heritage

The Williams Historic Preservation Commission of Williams, Arizona, has created a design guide to help businesses preserve the historic integrity of its Route 66 corridor.

The city council last month approved the 60-page “Williams Historic Business District Design Guide,” which provides details of how business owners can maintain Route 66 architecture.

The Williams-Grand Canyon News (subscription required) reported:

“The architecture of the Williams Historic Business District has a high degree of integrity,” the commission stated in the guide. “The vast majority of facades exhibit their original configurations and materials. This level of preservation of historic fabric is rare and deserves continued respect and conservation of original materials and components.”
The design guidelines provide specific direction on maintaining the historic integrity and preservation of the architectural heritage of the Williams Historic Business District, although the commission said the guide could be a resource to anyone in the community.
The Williams Historic Business District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and runs along Railroad Avenue roughly from Fourth Street to First Street. It includes 25 acres of Romanesque and Victorian Commercial Style. […]
The majority of the buildings in the historic business district are single-story and include recessed central entrances, with transom windows flanked by large glass front bays. The facades are topped by simple corbelled brick parapets.

The commission stated the best-preserved 19th-century structure is the Tetzlaff Building, where the Grand Canyon Cafe is situated.

Other noteworthy buildings from the early 20th century:

  • Fray Marcos Hotel (Grand Canyon Railway)
  • Duffy Brothers Grocery Store (Colors of the West)
  • Old Parlor Pool Hall (Old APS office)
  • Lebsch Confectionary (Old Glory Gifts)
  • Grand Canyon Drug (Thunder Eagle)
  • Citizen’s Bank (Grand Canyon Native Jewelry)
  • The Freight Depot Pollock Building (Mason’s)
  • Babbitt-Polson Building
  • Sultana Building

The guide was funded by a $14,000 grant from the State Historic Preservation Office and National Park Service.

Changes to structures or construction of new structures within the historic district must conform to the city code. The historic preservation commission, which has been in place in Williams for 30 years, works with city staff to review and approve such changes.

More about Williams and its renaissance in recent years may be read here.

(Image of downtown Williams, Arizona, in 2015 by edmj via Flickr)

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