In June the Phoenix City Council approved $70,000 in Historic Preservation Exterior Rehabilitation grants to repair the historic Norton House mansion. Another $70,000 was approved by the city’s Parks and Preserves Initiative. All $140,000 of approved funding will be used to restore the Norton House to its former glory. Many of the funds will go toward the restoration of the house’s original exterior wood elements like the double hung and the casement windows.
The famous mansion was built back in 1912 when Dr. James C. Norton, a renowned territorial veterinarian left his Iowa practice and started a dairy farm on 200 acres of land. Dr. Norton was an outstanding member of the Phoenix community back in his day. He served as president of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce in 1916, and was a member of the Phoenix Rotary Club, and YMCA in the city. He was also a member of the First Presbyterian Church for nearly 60 years. In 1935 the City of Phoenix purchased Norton’s land and house. Today that land is better known as Encanto Park and the house has been an office for the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department since 1950.
Michelle Dodds, a Historic Preservation Officer called the recent announcement “a big win for the surrounding historic neighborhoods.” She would add, “This house is a staple for that community and really the city.” Parks and Recreation Director Inger Erickson shared his gratitude and said “It’s an exciting project that will help maintain the historic look in this neighborhood. The project also showcases a great partnership between the city and the Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods Coalition.” Though the Norton House is no longer the heart of a dairy farm, it continues to live on as a staple for many member of the Phoenix community.