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VOLUME 9 ISSUE 4

$5.99 Jul-Aug 2020 Serving Contracting Firms and the Arizona Community. . . Then & Now

The “Art” of Lettuce Production in Arizona Stylish Sales: The Neil B. McGinnis Equipment Co. Squirt Soda Pop: Arizona’s Grapefruit Drink The Architecture Freshness of Robert Paul Schweikher Chase Field’s Hidden 96-Year-Old “Sweet” Spot

Arizona’s Timeless Magazine

Matt Brown Keeps on Truckin’ With New Facility

A Look at Farming and Construction in Arizona

Del Webb’s Concrete Skyscraper: Phoenix’s Allied Grain Elevator


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Jul-Aug 2020


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ABOVE EVERYTHING, QUALITY!

1990s before technology dominated our lives

Editor Douglas Towne douglas@arizcc.com

1960s for the music and optimism

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2020 because I’m in the here and now 1950s given the optimism, music, cars, booming economy, and innocence. 1970s for the fashion

What decade would you like to live in?

Publisher William Horner billy@arizcc.com

1920s the Modern Age begins, with Model Ts, stylish radios and a boom before the crash

Contributors Ed Dobbins Royal John Medley Daniel Owen 1820 to see the Luke Snell construction of Doug Sydnor the Erie Canal

Production Manager Laura Horner laura@arizcc.com

Publisher’s Representative Barry Warner 1970s for the barry@arizcc.com music, cars, movies, art, clothes, and colors.

In Memoriam Charles “Chuck” Runbeck 1928 - 2020 Advertising 602-931-0069 arizcc.com/advertise

Subscriptions: Online at arizcc.com Serving Contracting Firms and the Arizona Community… Then & Now

Arizona Contractor & Community (ACC) magazine is published bi-monthly (Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec). ACC is a professional publication designed for the contracting industry, engineers, architects, equipment rentals, suppliers, and others interested in Arizona and its history. Content including text, photographs or illustrations may not be reproduced without the written permission from the publisher. The publisher does not assume responsibility for unsolicited submissions. ACC reserves the right to reject any editorial and advertising material and reserves the right to edit all submitted content material. Arizona Contractor & Community Copyright © 2020 All rights reserved.

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Contents 7

Contributors - Ed Dobbins & Royal John Medley

8

From The Editor - Down on the Farm Douglas Towne

“TELL US WHAT YOU NEED AND WE WILL WORK WITH YOU TO MAKE IT HAPPEN”

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11

31

32

38

42 BELLY DUMP—SUPER 16—END DUMP— LOW BOY SIDE DUMP— EXCAVATOR—LOADER—GRADER

Construction Around Arizona: Projects • People • Practices Back When - Glendale’s Chilling Fire Douglas Towne Del Webb’s Concrete Skyscraper: Phoenix’s Allied Grain Elevator - Douglas Towne Allied Grain: Del Webb’s Foray into Farm Structures Douglas Towne

Lettuce and Landscapes: An Illustrated History of Arizona Commercial Row Crops - Royal John Medley

46

Squirt: Arizona’s Grapefruit Drink - Ed Dobbins

50

Building on the Past - 1951: Arizona Boys Ranch

52

56

Architect’s Perspective - Robert Paul Schweikher: Bring a Freshness - Doug Sydnor, FAIA

Digging Through the Archives - The Neil B. McGinnis Equipment Company - William Horner

60

Bid Results

62

Advertising Index

Front Cover - Terris Manley, Bob Becker, and Archie Kroloff (L-R) at Allied Grain facility in Phoenix, early 1950s - David Rosenthal Inset - Sorghum Sally, 1950.

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Jul-Aug 2020


Contributors P R I N T | PA C K A G I N G | M A I L I N G | F U L F I L L M E N T E C O - F R I E N D LY S O L U T I O N S

Ed Dobbins Articles on pages 11 & 46

Royal John Medley Article on page 42

E

R

d Dobbins is a retired audiologist and business owner thrilled to be able to spend his days researching, writing, and collecting bits of Phoenix history. He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, but has lived in the Valley most of his life, where he attended Arizona State University and A.T. Still University of Health Services. Ed spent four years as a field archaeologist before changing careers. Ed’s historical research interests often have ties to the North Mountain-Sunnyslope area, where he lives. Last fall, he prepared an exhibition and presentation on growing citrus above and below the Arizona Canal at the Sunnyslope Historical Society. The subject of one of his articles in this issue, preserving a 1920s packing plant in the walls of Chase Field, came to light during his research on the citrus project. The manager of the citrus growers’ association responsible for building the packing plant was a resident of what is now the Royal Palm neighborhood in Sunnyslope. Ed is continuing his work on citrus orchards along the Arizona Canal and is reconfiguring some of his writings to narrated videos for online presentation. He is also preparing publications on the life and works of C. J. Dyer, a pioneer Arizona cartographer and politician whose maps recorded the late 19th-century growth of urbanization in Phoenix and the Salt River Valley. arizcc.com

oyal John Medley’s passion for vintage crate labels and related agricultural ephemera stems from his early work experiences and those of his parents.

Early on, he worked as a produce department manager at a supermarket in Phoenix. His mother, Margaret Blanche Medley, was a shipping clerk at the grapefruit packinghouse of Yuma Mesa Fruit Growers Association in Yuma. His father, also named Royal John Medley, was manager of the Phoenix farm labor offices of the Arizona Department of Economic Security. His wife, Karen, taught art at regional educational institutions and is currently an artist. Royal John Medley began his career as a Facilities Technician with Central Arizona College in 1976, and is retired after more than 35 years of service at the Aravaipa Campus in rural eastern Pinal County. He and his wife have been residents of Oracle, Arizona for more than four decades. His interest in the history of commercial art used by the Arizona citrus and vegetable industry is long-standing. “My parents worked within the fresh produce industry, my own early work experience dealt with thousand of colorful cartons and crates filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, and my wife is an artist,” he says. “It seems almost natural to me that I would have accumulated an archive of some of America’s best examples of 20th-century commercial art.”

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From the editor: Down on the Farm Douglas Towne

I

Images courtesy of Author

Image courtesy of AZ Family

n the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we all have come to appreciate some things we’ve long taken for granted. At the top of the list is the agricultural production and food distribution network. Even though items like flour and butter were in short supply for a few weeks because of stockpiling behavior, most of our favorite foods were available. To celebrate this success, Arizona Contractor & Community is focusing on farming in this issue, looking at it from a construction angle. We’re covering building types, ranging from a historic citrus warehouse that became part of Chase Field, to ice plants and grain elevators. For those more into machinery, we also feature farm equipment. The issue’s most colorful piece is a fun article on fruit crate labels, which have become a prized commercial art form. Personally, my favorite vintage farm-related artifacts are industrial monoliths that appear like relics of an advanced prehistoric society along the backroads of Pinal County. These rusting electric and diesel engines are vestiges from the pioneer days of irrigated farming in Arizona. Where power lines were available, farmers used electric engines to power the turbine pumps that supplied irrigation water. At more remote locations, obnoxiously loud diesel engines were used. Some of these diesel engines were repurposed aircraft engines from P-38s and other World War II planes. These powerful engines and a shallow

Fissures can form after decades of pumping, as dewatered aquifers collapse, causing tension cracks at the ground surface. When fissures develop, nearby structures and roads are damaged. Insurance doesn’t water table created impressive water- typically cover the complex repairs; it’s not works. “The water would shoot out of a a problem solved by dumping a load of soil 12-inch diameter discharge pipe with such into the crevice. And the problem is likely pressure that it only began to drop after to get worse. Pinal County farmers have been supabout 8 feet,” Frank Thomas, who grew up in the Pinal County farming town of Eloy, plementing the groundwater they use for irrigation with Colorado River water delivrecalls. Farming in the sod-busting era after ered via the Central Arizona Project. But a multi-decade regional World War II was a dramatically different they are Industrial monoliths that drought has curtailed renewable supoperation than it is appear like relics of an advanced this ply. The Colorado today. Groundwater prehistoric society along the River drought conwas an inexpensive tingency plan, negoresource and easy to backroads of Pinal County. tiated with California pump. Farm mechanization was in its infancy, so lots of workers and Nevada in 2019, makes major cutbacks were needed to grow and harvest a mix of to their allotment of river water. In a catch-22, the Arizona legislature crops, including potatoes, carrots, lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, and cotton. When has appropriated $9 million to drill new King Cotton was harvested by hand, Eloy’s wells in Pinal County to make up for the population would swell by 20,000 people water shortfall. How will the increased pumping impact the formation of earth fison a Saturday night. Over time, increased mechanization sures? Will there be any groundwater left and crops consisting mainly of alfalfa and for the many housing subdivisions that are cotton has resulted in fewer farm employ- being built in the area? The only known in this complex equaees, but people aren’t the only thing disappearing from the Pinal County agricul- tion is that we’re leaving future generatural landscape. Groundwater levels are tions with some challenging problems. And retreating too. Farmers need to drill deeper some really cool old engines. and deeper wells to chase the precious resource. Below: Electric engine once used to power an In some areas, draining the under- irrigation pump near Eloy. ground aquifers has resulted in a significant Bottom left: Diesel engine once used to power construction hazard: earth fissures. These an irrigation pump near Eloy. supersized cracks in the earth can be more Below left: A 300-foot fissure at a business in than 30 feet deep and stretch up to 2 miles. Pinal County.

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Projects . PEOPLE . PRACTICES

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The former Arizona Citrus Growers’ packing plant, 2020.

Chase Field’s Hidden “Sweet” Spot Ed Dobbins

M

ost think the coolest feature of Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, is its swimming pool or retractable roof. But those fascinated by the past vote for an almost 100-year-old building incorporated into the stadium’s southeast corner. The Arizona Citrus Growers’ packing plant was built in 1924, next to the railroad tracks in Phoenix’s warehouse district. Its purpose was to process and ship the co-op arizcc.com

association’s 85 percent share of the rap- The 150-foot-wide by 150-foot-long wareidly growing local citrus industry. Grow- house contained a full basement and a coners throughout the Valley were moving crete first floor with work areas covered in away from the cotton market, which had hard maple to ease the stress on employrecently crashed, to the expanding grape- ees’ legs. fruit market. The layout of the plant provided an Architects Lescher and Mahoney orderly flow of fruit from the trucks to the designed the bricktrain. Field boxes of walled and met- Razing the two walls enabled the citrus were unloaded al-trussed building in stadium’s southeast corner to be from trucks into the the Mission Revival for curing placed inside the warehouse basement style. Arizona Citrus and storage. Part of Growers president Frank Avery called the the curing process exposed the fruit to ethstructure an “architectural beauty that is ylene gas, which improved the color withan ornament to this section of the city.” out affecting the taste. By the time the Arizona Contractor & Community


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CONSTRUCTION AROUND ARIZONA Projects

Images courtesy of NPS Image courtesy of Author Image courtesy of NPS

fruit was ready to be stacked in rail cars, it had been sorted by size, stamped with an appropriate brand name, and individually wrapped in tissue. A machine in the basement capable of making 2,000 wooden crates per nine-hour shift provided the boxes for shipping. Over 30 years, the Arizona Citrus Growers developed the warehouse area into a citrus packing complex consisting of the main building connected to a cold storage plant by tunnel and an adjacent structure for office spaces and additional storage. By the early 1950s, population increase in Phoenix and a trend towards processing more oranges and lemons than grapefruit convinced the association to move from downtown to an updated facility at Camelback Road and Grand Avenue. The main warehouse building was sold in 1955 to Romney Produce Company, a wholesale grocery distributor

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with operations throughout the Southwest. Romney owned the plant for more than three decades until 1988 when local wholesaler Stern Produce of Scottsdale purchased it. When Jerry Colangelo’s investor-ownership group was awarded a major league baseball franchise in 1995, the location of the stadium at Seventh and Jefferson streets had already been selected. Three buildings on the site, including the growers’ warehouse, were designated National Register Historic Places. Two of the buildings were not protected from demolition because the stadium owners’ group was not using federal funding to build the ballpark. The former Arizona Citrus Growers’ packing plant, however, received additional protection because it was also listed on the Phoenix Historic Property Register. The warehouse could not be razed until after

Above: Chase Field construction, 1995. Top left: Stern Produce Co., early 1990s. Left: The former Arizona Citrus Growers’ packing plant, 2020. Below: Chase Field construction, 1995.

12 months of seeking alternative solutions had been pursued. Since a yearlong delay would jeopardize the stadium’s completion by opening day 1998, a compromise was needed. The agreement between the city and the Diamondbacks called for limited demolition of the warehouse. The parts that remained intact were required to retain the building’s historic appearance. The portions removed included most of the north wall, more than half of the west wall, and the associated roof and flooring components. Left standing were the entire east wall with its loading bays and the south front with its distinctive Mission Revival-style facing. Razing the two walls enabled the stadium’s southeast corner to be placed inside the warehouse. Hidden behind the concrete and brick facing, the long axis of a steel support tower parallels the south side of the building. The light-colored walls and partial roof of the old warehouse wrap around the corner of the modern ballpark. Although the growers’ packing plant is no longer on the list of Phoenix historic properties, its walls can still be seen from the sidewalk on the Seventh Street viaduct over the railroad tracks. The area of the stadium where the warehouse once stood remains actively involved in food processing. It is home to Levy Restaurants, which provides food and supplies for the stadium concessionaires. Arizona Contractor & Community


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CONSTRUCTION AROUND ARIZONA Projects

Image courtesy of DCS

Improvements CMAR (Construction Manager at Risk) and $7.7 million Prasada Infrastructure Improvements CMAR are projected to be compled in July 2020. CS Contracting Inc. is experienced at The project will consist of a full buildworking with gas, electric, water, and out of Waddell Road between State Route sewer utilities that require relocation 303 and Reems Road, including the conduring new roadway construction. But relo- struction of four additional travel lanes for cating an irrigation canal proved a bit more a total of six travel lanes. Improvements tricky at the Waddell Road/Prasada Infrac- include the installation of traffic signals ture improvement project in Peoria. at the intersection with Sarival Avenue, “Starting road construction while being bike lanes, sidewalks, street lighting, and able to continually maintain the existing landscaping. surface irrigation system that carried water “This project will eliminate areas that to agricultural users in the area was chal- have multiple lanes merging into one lane lenging,” Stephen Hyde, DCS project man- in each direction to ease traffic flow,” Wes ager, says. “The existing system had to stay Standifird, DCS project engineer, says. “A functional until the new underground irri- large portion of the Waddell Road project gation system was installed and accepted will be the relocation of existing Maricopa by the Maricopa Water District.” Water District infrastructure to accommoDCS’s work is split into two separate date new roadway construction.” projects that are running concurrently. The project will also include improveThe estimated $9.8 million Waddell Road ments to Sarival Avenue and the new Prasada retail site, where a Costco will be built. The t: ligh Spot e loye Emp DCS extreme amount of coordination Marty Monsegur between the existing utility owners, as well as the developer of arty is a seasoned construction the Costco site during construcprofessional with more than tion, is an unusual aspect of the cstru 35 years in the heavy civil con as es project. serv ty Mar n, ctio tion industry. During constru Existing utilities such as er and project the main point of contact for the own for rsite gas, electric, water, sewer, and ove de inclu ties ibili ons stakeholders. His resp irrigation had to be relocated . dule sche and get, bud ty, the project, safe the before starting new roadway with on racti inte ay to-d daythe ys Marty enjo rnment staff. construction. “There was also field crews, subcontractors, and gove it family-ori- a large amount of coordination e-kn “The culture of DCS is a very clos comfortable between Robinson Construcvery a ented atmosphere,” he says. “It’s tion, the Costco contractor, who place to work.” his with continually needed to access g elin trav ys enjo ty Away from work, Mar and ily the site by their trades while the fam with time ding spen wife of 25 years and also He Waddell and Sarival construcds. woo the in e hom tion friends at his vaca . tion were underway,” Brittany oors outd gs thin all and ing, fish , enjoys hunting

DCS Juggles Waterway and Utilities at Prasada Project

Amaral, DCS project engineer, says. “This required a great deal of teamwork and communication between both DCS and Robinson with the end goal of getting both projects completed on time and budget.”

DCS utilized several major subcontractors on the project: • CS Companies installed new underground electric, traffic signals, and streel lights, in addition to new box culverts for storm drainage across Waddell Road at Sarival Road and an extension of an existing box culvert across Waddell Road. • Paveco is paving the new Waddell Road, and Alexandria and Prasada parkways inside the new Prasada site. • Gothic Landscape will install landscaping improvements on Waddell Road from State Route 303 to Reems Road and along Alexandria and Prasada parkways. • Olson Concrete Structures will build the new Maricopa Water District facilities along Waddell Road from State Route 303 to Reems Road. The project will result in improved access to and from State Route 303, and the new Prasada retail site for nearby residents. DCS is phasing the build-out so that the Prasada Parkway Infrastructure is completed first to avoid delay in accessing the Costco site once it is finished. “With residential and commercial construction continuing to grow at a record pace, the ever need for improved roadways is always one of the hottest topics with the communities,” says Fred Vidaure, DCS project superintendent. “DCS is privileged to be involved in such a major project in Surprise and look forward to building more projects in the future.” Arizona Contractor & Community


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CONSTRUCTION AROUND ARIZONA Projects

Sunland Asphalt Wins Contractor/ Project of the Year Awards During Company’s 40th Anniversary

I

n their 40th year in business, Sunland Asphalt & Construction, Inc. won two prestigious recognitions: Contractor of the Year and Project of the Year. These awards were bestowed by the esteemed industry resource, Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction magazine. Sunland was chosen from among hundreds of applicants across the nation. The Phoenix-based company won Project of the Year in the Paving category for their construction of Apex Motor Club’s racetrack and Contractor of the Year for their strategic planning, core values, and focus on employees. “Though we’ve been in business for decades, we just recently began branching out into specialty work, and our collaboration with Apex was the first time we built a racetrack,” Founder & CEO of Sunland Asphalt Doug DeClusin says. “To receive national recognition for this project, in addition to being named Contractor of the Year, is the icing on the cake for our 40th-anniversary celebration.”

Contractor of the Year: Sunland Asphalt also was awarded the magazine’s Contractor of the Year. The company started as an asphalt maintenance business in 1979 and has transformed into a $200 million, full-service general contractor with offices in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico, operating across the U.S. “The growth…is the result of strategic planning, well-defined core values, and company mission, and an employee-ownership culture that has enabled Sunland to

a large size, but together they form one of the most successful operations in the Southwest.” “The construction industry can often have high turnover, and our employee-owned structure has not only helped instill our mission and values within every team member but has truly given them ownership and pride in every project we do,” DeClusin says. “It’s an honor for our entire team to be recognized in this manner, especially when everyone truly has a stake in its success.”

Images courtesy of Sunland Asphalt

Project of the Year: The Apex Motor Club in Maricopa, Arizona, opened a world-class private racetrack featuring luxury car condos, country-club amenities, and exclusive racing events for motorsports enthusiasts. The club wanted to create an award-winning track for drivers of all skill levels. Sunland Asphalt was selected to build a 2.3-mile circuit, which featured a 3,400-foot straightaway and a helicopter landing pad. The company, and its subsidiary, Solterra Materials, had a crew of 47 employees that used 16,000 tons of specialty

asphalt, 45,000 tons of recycled concrete base, three pavers, 50 dump trucks, and 20 rollers to create the subgrade. Echelon paving, using paving machines operating side by side, was used to ensure the smoothest roadway. The project required paving in one continuous, non-stop circuit that lasted from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Top: Apex Motor Club track. “This had to be a continuous Right: Apex Motor Club car. pave. If at any point the paving Below: Sunland Asphalt stopped, we would have had to conducting echelon paving at find and retain employmill the entire top layer of asphalt Apex Motor Club track. ees who buy into and off of the track and start all over,” carry out the Sunland vision or being the Michael Baer, Sunland’s national account best place to work,” noted the magazine’s division manager, told Pavement Mainte- editors. “None of those elements alone nance & Reconstruction. would enable Sunland to succeed at such

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t’s amazing learning how much is actually involved and how many requirements and restrictions there are just to build a building,” Josh Tucker, shop foreman at Matt Brown Trucking, says. “We went through a hillside of review for permitting.” But this just isn’t any building. Matt Brown Trucking’s new $1.3 million headquarters will be complete in fall 2020 after more than two years of construction. The facility is located at 16th Street and Deer Valley Road in north Phoenix. The current facility in Phoenix at 1460 East Alameda Drive will close upon completion of the new building. “We are doing our best to conduct business with the limited amount of space in the shop area,” Tucker says. “While the office staff is still functional, they are in need of updated working conditions.” The project is headed by Prosteel STR LLC, Phoenix, which is

working with Matt Brown Trucking. Tucker, a 10-year employee of Matt Brown Trucking, works with the contractors, overseeing the building progress in the morning, then heads back to the company’s current operation to manage shop duties. Subcontractors on the project include AFC-AZ, an underground contractor, Steeling Arizona, Vince Merlino Concrete, Acosta Electrical, and Deer Valley Plumbing. Tucker says that loaders, blades, skid steers, excavators, dozers, scissor lifts, and lots of hammers have been used during construction. “Hammer attachments were used on backhoes, bobcats, and excavators to handle the heavy mountainside rock,” he says. The new building will consist of over 3,000 square feet of office space and 7,000 square feet of shop space with three, 60-foot full bays, one 40-foot bay, and an

CONSTRUCTION AROUND ARIZONA Projects

Matt Brown Keeps on Truckin’ With New Facility

outdoor bay for oil changes and servicing. The 8-inch slab floor is reinforced with steel. The interior shop will have stackable tire racks, an automatic tire changer, a full workbench, and toll areas between each bay. The south side of the structure will have four giant swamp coolers for the shop, along with parking and be shielded by a screen wall. The offices upstairs and down will have air conditioning. This new facility will allow Matt Brown Trucking, with its current fleet of 56 trucks, to expand operations and better serve its customers and fleet. Now, if Tucker could only solve the other challenge he’s facing. “We have been lucky having enough drivers for our fleet, but we need to hire additional mechanics to fulfill our heavy workload,” he laments.

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Douglas Towne

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ow does a farm kid from Minnesota grow a single agricultural equipment store into a company with more than 75 stores in nine states and partnerships around the globe? There is no fancy formula or secret sauce for success, just a simple and powerful vision. “We know as owners that you’ve got to have happy people that you employ, where they feel part of the organization,” says Ronald D. Offutt Jr., RDO Equipment Co. founder and chairman emeritus. “They have to understand that the real paycheck comes from happy customers. Customer service, customer satisfaction, and satisfied employees are the key. It’s not the quick sale but rather the lifelong relationships that are so important.” That’s astute insight from a guy who seems like he would have been happy planting potatoes for a living in the Red River Valley of Minnesota, instead of creating a multi-million-dollar company. Offutt fondly recalls driving a farm truck at six years old with workers walking alongside with potato sacks. The Offutt family farm had “pretty antiquated equipment, including John Deere and International machines,” he says. Offutt was active in FFA in high school, as well as being a standout athlete in football and wrestling.

Images courtesy of RDO Equipment Co.

Top right: Ron Offutt Sr. and Ron Offutt Jr., early 1960s. Below: Ron Offutt Sr. and Ron Offutt Jr. (l-r in foreground) in their potato field, late 1960s.

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CONSTRUCTION AROUND ARIZONA People

Farm-Bred Determination: RDO Equipment Co.’s Ron Offutt

Despite Offutt’s lifelong love of farm- Through a combination of selling assets and ing, he also was an entrepreneur at heart. obtaining loans, Offutt managed to secure He studied Business Administration at Con- the finances to buy the dealership, which cordia College in Moorwas the first in the counhead, Minnesota. After He still plants his fields as try to rent farm equipOffutt graduated from After a pause, one of the world’s largest ment. college, he spent four he modestly adds, “It’s years farming, in part- potato growers, as he has for been a good run.” nership with his father, In the early days, more than 50 years Ronald Offutt Sr. The Offutt admitted he Offutts were customers of the John Deere didn’t believe managing the dealership dealership in nearby Casselton, North was his strength. He hired a manager to run Dakota, which was owned and operated by the day-to-day, which allowed him time to Grant Mattson. focus on his passion – farming – as well as In 1968, Offutt got the opportunity to planning and making strategic moves that enter the agricultural equipment business. led to a tremendous expansion in products, “Grant was planning to retire and worked manufacturers, and geography. By 1987, he with me to buy the dealership, and as part owned five more dealerships. Two years of the deal, he stayed on board for a year later, Offutt opened his first four constructeaching me the business,” Offutt says. tion equipment stores. The company’s construction division expanded into Arizona in 1992, with stores in Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Tucson. By 1997, RDO had 11 farm dealership stores and 21 construction equipment stores. Along the way, RDO expanded into other product lines in addition to John Deere, including Vermeer industrial and tree care equipment, Topcon technology solutions, roadbuilding equipment from Wirtgen Group, and several additional manufacturing partners in the agriculture, construction, irrigation, and machine control arenas. While RDO began as – and today is – a private, family-owned company, those familiar with the business may remember when the company chose to go public in 1997, around the same time Ron’s youngest daughter and future CEO, Christi, joined the company. While the move to go public Arizona Contractor & Community


CONSTRUCTION AROUND ARIZONA People

Images courtesy of RDO Equipment Co.

was done so based on a thoughtful, strategic approach, it brought changes to the company’s culture. Christi spearheaded the effort to bring back a strong culture, one based on trust, transparency, and a focus on stakeholders, not shareholders, and the decision was made to take the company back to a privately-held one. With the support of Offutt and members of the Leadership team, RDO transitioned back to a private company in 2003 and the company culture has continued to build and grow stronger ever since. Christi isn’t the only one of Offutt’s children to join the company; all four are involved in the business of R.D. Offutt Company, RDO Equipment Co.’s parent company. His two oldest daughters, Rondi and Tucson

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Shelly, are members of the Advisory Board of Directors and involved with the Offutt Family Foundation. Rondi’s husband, Keith McGovern, serves as President of R.D. Offutt Farms, while Shelly’s husband, Scott Neal, is President of the real estate division, PROffutt. Ryan Offutt is Executive Vice President of R.D. Offutt Company, and today, Christi serves as Chair of the Advisory Board of Directors. Offutt’s outsized business success hasn’t changed him over the years. He still plants his fields as one of the world’s largest potato growers, as he has for more than 50 years. When asked what compels him to still labor over potatoes, which people eventually enjoy in the form of French fries, Offutt pauses, looking for the right

words. He says that it’s in his “blood,” and the “satisfaction” that comes from harvesting a good crop. But there’s no hesitation when it comes down to how he’d like remembered in the farm and construction equipment industry. “Some of my best friends are my customers, who we’ve done business with over the years,” Offutt says. “That’s probably the most important thing, those friends and the fellowship that we’ve made along the way.” Top left: Ron Offutt (center), 2018. Top right: First RDO dealership in Casselton, North Dakota, 1969. Left above: RDO dealership in Chandler, Arizona, 2016.

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Jul-Aug 2020


CONSTRUCTION AROUND ARIZONA People

Former ACC Associate Tom Hogarty Dies Douglas Towne

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homas A. Hogarty, our upbeat former publisher’s rep who was quick to sing the praises of our magazine or one of his favorite tunes, such as “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” died in Scottsdale in April at age 82. He retired from ACC in December 2018. At his retirement, Tom announced plans to learn how to play his father’s vintage ukulele. “Who knows? Perhaps I will put my singing talents together with Sinatra tunes from long ago and far away and take this show on the road,” he said. His new instrument quickly became a passion. “Tom enjoyed playing it so much that he bought another ukulele, took weekly lessons, and practiced three hours daily,” his wife, Donna, says. The couple met at a Rotary Club function in Escondido, California, in 1997. During his five-year career with ACC magazine, Tom teamed up with the late Charles “Chuck” Runbeck, who died in March, to promote the publication to the Arizona construction industry. The dynamic duo put together more than a dozen advertising inserts where companies showcased their talent and equipment. Tom’s skills and personality elevated the magazine. “When I first learned Tom was coming to the Arizona market, I was a little intimidated,” publisher William Horner, says. “He had a lot of publication experience, knew his way around the construction industry, and had connections with several of our clients. Once he came on board, my fears went away as he was always positive about the magazine and happy to work with us on advertising ideas and content.” But Tom’s influence on and knowledge of the construction industry went far beyond Arizona, stretching to both coasts. A native of Queens, New York, Tom

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attended La Salle Military Academy in Oakdale, New York, and later served seven years in the U.S. Army Reserves from 19551962. “Tom liked to say he defended Staten Island against the Communists,” Donna says. “There was no war going on, but his unit was almost called up to active duty for the Cuban missile crisis.” During his military service, Tom graduated from St. John’s University in New York City and later earned a master’s degree from New York University. He worked as a

newspaper reporter in Washington, D.C., and later as editor of the New York Construction News from 1962-1973. He then launched T.A. Hogarty, Inc., which assisted clients in the construction industry. Tom moved to North San Diego County in 1987 and operated Hogarty Communications. He was editor and publisher of San Diego Engineering & General Contractors Association magazine from 1998-2014, served as president of two Rotary Clubs, and chairman of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce. Despite his many management roles, he made time to sing lead in two barbershop quartets, “Mavrix” and “Third Avenue.” In 2014, Tom, Donna, and Honey Bear, their rescue greyhound mix, moved to Scottsdale. It’s been a challenging period for the magazine, with the loss of Tom coming so soon after Chuck Runbeck. “They were two great guys,” Horner says. “With Tom, whenever I was discouraged, I could count on him to pull me through a slump with some cheer. He loved our magazine, and will be greatly missed.” Arizona Contractor & Community


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residue, and • Wet (6-8 percent water) - if sand dripped water when held. Luke M. Snell, P.E. Cement was expensive and came in paper bags, cloth bags, or 4-cubic-feet barfarmer that wanted to improve their rels, which were used for large projects. facility by building a root cellar or add- Bags were lighter and convenient to use. ing a concrete floor to their barn had to do Cloth bags could be returned for a deposit it themselves in the early 1900s. Rural con- refund if untorn and dry for reuse. The crete batch plants and concrete contractors cement needed to be stored indoors in a were rare, so farmers had to learn how to dry place at least 6 inches off the floor; if it make and place concrete. Many cement got wet, the cement was discarded. companies and farm organizations develThe sand and rock were obtained oped helpful publications that we’ll sum- locally or from the farm. The sand had to marize in this article. be clean, with very little silt or clay and The 1-2-3 concrete mixture was a stan- free from organics. The largest rock size dard formula used by farmused was typically 1/3 the ers of this era. They did not The farmers generally slab or wall thickness. One have scales to weigh sand, exception was using stones, rock, and cement, so they performed the concrete up to 100 pounds, in founbatched the materials by work admirably dations. This mixture was volume. called Cyclopean concrete To make a consistent concrete, farmers from Greek mythology and is still visible on would make a 1-cubic-foot bottomless box, older farm buildings. and fill it twice with sand, and three times After carefully measuring all the ingrewith rocks. When the box was full, it was dients, farmers used a shovel to mix the lifted, and the exact amount of material concrete by hand. The first concrete mixers was left on the mixing surface. The cement were built in 1900 and were typically too came in 1-cubic-foot bags, so this did not expensive for farmers. There were recomneed to be measured. Water was added in mend procedures for mixing the concrete: controlled amounts as too much resulted in Place a measured amount of sand on weaker concrete. the mixing surface using the bottomless By today’s standards, the resulting box. mixture would be a very stiff or near zero 1. Add the required amount of bagged slump concrete. Since sand could have cement to the sand. excess moisture in it, farmers required a 2. Mix the sand and cement until unimethod to estimate the amount of water in form using a shovel. the sand, before adding additional water: 3. Add the required amount of rock to • Dry (0 percent water) - if sand flowed the mixture using the bottomless box. through fingers without leaving a 4. Add the required amount of water to residue, the mixture. • Moist (2-4 percent water) - if sand 5. Mix with shovels until the concrete flowed through fingers but left a was uniform.

CONSTRUCTION AROUND ARIZONA Practice

Making Concrete on the Farm, 1900 - 1940

Images courtesy of Author

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The concrete was then ready to be placed nearby or shoveled into a wheelbarrow for transportation to the site. A shovel or tamping rod was used for concrete consolidation. Vibrators were not used until the 1930s, and then only on large projects such as Hoover Dam. After placing the concrete, the farmer kept it shaded and moist for six days by putting wet canvas or burlap on top. A summary of what farmers needed to accomplish for a successful concrete project: 1. The materials must be perfectly clean, 2. The concrete must have exact proportions of materials, and 3. The mixture must immediately be placed where needed. This overview is excellent advice for today’s contractors, who have more complex specifications on projects but the same goals. It is essential to recognize that farmers were not experienced concrete contractors, and typically only occasionally made concrete, so instruction manuals were invaluable. The farmers generally performed the work admirably, and some of what they batched and placed is still in use. Their “can-do” attitude and willingness to follow instructions to make concrete correctly is a valuable lesson. I tip my hat to these individuals, including my great grandfather, for setting a good example. Top: A farm guidebook for working with concrete. Left: A farm concrete mixing plant.

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Jul-Aug 2020


CONSTRUCTION AROUND ARIZONA Practice

Making the Grade: Why Contractors Need to Partner with Skilled Concrete Grading Specialists Daniel Owen

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t happens every year: monsoon storms wreak havoc on Arizona homes and businesses. And while Mother Nature can be destructive and unpredictable, the right concrete grading can ensure drainage pathways direct water away from a facility. Otherwise, it might be channeled towards a structure. A subtle regrading issue during a renovation, often invisible to the naked eye, can cause unhappy customers and costly facelifts, and potentially lead to legal problems.

is complete, the surface will likely be less than attractive. For some applications, aesthetics doesn’t matter. More often than not, however, resurfacing the entire area to create a uniform surface is necessary to achieve the desired look. A skilled contractor will be able to recommend a concrete resurfacer or epoxy coating system. They may be able to install it, too. Creating the perfect grade is essential to avoid expensive, time-consuming repairs. It’s critical to consult a specialist to ensure your projects account for drainage pathways and to keep customers flood-free for monsoon seasons to come. Daniel Owen is co-founder and CEO of Tenec Coatings, a Phoenix-based flooring contractor that provides concrete coatings installation, flooring removal, concrete grading, and other specialty services for commercial, industrial and residential projects. More at www.tenec.com.

N HAR R IS

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Why Hire a Grading Specialist? specially engineered cement products Including grading considerations in modified with polymers and other addiyour project plans can help mitigate floodtives that improve adhesion to the subing issues. Resolving concrete grading strate. These materials offer flexibility problems, however, can be complicated and allow the materials to be placed at and often requires a skilled craftsman who a thickness ranging from 3 inches down understands how to identify the perfect to zero, typically called a feather edge. slope, choose the right materials, and recA skilled contractor with an extensive ommend steps to protect and coat exterior understanding of different materials’ concrete: performance and benefits will recom• Create the right angle - When regradmend the optimal solution for your speing concrete, the minimum slope is 1/8 cific job. inch per foot away from the building. • Ensure durability - It’s one step to add For instance, if the concrete slab is 10 another layer of concrete on top of feet wide, a contractor may recommend the substrate to create a slope, but it’s installing 1¼ inches of material on the another to create a durable grade. The part of the slab that touches the strucnew concrete topping must bond well ture and sloping it down to zero at the far with the existing concrete, or the work end. This slope will ensure water drains will be for naught. The right contractor away from the structure properly. will use surface preparation and instal• Understand materials and equipment lation best practices to ensure the new - The materials used to regrade congrade is rock solid. crete aren’t average mortars. They are • Recommend next steps - After regrading

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Jul-Aug 2020


Back When Glendale’s Chilling Fire DOUGLAS TOWNE

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his is both the Space Age and the ice age,” Wilbur Asbury, president of the Crystal Ice and Cold Storage Co., declared on the occasion of the Phoenix firm’s 50th Anniversary in 1963. The company’s half-century of success was closely tied to preserving Arizona’s 38 varieties of perishable fruits and vegetables. An estimated 40,000 shipments of produce were refrigerated by the company that year. “There is a difference in ice—and the difference is Crystal clear,” was the firm’s motto. Crystal Ice operated ice and vacuum precooling plants in seven Arizona communities: Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa, Tolleson, Aguila, Willcox, and Dixie, plus operations

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in California, Florida, and Texas. In addition to selling ice commercially, the company flash-cooled fresh produce to 34 degrees for preservation, using a 20-minute “ChillVac” process. The ice and refrigeration business could be dangerous, though. On the night of March 28, 1962, an explosion at the Glendale plant set off a spectacular fire at 59th and Glendale avenues. The intense blaze halted trains on the nearby Santa Fe railroad and forced detours of traffic on Grand Avenue. Fire officials suspected an ammonia leak was the cause of the fire that destroyed two historic buildings. The Tolleson plant was damaged the previous year in a similar conflagration.

ImagesArizona courtesy Contractor of Arizona Contractor & Community & Community


Jul-Aug 2020

Del Webb’s Concrete Skyscraper: Phoenix’s Allied Grain Elevator


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Arizona Contractor & Community

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Allied Grain:

Del Webb’s Foray into Farm Structures Douglas Towne

ives

Arch Image courtesy of Republic

THIRTY FOUR

Images courtesy of Arizona Contractor & Community

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hree businessmen sought to revo- which became the prototype for future lutionize Valley agriculture in 1946. grain elevators across the nation. They succeeded, creating an iconic Grain elevators in the U.S. were initially American structure that towered over built from wood, starting in the 1840s. By Phoenix: the Southwest’s the early 1900s, less-firefirst grain elevator. The “Holsum Bakery, Del Webb prone materials such as facility provided low-cost tile, and even steel Construction, and my brick, grain handling and storage were used. Wooden grain Dad were all business elevators, often covered for local farmers, allowing their crops to be more neighbors and personal with metal or asbestos sideasily marketed to the estifriends,” Kroloff says ing to reduce fire danger, mated 500,000 cattle in continued to be popular in local feedlots and as far away as Europe. rural areas because of their low cost. Their success story, however, is as By 1915, however, concrete became much about construction as agriculture. the preferred construction material for Allied Grain Company, led by President large elevators. A cylinder design offered Archie Kroloff, had initially contracted with the greatest wall strength. These struca Kansas firm to build the elevator. But, tures proved to be economical, structuralKroloff’s best friend Del Webb, who owned ly-stable, fire-resistant, and provided excelthe New York Yankees baseball team from lent thermal properties for grain, according 1945-1964, had other ideas. to the 1993 book, Grain Elevators by Lisa “When Del Webb heard about the Mahar-Keplinger. proposed elevator, he said to my father, Concrete grain elevators caught the ‘No one builds a building for Archie Kro- attention of famed European architect Le loff except me, period!’” Kirk Kroloff, his Corbusier, who saw these structures as the 89-year-old son, says. Del Webb Construc- triumph of American technical ingenuity tion Co. ended up building the Allied Grain and new materials. Within the pure form of elevator using a more efficient method, the concrete cylinder was a complex maze of interstitial storage spaces, conveyors, belts, chutes, pulleys, scales, and bins. Most elevators were located in the Midwest, positioned along railroad tracks or waterways to facilitate grain transportation. Since there were none in Arizona, Valley farmers, who produced 200,000 bushels of small grains, including wheat, oats, barley, and sorghum during World War II, had few storage options. After harvested by a combine, grains were loaded into sacks for transportation, a time-consuming and expensive process. The opportunity was ripe for Advance Seed Feed Co. to enter the grain market and create a facility to store bulk grains from farmers and later sell them to processors or feedlots. Archie Kroloff and Terris Manley founded Advance Seed Feed Co. in 1940 and initially operated out of a small building at 1309 West Jefferson Street. Kroloff

Right: Allied Grain and Advance Seed Feed Co. facility, 1947. Left: Allied Grain Co. barley growers ad, 1947.

Jul-Aug 2020


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Arizona Contractor & Community


graduated from Bisbee High School and moved to Phoenix in 1920. He worked at the First National Bank of Arizona before entering the seed business. His partner, Manley, grew up in Jerome and moved to Phoenix in 1910. Their goal was to produce an Arizona field seed operation specializing in grain sorghum, which they would market throughout the nation. The company had rigorous standards for its cleaning and seed processing plant. The firm soon outgrew its initial location and moved to a larger building adjacent to a railroad spur at 230 South Fifth Avenue in 1942. Kroloff and Manley teamed with a California native, Allen Rosenberg, and Herman Kroloff, Archie’s brother, to establish another division, Allied Grain, two years THIRTY SIX

later. “The grain production in the Valley was never big enough to support an elevator, but it got big enough, and my father was far-sighted enough to do something about it,” Kroloff says. “Building the elevator was really scary financially for him and his partners. Fortunately, he had tremendous connections and resources to be able to do it.” The company relocated to 310 South 24th Avenue, erecting an office building and warehouse adjacent to the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1946. Within months, the warehouse was expanded, doubling its capacity. “Holsum Bakery, Del Webb Construction, and my Dad were all business neighbors and personal friends,” Kroloff says. “My father had the closest personal

Images courtesy of Jon Rosenthal

Above left: Barbara Martin at Allied Grain and Advance Seed Feed Co. facility, 1949. Top right: Allen Rosenberg, Frank Mangelsdorf, and Joe DiMaggio (L-R), 1950. Above: Sorghum Sally, 1949.

relationship with Del Webb.” The towering Allied Grain elevator, designed by Chalmers and Borton, a Hutchinson, Kansas-based contracting and engineering firm, was built at that location. The Kansas company was also initially contracted to construct the elevator until Del Webb intervened. The Civilian Production Administration approved the project, and Webb started construction in September 1946. Using wood slip forms that were raised as the concrete was poured and hardened, the grain elevator was erected in less than four months. “Previously, companies had to reconstruct the wooden forms after every pour,” Kroloff says. “But Webb devised a faster method that moved the slipform Jul-Aug 2020


upward using screw jacks.” The average lift of the slip forms every 24 hours was 11 ½ feet; the wood forms were 4 feet high and were raised using 105 screw jacks on 1-inch round rods. The elevator’s construction drew lots of attention, especially since floodlights illuminated it at night. “When Del Webb built the grain elevator, they attracted spectators who watched men work around the clock,” John Bob Clark recalls. “Once the pouring of concrete started, the towering elevators mushroomed beside Allied’s Advance Seed Feed Company plant like the fabled ‘Jack and the Beanstalk,’” according to a 1947 article in Del Webb’s Trade Talk. The elevator used 2,700 cubic yards of concrete, with a mix of six sacks of cement to 1,700 pounds of concrete sand and 1,700 pounds of half-inch rock. Concrete cylinder tests averaged better than 3,800 pounds per square inch at 28 days. The subcontractors were Shores Steel Erection for placement of reinforcing steel, Superior Materials Division, Fisher Contracting Company for transit mix concrete, and Phoenix-Tempe Stone Company for excavation. The 262,000-bushel elevator has 12 tanks that are 118 ½ feet in height and 15 ½ in diameter. “But there are about 30 more bins, many of which are interstitial areas that connected the big tanks that you can’t see from the outside,” Kroloff says. “This enabled us to separate the seed from the grain, the wheat from the barley.” The Allied Grain elevator cost $225,000 to construct and gave the nearby humble community a landmark. “I lived at 24th Avenue and Jefferson,” Gerald Allen Jones, says. “It was our neighborhood skyscraper.” Upon its completion in 1946, the elevator was the fourth tallest structure in Phoenix, only barely surpassed in height by the Hotel Westward Ho, Professional Building, and Luhrs Tower. A headhouse at the top of the grain elevator served as the control room for all the conveyor belts, bringing the overall height to 150 feet. Kroloff recalls going to the roof once. “We went up in a man lift, not an elevator, to the top,” he says. “It was scary as hell.” Del Webb, the building magnate behind numerous buildings and developments around the country, including the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and the communities of San Manuel and Sun City in Arizona, always had a soft spot for the Allied Grain elevator. “It was one of his signature buildings,” Kroloff says. “He kept a picture of it in his office.”

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Allied and Feeders Grain Elevator:

Storing the Valley’s Bounty Douglas Towne

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Jul-Aug 2020


Images courtesy of Arizona Contractor & Community

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ight after World War II, the city’s fourth-tallest building was gazed upon in awe, but today it is Phoenix’s most prominent white elephant. “It was like spotting the Matterhorn at Disneyland when driving up,” Brian Kunnari says. Today, as historic buildings are being converted to offices or residences at a dizzying rate or razed to create space for new construction, this distinctive structure stands alone, defiant of either option. The reason? The concrete edifice would be prohibitively expensive to repurpose or demolish. The seemingly indestructible and unusable building is a grain elevator built by Del Webb Construction in 1946 and over the decades, operated by Allied Grain, and later Feeders Grain. But as the Valley’s economy evolved, the structure was unable to adapt. “The cattle-feeding industry in Arizona disappeared by the 1980s,” says Kirk Kroloff, the 89-year-old son of Allied Grain’s founder, Archie Kroloff. “Where there were once 500,000 cattle on feed in the Valley, now there’s a sea of red tile roofs.” This is the story of a defunct industrial structure that was once pivotal to the Valley’s economy. The Allied Grain elevator provided low-cost, efficient grain handling and storage for Valley farmers. “The plant will have modern cleaning and processing systems for grain and can also be used as a transit point for Midwest grains such as corn,” according to an Arizona Republic article in 1947. The plant’s grain cleaning and handing machinery system could handle 125 tons an hour. The spring 1947 barley crop was the first to be stored in the elevators. The process to store grain at the elevator was detailed in an Allied Grain advertisement in the Republic. “Deliver your grain to the elevator immediately in bulk-loading trucks, eliminating the dangers of pilferage, fire, and water hazards, which can befall grain-filled sacks left lying on the newly threshed fields awaiting trucking… a negotiable warehouse receipt is issued, and you can withdraw your grain anytime on demand. Your grain is always fully insured. Truck-loads

Left: Feeders Grain elevator and Advance Seed Co. facility facing west, 1978. Right: Advance Seed Co. bag of grain, 1964. arizcc.com

Arizona Contractor & Community


Images courtesy of Author

of bulk grain, weighing as much as 30,000 pounds, are unloaded in minutes. The loading and unloading of railroad cars are equally speedy. The spur track accommodates 16 railroad cars, seven of which can be loaded or unloaded before switching to ‘spot’ the other cars.” Allied Grain’s management team was comprised of President Archie Kroloff, Vice-President Terris Manley, Secretary-Treasurer Allen Rosenberg, and Plant Manager Herman Kroloff. The company operated as a big family, with many relatives employed there. Every day at 10:30 a.m. employees took a break to enjoy complimentary coffee. The firm also held a

on the horizon. Arizona’s wheat acreage declined from 109,000 acres in 1959 to about 28,000 acres two years later. Farmers typically grew Ramona wheat, which was milled into a general use flour, while hard winter wheat was imported for most baking needs. Allied Grain supplied two local mills: Arizona Milling Company and Hayden Flour Mills, with the remainder typically shipped to California, according to a 1961 article in the Republic. In 1959, Allied Grain leased the operation to Continental Grain, which had facilities in 23 cities across North America. Continental Grain retained most of the elevator’s employees. “The Continental Grain thing never made sense economically,” Kroloff says. “We owned the elevator, they leased it from Allied Grain, but it was never a successful operation.”

Images courtesy of Jon Rosenthal

Top: Feeders Grain elevator, 2019. Below: Allied Grain and Advance Seed Feed Co. facility, 1950. Below right: Allied Grain and Advance Seed Feed Co. display at the Arizona State Fair, 1950. Bottom right: Archie Kroloff at his desk, 1950.

monthly movie night at the office. The film, Arizona, a Western starring Jean Arthur and William Holden, was the first feature, appropriately. Jon Rosenthal, Archie Kroloff’s grandson, used the facility as his amusement park. “We’d ride minibikes around the property, climb the huge seed piles and then slide down,” he says. “I once went to the top of the grain elevator and peeked over the edge; there was no barrier. The plant had a gas pump, and we could fill up our cars for free. Not every kid could run around a plant like that.” Rosenthal also recalls the dusty conditions and loud machinery, which could be dangerous. A night watchman died in 1947 when he became wedged between mechanisms. Allied Grain enjoyed a decade of success, but changes in Valley farming were

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Continental ended their lease in 1962, operation no longer fits the times. When and Archie Kroloff then organized Feeders you pass an era, you have to recognize it Grain Company. “He conand move on.” Hatch had tacted the six local major worked at the elevator We’d ride minibikes cattle feeding companies 1948. The firm looked around the property, since and said, ‘Buy this elevato lease, sell, or find other tor from me, you need it, climb the huge seed piles uses for its warehouses and not me,” Kroloff says. The and then slide down elevators in Phoenix, Casa group included J. C. WetGrande, and Willcox. zler’s Circle One Livestock, Ed Tovrea’s T The Olgin+Efune Recycling Company and C Cattle Co., Ray Cowden’s Cowden currently utilizes the 9.8-acre property, but Livestock Co., H.C. Dobson’s Baseline Cat- the grain elevator remains idle. The structle Co., Boyd Clements’ Spur Feeding Com- ture stands as an engineering monument pany, Paul Ganz’s Hughes and Ganz Cattle to the Golden Age of Valley farming and Co., and Ed Rutherford’s Orita Land and Cattle Co., in Brawley, California. “Ray Cowden was the father of the cattle feeding industry, and probably owned pieces of all the feedlots,” Kroloff says. “Half these guys were on the board of the Valley Bank. These guys bought the elevator from Allied Grain, and renamed it Feeders Grain.” The acquisition by Feeders Grain ensured an adequate supply of grain for their livestock operations. The ownership change included a new paint job. “I’m pretty sure Howard Hinkle, a local sign painter, painted ‘Feeders Grain’ on the side of the elevator,” Dane Christensen, owner of Christy Signs, says. “He also painted the Hayden Flour Mill.” Christensen goes on to say that Hinkle erected a “swinging stage” rigged from the top with a rope attached to a huge fish hook, fastened to homemade rigging with lumber and sandbags. The system was immensely strong. “Howard and another guy did the job while dangling on a wooden plank without a back. They pushed themselves away from the wall with their feet to paint. Howard was unbelievably talented, and ambidextrous able to paint with either hand.” Feeders Grain attracted some unwelcome visitors. “Pigeons loved the elevator because of the spilled grain,” Danny Head, who grew up nearby, says. “My friends and I occasionally hopped the fence into Feeders ✓ See your equipment on rent Grain when no one was around to collect pigeons, which we raised,” he says. “There ✓ View your rental rates were vehicles inside that either had keys in ✓ Request quotes the ignition or just a switch. We’d drive the trucks around the yard. We’d grind a few ✓ View contracts & invoices gears, but that’s how we learned to drive.” ✓ Transfer equipment between jobs But by 1990, the grain elevator was ✓ Extend or end rentals obsolete as the number of cattle in Arizona had decreased to 158,000. “Feedlots ✓ Locate a rental store near you moved to the grain, closer to the source of supply,” Hubert Hatch, president of Feeders Grain, told the Republic that year. “Demand for our facilities became limited. We’re not insolvent or anything, but this particular

is a symbol of its passing. Unlike most historic buildings, repurposing a windowless grain elevator is complicated. In Quebec City, Canada, an abandoned grain elevator has been repurposed as a screen for artistic lighting at night. “The elevator is a single-use building; the weight of grain is like a tenth of other materials like rocks that could be stored there,” Kroloff says. “And what happened to the Valley’s grains and citrus? The answer is housing; it’s simple and terribly sad. The grain elevator follows the cycle.”

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Lettuce and Landscapes: An Illustrated History of Arizona Commercial Row Crops Royal John Medley

A

By row (l-r), starting at top left: • American Beauty vegetable label. • The Choosy-brand, an Advertising-Era label, uses a saguaro to distinguish Arizona-grown vegetables. • The Miller-Johns Company sold lettuce under the Camelback label, a famous geological landmark. • The Old Fort Yuma label, which depicts the military installation, was used by McDaniel and Sons of Somerton. • The Top Hand label celebrated the Old West by using the proverbial cowboy atop a bucking bronco. • The Good Eaton label cleverly linked the Eaton Fruit Co.’s name with the thought that their lettuce was “good eatin’.” • The Mile-Hi label used by Chino Valley Ranches is an Arizona lettuce grown outside of Maricopa, Pinal, and Yuma counties. • Big Mc’s Yuma Pak, a Commercial-Era label, focused on the producer’s name, which was over-printed onto a stock design. • The Smiling Gus label depicts Augustus J. Battaglia, who hosted Joseph Kennedy Sr. and crime boss Joseph Bonanno at his Eloy, Arizona ranch in 1955.

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waxed paper, were designed to withstand World War I. the significant weight of the lettuce heads, By 1926, lettuce production surcrushed ice broadcast between throughout passed 4,572 boxcars. In 1930, irrigated the boxcar, and the effects of hundreds of lettuce acreage in Arizona totaled more gallons of cold water from the melting ice. than 33,000 acres. By 1946, Arizona letVegetable growers tuce shipments, which in the Salt River ValLabels adopted new military were mostly from Marley began commercial icopa, Pinal, and Yuma terminology and pin-up art counties, increased production of lettuce created during World War II to 18,500 boxcars in February 1914 with one carload shipment along with 5,200 boxto Kansas City by the Walter Hill Company cars of carrots. An estimated 1,500,000 for grower J. S. Heard. Two additional box- to 2,000,000 wooden crates were nailed cars were shipped the following month. together for the shipment of lettuce during Based upon these sales, enterprising local the 1940 season for Maricopa County farmers organized the United Produce alone. In 1962, irrigated lettuce acreage Growers Association in August 1914. in the Grand Canyon State reached 57,000 The Valley’s expanding lettuce indus- acres. try was impacted by World War I in 1917, Lettuce was harvested by field workas many growers were drafted into the mil- ers, who followed teamsters and mule itary. By 1920, lettuce production again carts or tractors along the rows, cutting and grew, with Glendale, Fairgrounds, Phoe- tossing lettuce heads into wagons. Another nix, Mesa, and Toltec the major produc- crew emptied the cart at the end of the ing areas that comprised 1,100 acres, an row and sized and sorted lettuce heads by almost ten-fold increase over the years of hand. The crates were then filled at the

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little over 100 years ago, Arizona agriculture blossomed and began distributing its fresh harvest across the nation. Railcar shipments of row crops, most commonly lettuce, headed east in wooden crates chilled by ice. Consumers received delicious produce that was accompanied by eye-catching advertisements reflecting the landscapes, peoples, history, and myths of the Southwest. Nicknamed “fruit crate art,” the labels attached to the crates combined evocative names and appealing images. The labels were used to instill positive brand connotations with consumers and persuade them that produce wasn’t a fungible commodity, i.e., that not all lettuce heads were the same. The result of this marriage of agriculture and art in Arizona has resulted in a legacy of a vintage Americana that remains beloved today. Lettuce became a viable commercial industry in Arizona because of the synthesis of railroad cars, ice, and wooden crates. These shipping containers, lined with

American Beauty brand lettuce shipments arrive at the S.A. Gerrard’s packing shed in Mesa, 1927. Arizona Contractor & Community


Image courtesy of Arizona Contractor & Community

Top: Employees sorting and crating carrots in a Phoenix packing plant, early 1940s. Below: Jack Bros. Lettuce Packing Shed in Somerton, AZ, 1951. forty four

from Arizona to eastern wholesale auctions. Each wooden crate had the grower’s, packer’s, or shipper’s label with the brand name and geographic location affixed to the end of the box. The Western Lithograph and Louis

Roesch Companies, both of Los Angeles, and the Schmidt Lithograph and Stecher-Traung Lithograph Companies, both of San Francisco, produced most of the millions of crate labels used by Arizona’s vegetable industry. These labels were intentionally

Image courtesy of Author

edge of the field and hauled by truck to the packing shed for additional trimming and final packing for rail shipment. The original wooden container, in use by the 1920s for the majority of boxcar shipments of lettuce and other row crops, was the Brawley or Los Angeles crate, commonly known as the LA crate, with exterior dimensions of 13 by 18 by 24.5 inches. The LA crate was supplanted in the 1950s by the Western Growers’ Association or WGA crate with interior dimensions of 14.5 x 18.25 x 20.5 inches. Either crate allowed for proper spacing within a railroad car to achieve the maximum capacity of about 335 containers per car. Both the LA and WGA crates were designed explicitly for successful cross-country shipment of lettuce and fresh vegetables cooled by ice loaded into the end bunkers of insulated boxcars. Lettuce and carrots were prominent among the many fresh vegetables shipped

Jul-Aug 2020


bright and colorful and designed to provide meltwater. The significant reduction in maximum brand recognition. weight for each railcar allowed additional Growers grew lettuce, packers packed carloads of fresh vegetables per train. Prolettuce, and shippers duce, in addition to shipped lettuce, which shipped via boxLettuce and carrots were being sounds rather simple but cars, was transported prominent among the many using in practice was a rather refrigerated complicated affair. Growfresh vegetables shipped tractor-trailers. ers either rented, leased, Label art created from Arizona to eastern or owned their land. for growers, packers, wholesale auctions Sometimes they were and shippers of Arizona also the packers and vegetables reached shippers, and sometimes they sold their an artistic peak during the war years of products to large consortiums, occasionally the 1940s. Labels adopted new military as far away as Ohio, Illinois, and New York. Some growers had farms in both Arizona and California, while other growers had small acreages and were only in production for a year or two. When discussing the specific brand names, images and illustrations are credited to the business entity listed on the label. Illustrations and brand names created for Arizona lettuce and other agricultural products fall into two distinctive stylistic eras. Labels originating in the 1920s through the early 1930s are of a style usually referred to as the Advertising Era; labels designed in the late 1930s through the late 1950s are from the Commercial Era. However, there is some overlap between the eras. During the Advertising Era, designers visually linked imaginative brand names and creative images in hopes the wholesale produce buyers in the Eastern auction halls would remember both the brand names and the illustrations. During the Commercial Era, the brand names became primary while the drawings became secondary. The stylistic shift occurred when artists and produce growers recognized the strong visual impact of thousands of stacked crates, all bearing a specific grower’s single dynamic brand name. Wooden crates were used until the late 1950s when vacuum-cooling facilities and mechanically cooled railcars allowed for the industry-wide adoption of cardboard containers. The growth of machinecooled as opposed to ice-cooled rail cars was a technological shift that created many impacts. The millions of tons of ice previously necessary for cooling of trans-continental shipments of Western-grown vegetables Ken Miles Jeff Hightower were no longer required. Hence, the ice General Manager Outside Sales factories located along the routes of rail O: 602-456-5175 O: 602-276-2040 shipment became obsolete. Pre-printed C: 602-722-7933 C: 602-725-1123 cardboard cartons were used since letkenm@eccoequipment.com jeffh@eccoequipment.com tuce containers no longer needed to withstand the weight of the ice or the soaking

terminology and pin-up art created during World War II. But the complete adoption of the cardboard shipping container occurred by the late 1950s, and colorful labels on the end panel of crates became obsolete and forgotten. The labels were rediscovered as an art form in the late 20th Century, more than a half-century since 7-inch by 9-inch designs were retired from marketing Arizona-grown lettuce and vegetables. The labels remain beautiful and beloved works of vintage American commercial art.

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ives

Squirt:

Arizona’s Grapefruit Drink Ed Dobbins

T

Rickey, a popular cocktail that combined citrus flavors with various liquors including gin, brandy, and whiskey. The mixer’s main ingredient was an obvious choice, as Arizona’s grapefruit industry was struggling with an oversupply of fruit during the Great Depression. In 1936, Mehren supplied Phoenix-area stores with a carbonated grapefruit beverage he called “Citrus Club.” He marketed the mixer as “ideal for summer drinks,” and sold it at 15 cents a bottle or

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two for a quarter. Citrus Club, and a second uncarbonated version, quickly became popular. Mehren fine-tuned his carbonated, caffeine-free grapefruit beverage two years after its introduction when he partnered with Herb Bishop. They rebranded Citrus Club as a soft drink called Squirt, which contained 1 percent grapefruit juice and less sugar than other brands. The name of the new drink came readily to the pair because “grapefruit squirts, so we picked up the name from that.” The concentrate for Squirt was made from Arizona-grown grapefruit at a factory in Glendale, which had been built to process sugar beets in 1906. From 1938 to 1977, Squirt was manufactured using the entire grapefruit in the process with the remains sold as livestock feed. Nearby residents best recall another byproduct, the intense citrus smell that permeated the neighborhood.

“grapefruit squirts, so we picked up the name from that.”

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he end of Prohibition in 1933 allowed liquor, wine, and beer to be legally available in Arizona for the first time in 18 years. Breweries and bars were relaunched to celebrate the occasion. Among the entrepreneurs looking to take advantage of new economic opportunities was the manager of a Phoenix citrus grove. He created a non-alcoholic concoction that would go on to find national fame as the grapefruit-flavored Squirt soda. Ed Mehren, who managed his father’s citrus grove, believed the Valley was ready for a cocktail mixer that made a delicious


After World War II, Mehren was concerned about inflation cutting into the profits from the machine-dispensed, nickel soda business. The price of soft drinks had to be increased, but he believed an increase to a dime per bottle was too much and would negatively affect sales. Mehren’s solution was to propose creating three new coins with values of 2 ½, 7 ½, and 12 ½ cents. With denominations between a nickel, dime, and quarter, Mehren could raise the price of a soda to a reasonable 7 ½ cents payable with a single coin. In the cash-based society of the time, Mehren argued that intermediate coinage would slow the rate of inflation and save consumers $8 billion through lower, more accurate pricing of everyday goods. Despite the backing of several industry leaders and the gift of a bowtie with handpainted images of the new coins to President Truman, Mehren’s proposal died in a U.S. Senate subcommittee. Bishop succeeded Mehren as head of The Squirt Company in the 1950s and successfully guided the product’s growth as a popular soft drink and cocktail mixer. Beginning in 1951, the brand was marketed using a mascot named Lil’ Squirt. The company’s increasing demands for grapefruit eventually strained the supply grown in the Valley, where Squirt was purchasing up to 30 percent of the harvest. In

the Phoenix area, the output of commercial growers had dwindled as groves were transformed into subdivisions. Additional fruit was supplied to Squirt by private haulers, who purchased the yield of trees in homeowners’ yards. Small groups and clubs also raised money by collecting fruit to sell for processing at the Glendale plant. In 1977, Bishop sold his controlling interest in Squirt to Brooks Brothers, a Holland, Michigan bottler. The Keurig Dr. Pepper group currently owns the beverage. The soda remains a popular drink, and in the words of Bishop, “Is the freshest, most exciting taste in the marketplace.”

Image courtesy of Glendale Historical Society

Above: Citrus Club ad, 1936. Left: Retired Cleveland Indians pitcher Bob Feller (left) with Boston manager Johnny Pesky enjoying Squirt during Spring Training in Phoenix, 1963. Below: Glendale Sugar Beet Factory, 1920s. Right: Lil’ Squirt, 1953.

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Building on the Past 1951: Arizona Boys Ranch

A

new type of ranch was launched in Arizona in 1951, one that focused more on raising boys than beef. The Arizona Boys Ranch was an agricultural community for rehabilitation of wayward teenagers. Leo Ellsworth donated 160 acres of farmland, which was located 1.5 miles northwest of Queen Creek. The Ranch opened in September, with two boys and one building, which had been constructed through donated labor and materials. By 1955, there were four buildings, including the Lariat Home for junior high kids who attended school in Queen Creek, and Wrangler’s Roost for older boys who attended Chandler High School.

The superintendent and his wife lived in a home funded by the Marshall Foundation. The boys worked with livestock and farmed at the Ranch after school, for which they received an allowance. During the summer, the boys helped construct buildings, farmed, and did maintenance at the facility. The boys took turns cleaning the homes and laundering their clothes. “They’re going to make wonderful husbands,” the superintendent’s wife told The Arizona Republic in 1955. The Casa Grande Dispatch described the Ranch as, “…a home for boys who have had a slight brush with the law…and need a real home where they will have an opportunity to live a normal life and develop into fine young men.” By most accounts, the

Ranch initially lived up to its mission. But by the late 1960s, the facility emphasized behavioral modification to treat the boys. The Ranch later expanded to another facility in Oracle. Nicholaus Contreraz, a 16-year-old boy, collapsed and died there while being punished in 1998. The Ranch closed the Oracle location, and relaunched the Queen Creek site as Canyon State Academy in 2000. The school is currently operated by Rite of Passage, a national provider of youth therapeutic and educational programs.

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Arizona Contractor & Community


I

n the mid-1980s, while viewing permanent architectural collection models at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, I was surprised to encounter a contemporary custom home in Scottsdale: the 1948 Louis C. Upton Residence. The design seemed reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic approach to architecture, but was the work of Robert “Paul” Schweikher (of Schweikher and Elting), an architect I didn’t know at the time. The Upton Residence was located at 353 East Camelback Road in downtown Scottsdale. This exceptional desert home was built on a 21-acre orange orchard by Scottsdale-based contractor George Ellis for $125,000. Ellis’s daughter, Janie, described visiting it during construction. They would drive below the Arizona Canal onto a curving roadway until, in an orchard clearing, the home unveiled itself. The Upton residence was a low-lying composition of concrete and stone walls later to be labeled “desert masonry” and complemented by an exposed redwood structure at canopies and a dramatic rooftop porch. Ellis had already constructed such walls as flood control devices in the Cattle Track neighborhood c.1936-37. These walls predate the use of them in c.1938-39 at Taliesin West and later used again by Ellis at the 1942 Rose Pauson residence designed by Wright. The floor plan reflects a series of outdoor patios that are a seamless spatial extension of the interior spaces, with more solid walls to the western exposure and more “public” side. Stone is utilized in the interior floors and patios to maintain a

Architect’s Perspective: Robert Paul Schweikher: Bring a Freshness Doug Sydnor, FAIA Doug_sydnor@outlook.com natural, textured material throughout the became the Whirlpool Corporation. Upton house. Schweikher believed that the fire- had seen in a magazine Schweikher’s archiplace is the heart of the home. “I’ve always tecture, which won the Grand Prize in the been a countryman at heart. I like a naked 1935 General Electric Home Design Comfire.” The composition is capped with a petition that drew 2,100 entries. Upton roof-top, screened-deck defined by red- commissioned Schweikher to design the wood bents and large planters of flowers home, which was completed in 1948. and herbs. The raised deck allowed sun- Upton lived in the house briefly before his set over the orchard. The design concept death in 1949. tests all of our sensibilities, including seeThe Upton residence was unoccuing, smelling, and hearing with patterns, pied until Patrick McGinnis purchased the textures, shadows, water, 21-acre estate for $100,000 fire, flowers, and orange tree The home slowly in 1954. The new owner, an blossoms. Eastern railroad financier, Schweikher acknowl- deteriorated until rented the home, as did a edges that the home was it was mistakenly later architect Lamont Langinfluenced by Wright’s organic in 1956. demolished in the worthy, approach to architecture and In 1957 the Upton resmid-1970s his use of natural materials. idence became the Black Louis Upton invited Wright Sheep Club, an exclusive key and others to dinner, gave him a home tour, club. Scottsdale-based architect Ray Parand asked him what he thought. Wright rish designed the conversion, and the Club stated in his usual fashion, “Mr. Upton, you opened on December 15, 1957. The resiare lucky to have such a fine house by such dence was subsequently sold to a devela poor architect.” oper for $400,000 in 1958. The home Louis C. Upton and his brother Fred- slowly deteriorated until it was mistakerick were owners of the Upton Machine enly demolished in the mid-1970s by a Co., which manufactured some of the first company, which had been hired to raze a washing machines. The brothers sold the nearby structure. business to Sears Roebuck & Co., and it Schweikher completed two additional

Images courtesy of William P. Bruder, Julius Shulman

Upton residence western exterior.

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Jul-Aug 2020


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and returned to Schweikher and Elting, until 1952. Over the years, Schweikher became registered in at least 15 states and received his NCARB Certification. At the urging of George Howe, Schweikher served as the Yale School of Architecture Chairman from 1953-1956. He later became the Carnegie Institute of Technology (later Carnegie-Mellon University) Department of Architecture Head in 19561969, upon the recommendation of Norman Rice. Schweikher maintained practices in New Haven and Pittsburgh while teaching. Schweikher was known as a creative contemporary architect of churches, universities, public buildings, office buildings, hotels, and more than 40 residences, and was active in civic affairs. He had friendships with Mies Van Der Rohe, Buckminster Fuller, Moholy and Sibyl Nagy, Joseph Albers, Nathaniel Owings, and Philip

Johnson. Schweikher retired from academia in 1969, moved to Sedona in 1970, and passed away on December 23, 1997, in Phoenix at the age of 94. Schweikher always appreciated Mies Van Der Rohe’s comment, “Search for the simplest way to solve the problem.” As he was color-blind, Schweikher had to “rely more on the color, pattern, and figure in natural materials rather than try and create my own.” He summed up his passion for his chosen profession, by saying, “Buildings say more than drawings, and drawings say more than words, [and I pursued an] “…honest effort to bring a freshness to the whole process of designing a building and architecture.” Douglas B. Sydnor, FAIA, is Principal at Douglas Sydnor Architect and Associates, and author of three architecture books. Top right: Upton residence roof deck. Top left: Upton residence living area. Above: Upton residence patio. Below: Richard Finch residence.

Image courtesy of ASU Library

Arizona residences: the 1950 Richard Finch residence at 5704 East Starlight Way in Paradise Valley, and the 1970 Schweikher residence in Sedona, where he had a small practice and later retired. Paul Schweikher’s long and accomplished life began in Denver, Colorado. His parents were musicians and he attended East High School. He began his higher education at the University of Colorado in 192122 studying engineering. He married Dorothy Miller, and they had a son, Paul, Jr. The family moved to Chicago for her work as a lab technician. Schweikher studied at The Art Institute of Chicago in 1922-24 while working at Granger and Bollenbacher. After a few years, he left to join David Adler of Chicago, where he learned about design, proportion, and scale. Schweikher later studied at the Armour Institute of Technology (now the Illinois Institute of Technology) in 19241925. He transferred to Yale University and received a Bachelor in Fine Arts in 1929. He won the Matcham Traveling Fellowship, which allowed him to tour Europe for nine months; he later traveled to Mexico, Asia, and South America. In 1930, he returned to Chicago and collaborated with architects George Fred Keck and Philip B. Maher, and worked as a designer and site planner at General Houses, Inc. His designs were included in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in 1933 and the Century of Progress International Exposition. In 1934, he joined the practice of Lamb and Elting to form Schweikher, Lamb and Elting, until 1942. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Naval Reserves

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Arizona Contractor & Community


Digging Through the Archives:

had a state-of-the-art building constructed. The sophisticated design was called “one of the most pretentious machinery sales and repair buildings ever erected,” by The Arizona Republic. The building’s incorporation of construction equipment in a sophisticated eil B. McGinnis was not your typical 1946, he forever changed how equipment setting represented McGinnis, a unique mid-century construction and farm companies presented themselves. His firm, entrepreneur who thrived in both blue-colequipment dealer in Phoenix. In the Neil B. McGinnis Equipment Company, lar and country club circles. McGinnis was

The Neil B. McGinnis Equipment Company William Horner

N Fifty six

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Image courtesy of Douglas C. Towne

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Image courtesy of Arizona Contractor & Community

Image courtesy of ASU Special Collection

president of the Phoenix Country Club and friendly with professional golfing legends Ben Hogan and Sam Snead, but he also knew machinery. McGinnis owned a plane and flew it himself. His successful company supplied heavy equipment that contractors used to build the State’s highways from 1928-1966. How did this Texas native become such a Renaissance man? Neil McGinnis was born to Neil and

Margaret Sheehan McGinnis in 1897 in El Left: The Neil B. McGinnis Co., 1401 S. Central Paso. His father, an engineer for Southern location, 1943. Pacific Railroad, was transferred to Mis- Top: The Neil B. McGinnis Co. building, 500 S. souri and later to Phoenix in 1912. McGin- Central, 2020. nis graduated from Phoenix Union High Above: McGinnis’s machine shop, 1401 S. Central Ave location, 1935. School and briefly attended Occidental College before enlisting in the U.S. Navy during After the war, McGinnis worked for World War I. The Armistice ended hostili- Standard Oil Company, with offices in the ties before McGinnis graduated from offi- Luhrs Building, and the Rio Grande Oil cer training school. Company, but he later found his calling as Arizona Contractor & Community


Images courtesy of Arizona Contractor & Community Image courtesy of Elaine Hagen McBride

Top: Allis Chalmers machinery sold by Neil B. McGinnis, working on an Arizona road project, 1966. Below: Globe contractor Harry Hagen’s Allis Chalmers 35HP crawler on Mt. Graham, sold by Neil B. McGinnis Co., 1930. Right: Ad for rebuilding farm equipment, 1937.

Image courtesy of ASU Special Collections

Top: Neil B. McGinnis. Above: Allis Chalmers Speed Patrol Model 42 blade, sold by the Neil B. McGinnis Co., 1939. Below: Allis Chalmers crawlers at the Neil B. McGinnis Co., 1401 S. Central location, 1944.

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equipment at discounted prices. The com“They gouged the eyes out of the pany also opened branches in Chandler building and…[turned] it into a soulless and Casa Grande that catered to farmers corpse,” Levine wrote on the McGinnis and were called the Neil B. McGinnis Imple- building’s Facebook page. “I’m apoplectic!” ment Company. The event space, The Vintage 45, briefly McGinnis died in 1967 at the age of 69. operated in the building, which is in the In 1968, the business name changed hip Phoenix Warehouse District. Today, it’s to the Arizona Tractor Company, which occupied by offices. operated until the late 1970s. The building These days, McGinnis is rememappears to have used for various industrial bered more for his stylish building than purposes until Michael Levine purchased his construction equipment success, and is it in 2006. He refurbished the building and admired for his ability to move effortlessly the Arizona sales representative for equip- resold it to new owners, who removed between different social groups. ment companies. many vintage elements, in 2015. In 1928, he formed the Neil B. McGinnis Equipment Company with a single employee and opened at 1401 South Central Avenue in Phoenix. Two years later, the firm featured the famed Allis Chalmers equipment line. They sold the brand until the late 1960s, becoming one of the longest-running distributors. The Allis Chalmers connection allowed the McGinnis company to compete with State Tractor Company, O.S. Stapley Company, Arizona Machinery Company, and Frank Ronstadt Company in Tucson for bids from the state highway commission. The Depression-era Public Works Administration (PWA) required private contractors to bid for road work while equipment suppliers bid to furnish equipment. The McGinnis company expanded operations in 1946 with a new state-ofthe-art building on the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Buchanan Street. Architects Gilmore & Varney designed the building, which housed a 5,000 square-foot construction and farm equipment showroom. The building also featured three air-conditioned offices, a 3,800 square-foot parts department that stored inventory in a balcony, and an engine overhaul and machine shop in the rear. The Bridgeman Construction Company built the complex for $70,000. The McGinnis building featured ten oversized “Herculite” glass-paneled doors, six along Central Avenue and four along SBE Certified City of Phx "Dump Trucking" Buchanan Street, that helped showcase the equipment. The interior consisted of Super 16s and Super 18s Demo and Material Beds painted concrete floors, brick walls, and a Summerbell truss roof. Cranes moved We estimate Import, Export, ABC, Pipe Bedding and along the 84-foot-tall ceiling, moving heavy equipment and parts. The business had 29 Sand deliveries to your project employees at the location. The company expanded on its flagNewer Fleet ship Allis Chalmers line during the 1950s, offering other equipment brands including Please contact matt@mattbrowntrucking.com Kwik Mix, Koehring, Parsons, Pioneer, Tractomotive, L.R. Murphy Scale, Acme Iron or 602-361-2174 Works, and Schramm. During this period, McGinnis began selling used refurbished arizcc.com

Arizona Contractor & Community


Bid Results Mar/Apr 2020

5/14/2020 (CMAR) Alma School Rd Improvements Sunland $5,000,000

5/1/2020 Delta Apron Rehab Phase 2 Improvements Combs $736,703

5/14/2020 Williams Field Box Culvert Sunland $628,493

5/4/2020 Chip Seal Program VSS $763,459

5/19/2020 Glenn St 30 inch Reclaimed Water Main Sellers & Sons $2,498,400

5/4/2020 Summit 2 Water Tank MGC $4,190,380

5/21/2020 Outer Loop Road Pavement Rehab Earth Resources $1,833,488

5/7/2020 Taxiway A Relocation & Drainage Rummel $5,334,020

5/22/2020 Tucson Benson Hwy ADOT Ames $23,427,902

5/7/2020 FY20 Pavement Preservation Cactus $2,382,190

5/27/2020 AOTF LaMontana Intersection Visus $569,000

5/7/2020 Cemetery North Expansion Phase 2 Lincoln $2,002,198

5/28/2020 New Elementary School Pilkington Commercial Co $5,557,886

5/8/2020 (CMAR) Fairway Dr Improvements DCS $5,000,000

6/1/2020 Chino Valley USD Improvement Asphalt Paving & Supply $266,126

5/11/2020 Jefferson Street Waterline Project 2 Standard $539,131

6/2/2020 (JOC) Water Main Replacement Talis $24,000,000

5/11/2020 Long Look Pavement Replacement Copperstate Paving $236,047

6/4/2020 Southern Ave Stapley Dr Intersection Fishel Co $13,451,104

Jul/Aug 1951 Remodeling First State Bank of Arizona Main & Macdonald St., Mesa Womack Const. Co., Phoenix $35,000 Underground Irrigation Installation Arizona Children’s Colony, Coolidge Arizona Concrete Pipe Co., Phoenix $11,000 Paving 17th Ave, Grand Ave, Whitton, 15th Ave Phoenix-Tempe Stone Co., Phoenix $11,332 Widening Existing Concrete Girder Bridge Show Low Creek H.L. Royden, Phoenix $60,811 Paving 1 Mile of Goodyear-Avondale HWY Phoenix-Tempe Stone Co., Phoenix $42,760 Furnishing Paint Arizona State HWY Department Halstead Lumber Co., Phoenix $11,350 Placing ABC and Grading Heber 8 Miles Towards Holbrook Lyle Price Contr., Heber $126,661 Building Bulk Storage and Fuel Distro System Davis-Monthan Field Vinson Const. Co., Phoenix $1,100,000 Paving 18th Ave from Thomas to Earl Dr. Phoenix Tempe Stone Co., Phoenix $7,359

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Advertisers’ index

PLEASE Patronize our advertisers, they make this publication possible! A to Z Rentals 480-558-0063 a-zequipment.com

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P. 59

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P. 24

P. 14, 16, 18 & 20

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July/August 2020  

This issue of Arizona Contractor & Community magazine focuses on farming, looking at it from a construction angle. We’re covering building t...

July/August 2020  

This issue of Arizona Contractor & Community magazine focuses on farming, looking at it from a construction angle. We’re covering building t...

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