$30 million Goldwater Library coming to Mesa

By Gary Nelson

The Arizona Republic

Downtown Mesa will be home to a library honoring the legacy of late Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater.

Establishment of the Barry and Peggy Goldwater Library and Archives is scheduled to be announced this morning at the Mesa Arts Center.

The $30 million research and education center in the heart of Arizona’s third-largest city is expected to contain not only the Goldwater archives but papers from other Arizona politicians.

It will also showcase artifacts from Goldwater’s life, his trajectory having paralleled that of Arizona’s statehood while deeply influencing national and global politics.

The library’s website describes the facility as “a cultural and historical institution of global significance.”

The archives are certain to be both voluminous and rich: The late author William F. Buckley reported that after leaving the Senate, Goldwater dictated more than 24,000 letters in a single year.

The library’s website calls Goldwater’s papers “one of the premier congressional collections in the United States.”

Mesa was not the first choice for a library honoring the father of modern American conservatism. The original plan was to find a site in downtown Phoenix, but talks fell through because the city insisted that the Goldwater Library foundation also build two apartment buildings as part of the project.


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