Saving Scottsdale, one building at a time

By Robert L. Pela | Phoenix New Times

She smiles, Christie Lee Kinchen admitted last week, every time she drives past the Triangle Building on East Indian School Road.

“Back when I was an angsty, goth teenager, my sister and I took sewing classes there,” she said. “We knew there was something super special about that building, even then.”

She’s no longer angsty or goth. Kinchen grew up and became Scottsdale’s Historic Preservation Commissioner.

She’s lately been crusading to preserve the Triangle, one of the few remaining Scottsdale examples of renowned midcentury architect Ralph Haver’s work. When a Utah-based developer proposed a seven-story hotel and a similar-sized residential building on the site, Kinchen pushed for an adaptive reuse approach that would maintain the building’s original design.

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