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Ft. Huachuca building on endangered list

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Ft. Huachuca building on endangered list

By Craig Smith. CREATED Jun 19, 2013

FT. HUACHUCA, Ariz (KGUN9-TV) A piece of history may be in peril at Fort Huachuca. 

A building at Fort Huachuca---a leftover from the age of segregation just made a list of some of the most endangered historic buildings in this country and what will happen to this building is still in doubt.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation put the officer's club on a list of eleven most endangered places.  The list also includes the Houston Astrodome, a futuristic looking, but now aging airport terminal at JFK airport and a lighthouse in Massachusetts.
Fort Huachuca Building 66050 has been many things over the years, but during World War Two it was the Mountain View Colored Officers Club---a reflection of the segregated Army of the time.
Groups that hope to preserve the building say it was a source of pride---filled with art----home to performances by famous black artists like Lena Horne.
An Army report confirms Horne did visit the post but questions whether she and other black celebrities performed at the club or at other spots where enlisted men could have seen the show too.
The report also says it is not true this building was the only one specifically designed for black officers.  The Army says it was a standard design assigned to black officers after construction when the post commander decided white officers would refuse to share their club.
But despite questions over details the Army recognizes the building is still important in the history of blacks in the Army.
The question is whether the Army has the money to help the building tell its story.

Colonel Dan McFarland says, "If the reason why this is historic in nature is we want to get back to period in which it was important, i.e. 1942 and '43. Generally, normally, usually, we'll have to return it to it's condition at that point.  This is a several million dollar venture."
As Garrison Commander, Colonel McFarland has to look after the old building and everything else the post needs to run smoothly.
He says the cost of restoring the building has to compete with the post's other needs, in a world of tight budgets.

It is still the Army's decision on what will happen to this building and there's no firm timeline for when a decision will be.

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

Craig enjoys using innovative writing and visuals to make difficult stories easier to understand. As a newsroom manager at KGUN 9, Craig was part of the team that won three best newscast awards from Arizona Associated Press