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Luhrs Tower
Phoenix, Arizona


Description: Luhrs Tower
Other Names: none
Address: southeast corner, Jefferson Street and First Avenue, Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona
Type: commercial: office building
Original Client: George Henry Nicholas Luhrs, Sr.; after his death, on May 4, 1929, his widow, Catherine (i.e. Dodenhoff) Luhrs
Historic Inventory: none
Date: 1928-1930
Condition: extant

Architect or Firm: Henry C. Trost
Associated Architect or Firm: Trost & Trost
Contractors: A. F. Wasielewski Construction Co., Phoenix
Dimensions and Orientation: faces north; fourteen stories, plus roof pyramid; 175 feet, 5 inches tall, to base of roof pyramid; basement and ground story: 77 feet, 6 inches X 57 feet, 6 inches; second through eighth stories: about 75 X 45 feet; ninth through eleventh stories: about 60 X 45 feet
Budget/Cost: about $279,000, including elevators and air ducts

Foundation: concrete
Wall Materials: concrete, ornamental concrete (oxidized green) and stucco
Roofing Materials:
Other Materials Used: marble, bronze and cast stone trim
Remodeling and Additions: An arcade connecting the Luhrs Tower with the Luhrs Building  was built 1948-1950.

Present Owner: Luhrs family
Location of Drawings: El Paso Public Library: (D-9) 27 sheets, ink on linen, numbered 1 through 26, including side, front and rear elevations, dated February through October, 1929, Commission no. 2786; Ponsford 114a, 114b, 214a-c photographs of renderings of two versions of Luhrs Tower; Bradt collection, post card reproducing Ponsford 214a. Arizona Room, Arizona State University Library: photographs of renderings identical with Ponsford 114a and 114b. Luhrs Family collection, Phoenix: rendering, pencil and watercolor on bristol board, matted, sight 27 1/2 X 13 3/8 inches. See also materials noted under Remarks, below.

Location of Documentary Photographs:

Bibliography: (1) Marcus Whiffen and Carla Breeze, Pueblo Deco; the art deco Architecture of the Southwest (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1984), pages 34-37; preliminary drawings, pages 34 and 36; page 84, color plate, general view; page 85, color plate of entrance
(2) Lloyd C. Engelbrecht, Henry Trost: the Prairie School in the Southwest, The Prairie School Review, volume VI, number 4 (Fourth Quarter, 1969), page 28 (photograph of post card now part of the Bradt collection, El Paso Public Library)
(3) Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht, Henry C. Trost: Architect of the Southwest (El Paso: El Paso Public Library Association, 1981), pages 12, 59 and 74 (characterization of Luhrs Tower as art deco; comparison with Bassett Tower in El Paso
(4) Elmore, James, editor, A Guide to the Architecture of Metro Phoenix
(Phoenix: Central Arizona Chapter, American Institute of Architects, 1983), pages 28-29 (photographs of tower and entrance, description)
(5) Carla Breeze, Pueblo Deco (New York: Rizzoli, 1990), pages 100-101, discussed and illustrated in color.

Remarks: An extensive file of material documenting the construction of the Luhrs Tower is in the Arizona Room, Arizona State University Library: Luhrs Collection, Box 54. A single story structure, not designed by Trost, but with similar detailing, is located to the south of the Luhrs Tower.
November 15, 2007 an award for Arizona Commercial Real Estate for 18 Greatest Architectural Achievements.

In 2007, the Hansji brought the Luhrs block for $28 million. In 2009 the Luhrs Building was restored and renovated. The estimate cost to do the Tower and Building is $8million. Phoenix City Council gave Hansj a $500,000 historical preservation grant.

Prepared for the El Paso Public Library by Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1990.