Governor B. B. Moeur House

Perhaps the most visited property in Tempe is the former home of Arizona's eighth governor Dr. Benjamin Baker Moeur.

Since his arrival in Tempe, the physician's contributions to the community grew substantially and quickly. He began as a physician known for braving treacherous conditions to make a house-call. He served on the Territorial Normal School board (the predecessor to ASU) and supported the school throughout his lifetime. Being Arizona's Depression-era governor was also no small feat. Although the state was not hit particularly hard by the stock market crash, Moeur worked to secure government funds in order to help any city that was struggling.

The first owner of this lot, James Francis Johnson, was a member of a large Mormon colony that settled Tempe in the city's early years. The building started as a small wooden frame in 1893 but has since been expanded by subsequent owners, with the most significant contributions coming from Dr. Moeur himself.

He acquired the property in 1889 after renting it from a friend in the years prior. Around 1901, the property transformed into a more extravagant house in the Neo-Colonial Revival style. As time passed and additions were made, the house took on the Western Colonial Box style seen today. Mrs. Moeur was in charge of the interior of the house, filling it with plush rugs and cozy furniture.

After his death in 1937, the property fell into the hands of relatives and private owners. By 1993, the house was taken over and adapted into office space by the City of Tempe. It is now the home of the Tempe Community Council.

"This multi-award-winning residence was once owned by former Arizona Governor Benjamin B. Moeur who served in office from 1932 until 1936. The home experienced a series of renovations over a 40-year period to transform it into what it is today. It is a locally significant example of early 20th-century residential architecture. This residence is currently used by the City of Tempe Community Council as offices and meeting space." (Tempe Preservation, Mill Ave Tour)

Images

Exterior of B. B. Moeur Residence Today
Exterior of B. B. Moeur Residence Today The B. B. Moeur residence is now in the hands of the city and houses the Tempe City Council. Source: Tempe Preservation. Governer B. B. Moeur House 1. Photograph. Accessed February 20, 2014. http://www.flickr.com/photos/79682775@N02/7133662807 Creator: Tempe Preservation
Moeur House before 1993, exact date unknown.
Moeur House before 1993, exact date unknown. This photograph depicts a more run-down view of the Moeur House. However, with a change of ownership to the city and preservation efforts, the house has been restored to look as good as new. Photo courtesy of Tempe History Museum. Source: Moeur House on the Northwest Corner of 7th Street and Myrtle Avenue. Photograph, Unknown. 1999.29.540. Tempe History Museum.
Postcard of Byron Hunter's Curio Store
Postcard of Byron Hunter's Curio Store In 1962, Byron Hunter acquired the Moeur house and operated a curio store until 1983. Just like Garfield Goodwin, Hunter capitalized on the tourist-driven image of the Southwest--an image that melded Mexican and Native American crafts, colors, architecture, and symbols. Photo courtesy of Joe Nucci. Source: B.B. Moeur Curio Store. Postcard, c. -1983 1962. Joe Nucci Personal Collection.
Intersection of 7th Street and Myrtle, Downtown Tempe.
Intersection of 7th Street and Myrtle, Downtown Tempe. This photograph taken in the 1960s depicts Mill Avenue and the surrounding area as a downtown sprawl surrounded by desert. At the time of this photo, the Moeur House was a curio shop. Courtesy of Tempe History Museum. Source: Photograph, Intersection of 7th Street and Myrtle, Downtown Tempe. Photograph, 1960s. 2004.19.39. Tempe History Museum.

Location

Metadata

Holly Solis, “Governor B. B. Moeur House,” Salt River Stories, accessed May 24, 2024, https://saltriverstories.org/items/show/52.