Clinton Campbell was a prominent, early 20th century builder in Phoenix who left his mark with a series of commercial, civic, and residential buildings. Few of those structures remain but one of them is the Clinton Campbell House (what were the odds?), a 1916-built, one-bedroom home at 361 N. 4th Ave. in the Roosevelt neighborhood.

Much like the 7,000-square-foot lot it sits on, the house fell into disrepair in recent years. So when Glasir Capital Partners purchased the property recently, it was likely well within everyone’s expectations that they would be able to knock the house down and build something new. 

However, there’s now a bit of a snag in that process. When Glaser applied for a demolition permit April 4, they did so before the city’s Historic Preservation staff had a chance to rule on the historic significance on the property. Now, the developer has less than a month to put together a case as to why they should be allowed to tear down to house even if it’s deemed worth preserving. 

Glaser now has two choices. They can try to show that the property is not, in fact, historic. Or, they can try to prove that whatever financial investment they put into restoring the property would not be worth the return on investment they could receive by selling the rehabbed home.

That said, as historic preservation commission officer Joe Viola told Downtown Devil, “You can’t buy a property, let it go to heck, and then say ‘Hey, it’s an economic hardship for me to put it back in shape’ … The hardship cannot be self sabotage.” It’s unclear whether or not that’s the case for the Clinton Campbell House.

The potential fate of the home will be decided at a May 23 Historic Preservation Committee meeting.