Tempe can trace its roots to the 19th-century Hayden Flour Mill, which transformed a small farming community near Tempe Butte into a trade center for the Salt River Valley. When the mill ceased grinding wheat in 1998—the longest running, continuous industrial use in the Phoenix area—the City of Tempe was eager to adapt and reuse the historic mill building and its two silos.
Not only were the buildings important early landmarks, they are also adjacent to Hayden Butte (locally known as A Mountain), which is significant to local tribal members. Any development would need to respect height restrictions protecting Hayden Butte, reflect the historic nature of the buildings, and create a viable commercial use on a relatively small footprint.
The resulting design is restrained, purposely subordinate to the iconic structures and respectful of the site. The mixed-used development adds a new hotel building that integrates with existing structures in scale and materials, with low, horizontal lines, simple industrial styling, and a cast-in-place concrete palette. The retrofitted silos house up to 100 additional hotel rooms.
The original Mill building, located at the front of the complex, features creative office suites above and unique dining and retail experiences on the ground floor. Positioned along Tempe's famed Mill Avenue, the design team aimed to not only maintain the historic character but also enhance and activate the street scape.
With newly restored historic buildings and restored landscapes that bring back mountain views and natural desert vegetation, the Hayden Flour Mill will once again shine as an iconic Tempe landmark.