PHOENIX (AP) Arizona State University (ASU) is working on a plan that would preserve and showcase the late U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater and his papers in a multistory library and archival building bearing his name.
The new library would be located in downtown Phoenix.
Organizers said they hope the archival building will serve as both a center of learning and a public gathering place.
In addition to containing the Goldwater Papers, the structure would boast study rooms, give users access to millions of computerized records and books and could even feature a lecture hall seating several hundred people.
A major fundraising campaign will be launched after Jan. 1, with the goal of raising up to $30 million to construct the building near ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus.
If the fundraising effort goes well, construction on the building could begin as early as fall 2008. The library could open by 2010.
“Having this downtown would be a tremendous coup for the city of Phoenix,” Mayor Phil Gordon said. “Certainly, a building like this, named after one of our greatest senators, would be an amazing thing.”
Goldwater, a five-term senator who unsuccessfully ran for president in 1964, retired in 1986 as one of the Republican Party’s most respected elder statesmen. He died in May 1998 at his Paradise Valley, Ariz., home at age 89.
Goldwater’s personal papers are managed by the Arizona Historical Foundation, a nonprofit that he founded in 1959.
The collection features everything from photographs he took of the Grand Canyon, which was one of his favorite subjects, to diaries, memorabilia from his campaigns and correspondence with presidents like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
Currently, the foundation and its collections are crammed into a 3,000-sq.-ft. space on the fourth floor of the Hayden Library on ASU’s Tempe campus.
Director Jack August believes the new building could provide the Arizona Historical Foundation with as much as 20,000 or 30,000 sq.-ft. of usable space in which it could adequately display not only Goldwater’s letters and photographs but also the rest of its repository.
The foundation manages more than 130 manuscript collections, 12,000 photographs and countless books, artifacts and maps. The bulk of the material documents 20th- and 21st-century life in Arizona.