Things have started to pick up with the Mountain View Officer’s Club (MVOC) at Fort Huachuca! While the future of the building remains uncertain, we have had some very productive meetings over the last few weeks and are working with a great group of partners and allies toward saving this irreplaceable piece of African American military history.
In April, the U.S. Army released a Request for Interest to identify a new use for the historic MVOC. The Army is seeking end users that can revive the building with an economically sustainable use. In response to the RFI, the MVOC National Treasure team has started important conversations with community leaders, preservation advocates, local government, and the Army, with the goal of developing a creative and economically viable proposal to save and reuse this important place.
First, the MVOC Treasure Team traveled to Riverside, CA to visit Homefront at Camp Anza, a new veterans’ housing project built on a former WWII-era Army training camp. Thirty affordable housing units surround the former Camp Anza officer’s club which, coincidentally, is the same building model as the MVOC (many of these buildings were constructed during the WWII-era, but the MVOC remains the only surviving one connected to the African American Army). Seeing a need for supportive housing for veterans and their families, the City of Riverside rehabilitated the officer’s club as communal space for veterans’ services, recreation, and events. It is now a source of pride for the neighborhood and local veterans’ community, and a great model to show what the MVOC could soon become.
Our team then headed to Tucson and Sierra Vista in Arizona to meet with local advocates and allies, including Jim McPherson of the Arizona Preservation Foundation, architect Corky Poster of Poster Frost Mirto, and NTHP Trustee Demion Clinco, to begin a series of conversations around a joint reuse proposal for the MVOC. We met with representatives from the Army, toured the MVOC, and had very encouraging meetings with community groups and local advocates. While we still have a few conversations to go, it was a fantastic and encouraging start to the next phase of the MVOC National Treasure campaign!