By Dustin Gardiner for The Arizona Republic
A block away from US Airways Center arena in downtown Phoenix, the vintage brick facade of the Hotel St. James contrasts with the gleaming lights of soaring high-rises and billboards.
Although the St. James and its older sister, the Madison Hotel next door, aren’t ornate, they’re a rarity in Phoenix — a city critics say has few historic buildings to show for its storied past. The hotels are among a handful in the Valley that date to around the time of statehood.
But that history could soon turn to rubble if plans to replace the buildings with a parking lot move forward.
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