Customs agents seize 2,000-year-old artifacts

NEW YORK (AP) – Customs agents in New York have seized two stolen Italian artifacts that are more than 2,000 years old.

Immigration and customs authorities said Monday the red ceramic vases were illegally excavated in Italy, smuggled into the United States and offered for sale in New York.

The artifacts were recovered through a joint investigation by U.S. customs agents and Italian authorities.

One of the seized artifacts dates from about 350 B.C., and the other is from 460 B.C. They have a combined value of $120,000.

Authorities say they have identified a smuggling operation that moves items out of Italy to other locations in Europe and then to the United States. Some of the looted artifacts have ended up at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-ES-10-27-09 2353EDT

Pricey Flagstaff roadside art now ditched

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) – A series of illuminated pillars alongside Route 66 at Postal Boulevard that cost taxpayers $50,000 several years ago is now gathering dust in a city warehouse.

City officials scrapped what some in Flagstaff facetiously dubbed the “alien outhouses” on Monday after a car hit the sculpture a few weeks ago. That accident exposed a 110-volt electrical terminal, creating a public hazard, said City Architect Karl Eberhard. This was the second time a car plowed into the expensive piece of art since its installation. Named Solar Calendar by artist Mary Boone Wellington, the artwork has been plagued by problems, mainly in illuminating it.

The city had brought in various experts over the years in an attempt to fix it, Eberhard said, but estimates pegged the repairs at several thousand dollars. The city also made numerous attempts to contact Wellington over the years for a consultation but never received a response from the artist.

Several attempts to relocate the piece were also explored over the years but were eventually ruled out because it would have been cost-prohibitive.

Former Councilmember Karen Cooper, a strong advocate for public art, called the piece “interesting” and said it fostered discussion about the role of publicly funded art in the community.

“Public art shouldn’t just be bronze cowboys,” Cooper said.

She said the placement of the artwork along the busy Route 66 corridor was unfortunate, as few people actually got a chance to see it up close. She said she would have preferred to see the sculpture installed in a city park.

But the decommissioning of the artwork could mean that the final resting place might be on someone’s front lawn.

Eberhard said the city will attempt to auction off the remaining pieces of the artwork to the public in the coming weeks.

Portions of the Solar Calendar, including pieces too damaged to be fixed, were taken to the city landfill. The used batteries, replaced by the city several years ago, were taken to the hazardous products center, he said.

___

Information from: Arizona Daily Sun, http://www.azdailysun.com/

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WS-10-28-09 0400EDT

Image courtesy of Affiliated Auctions

Affiliated Auctions to sell 10-carat diamond ring Elvis gave to fan

Image courtesy of Affiliated Auctions

Image courtesy of Affiliated Auctions

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Affiliated Auctions, headquartered in Tallahassee, Fla., has announced that its Dec. 6, 2009 catalog auction will include a 10-carat ring that Elvis Presley took from his finger and gave to a fan during a 1975 concert. Internet live bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com.

A unique and original piece of Elvis Presley-worn memorabilia, the ring was given to the consignor, Lloyd Perry, by Presley during a concert in Asheville, N.C. on July 24, 1975 – the last stop on the superstar’s tour itinerary.

Four songs into his 1½-hour show, Presley tossed his Gibson guitar in to the audience. Perry and the gentleman seated to his right simultaneously caught the guitar. After strumming it a bit, Perry allowed the other gentleman to have the guitar. A few songs later, possibly feeling that Perry should receive a memento for having allowed the other gentleman to take the guitar, Presley motioned Perry onto the stage from his front-row seat. Presley shook Perry’s hand, then removed the diamond ring from his own finger and gave it to Perry.

The size-11, 10-carat ring consists of 14 round-cut diamonds approximately .44ct (each) / F-H color / I-1 to SI-1 clarity; one round-cut diamond approximately 1.29ct / H color /

I-1 clarity; one round-cut diamond 1.39ct / H color / I-1 clarity; and three emerald cut approximately .35ct (each) / H-I color / VS-2 clarity. The diamonds are set in 14K yellow gold with a total weight of 27.2 grams.

The ring will be auctioned together with a complete file of provenance from the consignor, including an autographed copy of Lee Cotton’s 1975 book Did Elvis Sing in Your Hometown, Too (in which the gift event is referenced on page 208); three copies of the Asheville Citizen-Times and Bristol Herald Courier, both of which include stories about the event; more than 40 original photographs of the event as it occurred, other photos of Elvis wearing the ring at other venues, original tickets from the concert, and a letter of authenticity signed by the consignor.

For additional information, contact Affiliated Auctions by calling 850-294-7121 or e-mail Malcolmm@affiliatedauctions.com. The fully illustrated catalog for the auction featuring the Elvis ring will appear online soon at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

 

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES AND LOTS OF NOTE


Image courtesy of Affiliated Auctions

Image courtesy of Affiliated Auctions


Image courtesy of Affiliated Auctions

Image courtesy of Affiliated Auctions


Image courtesy of Affiliated Auctions

Image courtesy of Affiliated Auctions


Image courtesy of Affiliated Auctions

Image courtesy of Affiliated Auctions

MoMA 82-story tower approved by NYC Council

NEW YORK (AP) – The Museum of Modern Art’s proposal for a new 82-story tower has cleared its final hurdle.

The New York City Council voted Wednesday to approve the plan for a 1,000-foot mixed-use tower on West 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. It was the final hurdle for the plan’s approval process.

The museum already has its main exhibition space on that block.

The MoMA Web site says the museum will gain approximately 40,000 square feet of new gallery space – a 30 percent increase. The building plan also calls for 150 residential apartments and 100 hotel rooms.

Architect Jean Nouvel designed the tower, which tapers as it rises to a spire.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Met returns granite fragment to Egypt after new info surfaces

NEW YORK – The Metropolitan Museum of Art will return to Egypt tomorrow, Oct. 29, 2009, an ancient Egyptian granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Amenemhat I, ruler of Egypt from 1991 BC to 1962 BC.  Curators in the Museum’s Department of Egyptian Art recently recognized that the fragment was part of the larger work and confirmed this by matching the inscription on the fragment with the inscription on the larger work.  The work had been on loan to The Metropolitan Museum of Art from a private owner, though the Museum had never displayed it publicly.

The work is the corner of the base of a red granite “naos,” which is a shrine used to house a statue of a deity.  The shrine was dedicated to the god Amun, the chief deity of Karnak, so it most likely had an Amun statue inside at one point.  The naos was moved to its present location in the Ptah Temple of the Karnak complex during the New Kingdom.    

Once the Museum’s staff identified the larger work from which the fragment came, the Museum reached out to the owner of the work and took steps to notify the Egyptian authorities of the discovery.  The Museum also arranged to purchase the work from its owner in order to take official possession of the work and return it promptly and unencumbered to Egypt.

Dorothea Arnold, the Lila Acheson Wallace Chairman of the Museum’s Egyptian Art Department, commented: “For a long time, I puzzled about the object to which this fragment belonged.  I finally pieced it together when I came across a photograph showing a naos in Karnak which is missing a corner in an article by Luc Gabolde in the journal Égypte Afrique et Orient.  The fragment on loan to us looked like it might fit this larger work.  With my colleague Adela Oppenheim, we found a publication which set out the inscription on the naos in Karnak and we compared that inscription with the inscription on the fragment – the pieces fit together perfectly.  We decided that, in these circumstances, the appropriate thing to do was to alert the Egyptian authorities and to make arrangements with the owner so that we could return the fragment to Egypt.  We are so pleased to be giving the missing piece of the puzzle back.”

The work is to be delivered by Museum staff to representatives of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, which is headed by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General.

Thomas P. Campbell, Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, commented: “The Metropolitan Museum is delighted to be able to assist in returning this granite fragment to its original home.  Though the fragment is small, its return is a larger symbol of the Museum’s deep respect for the importance of protecting Egypt’s cultural heritage and the long history of warm relations the Museum enjoys with Egypt and the Supreme Council of Antiquities.”

Dr. Arnold added: “The Department of Egyptian Art and the Arab Republic of Egypt have a long and important history of collaboration and collegiality.  In returning the fragment, we are pleased to be able to show our appreciation for the generosity they have shown us over the years.”

The return of the granite relief fragment comes eight years after the Museum returned a 19th Dynasty relief showing the head of a goddess to Egypt.  In that case, the work had been on loan to the Museum from a private owner since 1996.  A visiting Dutch Egyptologist saw the work on display and remembered that he had seen it previously when he studied the relief-decorated chapel of Sety I at Memphis.  He shared his findings and research with the Museum, which purchased the work from the owner and returned it to Ambassador Mahmoud Allam, former Consul General of the Arab Republic of Egypt in New York.

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Lot of eight bottles of Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1959, Pauillac, 1er Cru Classe, arguably one of the greatest Moutons of the last 35 years. Estimate $7,000-$10,000.

Skinner adds Internet bidding to Fine Wine sales, starting Nov. 4

Lot of eight bottles of Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1959, Pauillac, 1er Cru Classe, arguably one of the greatest Moutons of the last 35 years. Estimate $7,000-$10,000.

Lot of eight bottles of Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1959, Pauillac, 1er Cru Classe, arguably one of the greatest Moutons of the last 35 years. Estimate $7,000-$10,000.

BOSTON – On Nov. 4, Skinner Inc., in partnership with Lower Falls Wine Co. of Newton, Mass., will auction an outstanding array of fine wines at its Boston gallery at 63 Park Plaza. The 400-lot sale will chart new territory for the prestigious antiques and fine art auction company, as it will mark the first time a Skinner wine event has included the Internet as a live-bidding option. Oenophiles will be able to bid on any lot in the sale through www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

The finest producers of Bordeaux are represented, from Chateau Latour and Chateau Petrus to Chateau La Mission Haut Brion. Of particular note is a 10-bottle lot of Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1959 (lot 99, est. $11,000/16,000); eight bottles of Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1959 (lot 105, est. $7,000/10,000); and two bottles of Chateau La Mission Haut Brion 2000 (lot 126, est. $800/1,200).

The sale also offers more recently bottled Bordeaux vintages, offering buyers the wonderful dilemma of whether to collect and cellar, or open and enjoy the wines with friends and family. The Rhone is well represented with a bottle of Domaine du Pegau, Chateauneuf du Pape, Cuvee da Capo 2003 (lot 169, est. $600/1,000) and single bottles of Guigal, La Landonne 1983 (lot 171, est. $400/600), Guigal, Cote Rotie La Mouline 2003 (lot 175, est. $400/600), and Guigal, Cote Rotie La Torque 2003 (lot 176, est. $400/600) among others.

The sale boasts luscious New World wines of superlative description. The iconoclastic, maverick winemakers behind such wines are shown off with two bottles of Sine Qua Non, Just for the Love of It Syrah 2002 (lot 263, est. $850/1,200) and three and four bottle lots from Charles Smith – Old Bones Syrah 2005 (lot 265, est. $325/450) and The Skull Syrah 2005 (lot 266, est. $350/550) and a single bottle of Chris Ringland Shiraz 1998 (lot 200, est. $500/700).

Just in time for the holiday, great Champagne in party-sized lots of 8, 14, and 20 bottles will take buyers from hors d’oeuvres through dessert. Highlighted are seven bottles of Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne (lot 39, est. $700/1,100); five bottles of Veuve Clicquot, Grand Dame 1979 (lot 40, est. $1,500/2,200); and 12 bottles of Heidsieck, Vintage Brut Millesime 1990 (lot 342, est. $700/1,100).

According to Marie Keep, Director of Fine Wine at Skinner Inc., “The current wine market is a boon for buyers. Wines that may have been out of reach at the zenith of the market are now approachable at auction. It’s a good time to start collecting again.” Keep continued, “Skinner remains the only major auction house in New England to offer fine wines at auction, and the interest in these auctions reflects Boston’s love of fine wines.”

For information on any lot in the sale, contact Marie Keep at 508 970-3296 or e-mail finewines@skinnerinc.com. View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

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Click here to view Skinner’s complete catalog.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Lot of eight bottles of Chateau Haut Brion 2000 Pessac Leognan, 1er Cru Classe, described by wine expert R. Parker as “a prodigious wine of dazzling persistence, length, and complexity. Estimate $3,250-$5,750.

Lot of eight bottles of Chateau Haut Brion 2000 Pessac Leognan, 1er Cru Classe, described by wine expert R. Parker as “a prodigious wine of dazzling persistence, length, and complexity. Estimate $3,250-$5,750.

This unsigned portrait of Robert Joffrey is one of 137 lots from the estate of Gerald Arpino. Joffrey and Arpino cofounded the Joffrey Ballet. The 36- by 24-inch oil on canvas has a $300-$500 estimate in 1953. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Joffrey choreographer’s collection at Leslie Hindman auction, Nov. 1-2

This unsigned portrait of Robert Joffrey is one of 137 lots from the estate of Gerald Arpino. Joffrey and Arpino cofounded the Joffrey Ballet. The 36- by 24-inch oil on canvas has a $300-$500 estimate in 1953. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

This unsigned portrait of Robert Joffrey is one of 137 lots from the estate of Gerald Arpino. Joffrey and Arpino cofounded the Joffrey Ballet. The 36- by 24-inch oil on canvas has a $300-$500 estimate in 1953. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

CHICAGO – Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will offer property from the estate of Gerald Arpino, who spent four decades leading the Joffrey Ballet to international renown. The Marketplace auction will begin Nov. 1 at noon Central and resume Nov. 2 at 11 a.m. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Arpino spent the last years of his life in Chicago, and the sale of his personal belongings will reveal the complex influences behind his choreography. A prominent piece is a painted portrait of Robert Joffrey as a young man. The 36- by 24-inch unsigned painting has a $300-$500 estimate.

Arpino served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, when his military service brought him to Seattle. There he met Robert Joffrey through a family connection. The two eventually moved to New York, where Arpino studied at the School of American Ballet. Arpino and Joffrey co-founded the Joffrey troupe in 1953, and in 1956 set out with five other dancers for the group’s debut tour.

Arpino rose to prominence as the troupe’s chief choreographer, a role he maintained for the rest of his life. He took over as artistic director when Joffrey died in 1988, and in 1995, when the troupe faced financial trouble in New York, suggested a controversial move to Chicago. Though less prolific later in his life, in 2005 and well into his 80s Arpino accomplished one of his most important ballets. Ruth, Ricordi Per Due was the story of a man whose deceased lover returns as a haunting memory. Arpino died late last year.

The sale of Arpino’s estate, part of Hindman’s Nov. 1 auction, will include more than 130 lots of personal belongings. Besides furniture, books, and paintings that reflect Arpino’s interest in the humanities, the auction will feature some rare photographs and memorabilia related to Robert Joffrey and the Joffrey Ballet.

For details call 312-280-1212.

View the fully illustrated catalogs and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet during the sale at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

Public exhibition of property from Gerald Arpino’s estate begins Oct. 29 though Oct. 31 at 1338 W. Lake St.

Click here to view Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ complete catalog.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


After a work by L. Ledieu, this 28 1/2-inch-high bronze statue of Diana on a circular marble base is estimated at $1,000-$2,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

After a work by L. Ledieu, this 28 1/2-inch-high bronze statue of Diana on a circular marble base is estimated at $1,000-$2,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.


A pair of small leaded glass windows in Leslie Hindman's Marketplace Auction is attributed to Tiffany Studios and estimated at $1,000-$2,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

A pair of small leaded glass windows in Leslie Hindman’s Marketplace Auction is attributed to Tiffany Studios and estimated at $1,000-$2,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.


Red enameling on a frosted ground depicts putti at harvest time. The window measures 27 3/4 by 15 1/2 inches and has a $1,000-$2,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Red enameling on a frosted ground depicts putti at harvest time. The window measures 27 3/4 by 15 1/2 inches and has a $1,000-$2,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.


A gilded Ho-ho bird graces the top of this George II-style mirror, which is 63 inches high. The estimate is $1,000-$2,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

A gilded Ho-ho bird graces the top of this George II-style mirror, which is 63 inches high. The estimate is $1,000-$2,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.


Seth Thomas wall clock with dog image. Estimate $100-$200. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Seth Thomas wall clock with dog image. Estimate $100-$200. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.


George III slant-front bureau. Estimate $2,500-$2,500. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

George III slant-front bureau. Estimate $2,500-$2,500. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Imperial-style Chinese robe with embroidered silk dragons, to be auctioned by Millea Bros. together with a Japanese silk kimono (not shown). From the Doris Duke Estate. Estimate $300-$500. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Millea Bros.

Millea to auction selections from Doris Duke Estate, Nov. 21-22

Imperial-style Chinese robe with embroidered silk dragons, to be auctioned by Millea Bros. together with a Japanese silk kimono (not shown). From the Doris Duke Estate. Estimate $300-$500. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Millea Bros.

Imperial-style Chinese robe with embroidered silk dragons, to be auctioned by Millea Bros. together with a Japanese silk kimono (not shown). From the Doris Duke Estate. Estimate $300-$500. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Millea Bros.

MADISON, N.J. – The New Jersey auction house Millea Bros. has announced it will conduct a second auction featuring property from the Doris Duke Estate, as well as other consignors, on Nov. 21 and 22 at the Morristown Armory in Morristown, N.J. The 980-lot sale consists of Asian, Modern design and couture on day one and fine and decorative arts on day two. Internet live bidding will be through LiveAuctioneers.com during both sessions.

Last May 2nd and 3rd, Millea Bros. auctioned a diverse array of art and antiques from the Doris Duke Estate in an 850-lot sale. All of the articles auctioned came from Ms. Duke’s principal residence, the New Jersey country property Duke Farms. The variety and global nature of the auction contents revealed their owner to have been not only a discriminating collector but also an open-minded individual.

“She was interested in different cultures of the world, not just the traditional English and European pieces,” Millea Bros.’ co-owner Michael Millea told Auction Central News prior to the May event. “With the money she had, she was a world traveler in a time when traveling for a woman was not as easy as it is today.”

A full preview of Millea’s Nov. 21-22 auction will appear soon on Auction Central News. To contact Millea Bros., call 973-377-1500. The fully illustrated catalog is available to preview online at www.LiveAuctioneers.com. Sign up now to bid absentee or live via the Internet during the sale.

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Man pleads guilty in Pennsylvania antique coin theft

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) – An eastern Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property in the theft of nearly $69,000 in antique coins from an Allentown flea market last year.

Twenty-seven-year-old Troy Anderson is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 18. He was also charged with leaving four young children unattended at home while committing the crime, but those counts were dropped as part of Tuesday’s plea.

Police allege that 27-year-old Shawn Robinson stole a display case from Hottel’s Coins at the Merchant Square Mall on Nov. 16 and hopped into a waiting car driven by Anderson. Authorities say they have recovered all of the coins, which included some half-cents and some silver dollars.

Spokeswoman Debbie Garlicki of the district attorney’s office says Robinson is serving time in New Jersey on another case and will then be extradited to Pennsylvania.

Information from: The Morning Call, http://www.mcall.com

 

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 

An advertising lithograph depicts an up-scale soda fountain of the 1920s. Image courtesy Rich Penn Auctions and Live Auctioneers Archive.

Only the menu has changed at old-time Phoenix soda fountain

An advertising lithograph depicts an up-scale soda fountain of the 1920s. Image courtesy Rich Penn Auctions and LiveAuctioneers Archive.

An advertising lithograph depicts an up-scale soda fountain of the 1920s. Image courtesy Rich Penn Auctions and LiveAuctioneers Archive.

PHOENIX (AP) – When Vernon Suter walked into MacAlpine’s Soda Fountain recently, he sat at the same counter he wiped down when he worked there as a soda jerk in 1946.

The Hamilton Beach milkshake machine is the one he fired up as lines of people snaked out the door and down the street on hot summer nights.

Even the orange sign out front is the same one that has beckoned customers for decades.

Eighty years is a long time for anything to stay the same, particularly in Phoenix. Yet MacAlpine’s is still practicing its trade in the same spot it opened in 1929, when the Arizona Biltmore was under construction and Mae West stayed at the brand-new Hotel San Carlos.

Today, it’s still a trip back in time, with vintage signs and lots of antique bric-a-brac. The waitresses exude a friendly 1950s-era vibe as they serve up cherry phosphates and killer chocolate malts. The modern updates – including the renowned black-bean soup and veggie burgers – blend right in with the atmosphere.

When the drugstore opened at Seventh and Oak streets, it was beyond the Phoenix city limits, which extended only as far north as McDowell Road.

“It was truly in the country,” said Monica Heizenrader, who has owned the retro-cool diner and soda fountain with her husband, Cary, since 2001.

MacAlpine’s building was finished in 1928, but contrary to the long-held belief that the business opened then, an amateur history detective has uncovered evidence that the lease did not go into effect until Feb. 1, 1929 (although the Web site remains macalpines1928.com).

Donna Reiner, who dug into MacAlpine’s past while working on a master’s degree in historical preservation, also discovered old photos.

“It was a gorgeous brick building with parapets,” Reiner said. Maps from the time show small houses and vacant fields up and down Seventh Street.

It opened as Birch’s 7th Street Pharmacy, but one of the first things Fred MacAlpine changed when he took over in 1938 was the name. He owned the place only for a decade, but his name has endured.

“Mr. Mac, who was Scottish, ran a tight ship,” Heizenrader said. “I’ve had old men come in and tell me they used to pick up the newspapers for their paper routes here when they were boys. They would kill time by reading the comic books at the front of the store, and Mr. MacAlpine would shout at them, ‘If you’re going to read it you have to buy it!’ They were terribly afraid of him.”

Suter worked for MacAlpine for two years, first as a 12-year-old delivering prescriptions on his bike until 10 at night. He made 10 cents an hour and turned down tips until he wised up. Eventually, he was promoted to soda jerk, at 49 cents an hour.

Once, he tried to impress MacAlpine, who was sitting with a friend at the counter. When serving a Coke, the soda jerk put in ice and syrup before filling the glass with carbonated water.

“I thought I could smooth him a little bit, so I put extra Coke syrup in his Coke,” said Suter, a Phoenix native who now lives in Palm Springs, Calif. “That was a mistake. He tasted it, and I got a long lecture on how he only got a nickel for that Coke and when I gave away the Coke syrup, it loses him money.”

Suter also helped out in the pharmacy. It was his job to put the brown-paper wrappers on the Kotex boxes, which were considered too scandalous to put out on the shelves unwrapped.

Suter eventually left MacAlpine’s because he made more money playing piano at high-school dances. MacAlpine sold the place a few years later.

No one seems to know exactly when the brick was painted over and the parapets removed, but it was probably after World War II, Reiner said.

“In the postwar period everyone wanted to be fashionable, and parapets were old-fashioned,” she said.

During the ’50s, as the neighborhood grew, MacAlpine’s became a popular hangout for teenagers from North High School, who dropped by for a malted and to hear Elvis croon on the new jukebox. The jukebox still plays, but not necessarily the song that’s selected.

“It’s unusual that it wasn’t bought, torn down and turned into a strip mall,” Reiner said of the building.

There were probably several reasons why that didn’t happen, said Phil VanderMeer, a professor of history at Arizona State University and an expert on Phoenix’s past.

“Neighborhoods change, and MacAlpine’s has had the advantage of having the neighborhood be relatively stable,” he said. The shop borders the Coronado Historic District.

And despite a succession of owners over the decades, the building not only wasn’t torn down, it even kept its name.

“At some stage, it would have been enough of a neighborhood institution so that an owner resisted the temptation to rename it.” VanderMeer said.

By the time the Heizenraders bought MacAlpine’s in 2001, just a few weeks before 9/11, it still looked very much as it did in its 1950s heyday. They tweaked the menu, adding turkey burgers and some soda flavors – there are now more than 50 varieties of sodas, egg creams and milk shakes.

Monica Heizenrader added a mid-century retro shop next door, selling vintage clothing, furniture and accessories, including a swell collection of purses.

MacAlpine’s is crammed with items from decades past, including the original label dispenser from the pharmacy, a vintage Coke sign and a tin that advertises “healthy potato chips.”

Customers try to buy the memorabilia all the time, Heizenrader said. Sometimes people feel compelled to bring old items in, including a 1950s political poster that she tucked onto a shelf.

Over the decades, the store has seen its share of famous people. Barry Goldwater used to get his prescriptions filled there, and John McCain has visited.

The legend goes that singer Wayne Newton was discovered there by Lew King, who had a local music show on TV. Newton appeared on the show, quit high school and went on to greater fame.

Heizenrader said they still serve malteds to teens from North High, as well as to old-timers who come in to reminisce. At some point, she’ll get around to changing the Web site.

Mike Devor of Avondale recently enjoyed a lemonade and hamburger in a booth.

“I come in as often as I’m in the neighborhood,” he said.
“When you walk in, it’s like stepping back into yesterday.”
___

Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WS-10-27-09 0400EDT