TEMPE, AZ - The historic Hayden Flour Mill opened to the public Tuesday, after being closed for nearly 15 years.
The chain link fence is down, and visitors can now walk around the historic building on Tempe's Mill Avenue.
The Rio Salado Foundation raised $350,000, in private donations, for the renovation. It is expected to be finished this fall. There is one more section of the grounds that needs to be landscaped.
Visitors may start touring the grounds now. A grassy area and walkway with trees was created. The area is set up to host concerts, outdoor movies, corporate picnics, and weddings for about 250 people.
Signs and lighting have been placed along the side of the building that faces Mill Avenue. Here, visitors can learn about the history of the mill and Tempe.
Caged windows along the building allow visitors to peek into the mill which was originally built in 1874. The Hayden Flour Mill had been rebuilt twice after two separate explosions. The existing building has been unoccupied since 1998 and closed to the public for safety reasons.
Roughly 4 million people visit the Tempe area every year. You can't miss the Hayden Flour Mill. The faded white building with large silo sits on the corner of one of the most valuable intersections in Tempe. It is adjacent to "A" Mountain.
The intersection of Rio Salado and Mill is a vital link between Tempe Town Lake and Mill Avenue, said Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman.
Mayor Hallman expects that the mill will provide a point of curiosity for visitors on either side and encourage them to visit the entire area.
A grand opening celebration is planned for September 20. The Downtown Tempe Community will be in charge of event bookings.
You can call 480-355-6060 for more information.