Rosson House (in Historic Heritage Square & Science Park)
Rosson House is a 2,800 square foot Eastlake Victorian style home, built in 1895 by Dr. and Mrs. Roland Rosson. A classic example of the late Victorian style, it is fully restored to its original grandeur. Experience what life was like for residents of Phoenix in territorial Arizona. Docent-guided tours feature all living areas of the house and highlight the stories, people and places that influenced the property and surroundings. The Rosson House was restored in the 1970s through a community effort involving the City of Phoenix, dozens of local institutions and hundreds of volunteers.
Backstory and Context
In February of 1895, an article in the Arizona Republican discussing the northeastern part of Phoenix notes that “The most expensive homes in the city – the Churchill, the Rosson, the Jacobs, the Murray and the Hine residences are in the immediate locality.” March 16th, 1895 is the first appearance of an ad for Dr. Rosson’s office and residence listing the location as the corner of Monroe and Sixth streets.
The Rosson House was built with modern accommodations such as electric lights, hot and cold running water, an indoor upstairs bathroom, and a telephone. Other contemporary Victorian mansions on Monroe were similarly equipped - by 1892, Phoenix boasted electrical plants, a domestic water system, a gas system, and two competing telephone companies. The Phoenix street-car line ran down Monroe before turning north on Seventh Street, so the Rossons and other Monroe Street residents had only to walk out to board it.
The Gammel family lived in the Rosson House until 1948 and ran a rooming/boarding house. To make the house better for renters, the Gammels made drastic changes to the house including walling in porches, subdividing floors and adding multiple kitchens and bathrooms. After 1948, the Rosson House changed hands multiple times and continued to operate as a rooming house, eventually becoming a "flop house" and falling into disrepair until the City of Phoenix purchased the Rosson House and the remainder of Block 14 in 1974.