Spirit House

Written by Douglas Towne Category: History Issue: October 2013
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Of all the historic buildings at Heritage Square, the Silva House – with its decidedly free-spirited atmosphere – would probably most please its original owners. Built in 1900 by Phoenix liquor dealer A.F.C. Kirchoff, the neoclassical bungalow currently houses the Rose and Crown, a nightspot featuring traditional pub grub, libations, and, allegedly, spirits of a different type. “It’s a pretty unique place,” pub employee Chris Ceimo says. “People have even reported seeing apparitions and stuff moving around.”

The ghostly entities may be attracted by the bungalow’s cool vibe and eclectic history. In 1906, the house was bought by Alejandro Silva, a Glendale rancher of Portuguese descent noted for raising superior draft horses. His family resided in the Adams Street home until 1977. With the creation of Heritage Square, former Phoenix Mayor John Driggs convinced Salt River Project (SRP) to donate $50,000 to rehabilitate the bungalow as a company museum. After its 20-year run as an SRP education center, the Silva House was home to several restaurants until the Rose and Crown opened in 2008. The English pub proved so popular that its crowds taxed the building’s very foundation, necessitating renovation of the floor. Despite such inconveniences, the Rose and Crown appears to have found its niche in the Silva House. “A big part of our pub’s success is its historic ambiance,” Ceimo says.