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While she did not walk the straight and narrow path, she was one of the warmest hearted old women who ever lived. — Arizona Republican, Oct. 29, 1910
Malinda, whom the Renaissance first memorialized with the opening of the Melinda’s Alley speakeasy bar in 2016, lived in an apartment on the alley shared by the 1896-built Hotel Adams. She also spent time in Tucson’s “Maiden Lane” (aka red light district) under the alias Roxy.
Malinda was an unforgettable and well-liked figure in downtown, in spite of her despite her struggle with alcohol and history as a “courtesan.” She was said to have been “skilled at culinary art” and was incredibly generous into her final days. She died Oct. 28, 1910
The Hotel Adams, Phoenix’s first luxury hotel, was destroyed by a fire in 1910. The Renaissance, which now stands in its place, was originally built in 1973 and spectacularly remodeled this year. The mural which now graces the north wall of the Renaissance features a representational portrait of Malinda, fused with the hues of the Sonoran Desert sunset and the Hotel Adams ablaze within her figure.
The mural adds to downtown’s growing portfolio of alley art. Last year, DPI partnered with Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center to create the Alley of the Arts mural behind the Hyatt Regency Garage.
“As downtown becomes more of a neighborhood and popular destination for visitors, it’s important for us to focus on the pedestrian-level experience,” Cabrera said.
DPI and the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel will host a dedication ceremony for “Malinda” on Friday, June 16, as part of downtown’s Third Friday arts programming.