History

History Douglas C. TowneApril 30, 2024
Downtown Phoenix’s Iconic Springtime Bash: The Masque of the Yellow Moon

For almost a quarter of a century, Arizona’s most prominent party was held every spring at Montgomery Stadium at the northeast corner of Seventh and Van Buren streets. From 1926-1955,... continue reading. Click here for more info.

History Douglas C. TowneApril 9, 2024
The 1930s: When Downtown Phoenix Featured Double-Features

When Bill Baker and his mom ventured to Downtown Phoenix to watch a movie in the 1930s, they had a specific routine. “There was always a double feature playing,” Baker... continue reading. Click here for more info.

History Douglas C. TowneMarch 6, 2024
Downtown Phoenix’s Sahara Motor Hotel: Where Influential Women Left Their Mark

The 1956 opening of the Sahara Motor Hotel was a madhouse. Thousands filled its courtyard, overflowed onto adjacent streets, and packed the roof of the First National Bank building’s garage... continue reading. Click here for more info.

History Douglas C. TowneJanuary 23, 2024
The Scottish Origins of Downtown Phoenix’s Mid-Century Motel Masterpiece

Downtown Phoenix’s economical lodging alternative, the Friendship Inn Motel, was once regal accommodations, at least by the sound of its original name. The Imperial 400 Motor Hotel featured a thrifty... continue reading. Click here for more info.

History Douglas C. TowneJanuary 9, 2024
Dime Stores and Delicious Milkshakes: A Look at Downtown Phoenix in the 1930s

Bill Baker is one of the few people who can visualize Downtown Phoenix stretching back to the Great Depression in the late 1930s. “Downtown was where people went for most... continue reading. Click here for more info.

History Douglas C. TowneDecember 6, 2023
How the City Made it to the Big Stage: Phoenix Civic Plaza

In the early 1960s, Phoenix residents complained about living in a desert—a cultural desert, that is. While Tucson, Albuquerque, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles had impressive performance halls... continue reading. Click here for more info.

History Douglas C. TowneOctober 24, 2023
The Downtown Coffee Shop Replaced by Arizona’s Tallest Building

A restaurant entrepreneur arrived in Phoenix in 1953 and decided to take residents into the future, architecturally speaking. Ovide. A. Helsing, a native of Mobile, Alabama, had operated a chain... continue reading. Click here for more info.

History Douglas C. TowneSeptember 19, 2023
Downtown Phoenix’s Gateway to Grand Avenue: The O.S. Stapley Hardware Store

“The buildings spoke to me, saying ‘renovate and they will come,’” developer Mark Abromovitz says of the former O.S. Stapley Hardware store at 723-747 NW Grand Avenue. “It was my... continue reading. Click here for more info.

History Taylor CostelloAugust 8, 2023
Meet Larry Lazarus, A Phoenix Community Alliance “City-Shaper”

There’s no place Larry Lazarus would rather be than Phoenix. In the early 1970s, Lazarus relocated to Phoenix from Chicago. He began as a neighborhood activist, advocating for city services... continue reading. Click here for more info.

History Douglas C. TowneJuly 25, 2023
Verde Park: Downtown Phoenix’s First Waterworks

Verde Park, located just east of Downtown Phoenix along Van Buren Street in the Garfield Historic District, once provided the city with much more than just a recreation outlet. The... continue reading. Click here for more info.

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