Often labeled a “young” city, the history of Phoenix actually goes back millennia — originally settled around 1 A.D. by the Hohokam, and later inhabited by the O’odham and Sobaipuri. To this day, Native American history and culture is woven through every aspect of the city, as is the legacy of Phoenix’s Mexican communities, which existed well before the city’s founding.
The “young” part of Phoenix refers to its urban development. The original townsite dates back to 1870, just 150 years ago, and encompassed what’s presently known as Downtown Phoenix — Van Buren Street south to Jackson Street, Seventh Street west to Seventh Avenue.
Scroll through the timeline below for a short history of Downtown Phoenix development and milestones over the years.