AN INTRO TO DOWNTOWN PHOENIX HISTORY AND FACTS

The City of Phoenix defines Downtown as the area between 7th Street and 7th Avenue, from McDowell Road on the north to Buckeye Road on the south.

The history of Downtown Phoenix and Central Phoenix history runs deeper than most would expect. It’s history is rich dating back to 1867. Known as The Valley of the Sun, Downtown is now the 5th largest metropolitan city in the nation.

Location: Between the “Seven’s” or not?

Downtown and Central Phoenix is generally defined “between the 7’s.” However, the majority of downtown development is concentrated in the smaller area surrounding the intersection of Washington St. and Central Avenue.

Location Perspective

But due to major, recent growth, it depends on who you ask. Some define the boundaries from Seventh Street on the east, the railroad tracks south of Jackson Street and Interstate 10 on the north. However, others define it from from 16th Street on the east, to 19th Avenue on the west, then from Jackson Street to the south and to McDowell Road at the north. It’s all a matter of perspective as our city continues to grow.

Downtown Central Phoenix AZ

Downtown Phoenix is one of a the few major business districts in the city and is the central business district of the City of Phoenix, Arizona.

Central Phoenix and Downtown Locations are Loaded with Old and New Properties

It’s located in the heart of the Phoenix metropolitan area or ‘Valley of the Sun’ with a large variety of designated historic districts housing some classic, vintage homes attracting people from all walks of life. The new high-rise condos emerging are quickly changing the skyline.

Political and Governmental Buildings

Downtown Phoenix, being the county seat of Maricopa County and the capital of Arizona, serves as the center of politics, justice and government on the local, state and federal levels.

The area is a major center of employment for the region, with many financial, legal, and other national and international corporations housed in a variety of skyscrapers.

Arts, Craft’s and Sports

Major arts and cultural institutions also call the area home. Downtown Phoenix is a center of major league sports activities, live concert events, and is an equally prominent center of banking and finance in Arizona. Regional headquarters for several major banks, including JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, US Bank, Bank of America, Compass Bank and MidFirst Bank are all located within or close proximity to the area.

History Downtown Phoenix

The Jefferson Hotel, now the Barrister Place, in 1916 in Phoenix.

A Little History of Downtown Phoenix

Early Settlement

The town of Phoenix was settled in 1867, and incorporated in 1881 as the City of Phoenix.

Territorial era

In 1870, a meeting was held to select a town site for the influx of pioneers coming to the recently recognized town of Phoenix. 320 acres were purchased for $50 raised by popular subscription.

Between the Seven’s Established

But, this original site, the whole of the town of Phoenix in that day, encompasses what would presently be the Downtown Core, bordered by Van Buren Street south to Jackson Street, and Seventh Street to Seventh Avenue.

Phoenix Street Railway Historic Phoenix

Phoenix Street Railway 1887

Washington Street

With the first survey of the new town, streets were laid out in a grid, with Washington Street as the main east-west thoroughfare.

Naming of the Streets

Originally, the north-south streets originally bore Native American tribal names, but were changed to more easily remembered numbers, with everything east of Center Street (later Central Avenue) named as streets and everything west as avenues. The town continued to grow, and was eventually incorporated as a city on February 28, 1881 centered around downtown.

Phoenix Incorporation

Throughout the 1880’s the newly incorporated city made many strides toward modernization with the construction of one of the first electric plants in the West as well as the opening of the horse-drawn streetcar line.

The Phoenix Street Railway system was eventually electrified and expanded to several different lines that connected Downtown Phoenix to other neighborhoods and cities in the Valley.

Independence Day of 1887

Independence Day of 1887 heralded the arrival first Southern Pacific train. This opened up the economy of the young city, as goods now flowed in and out by train as opposed to wagon. As Phoenix became the center of commerce in the territory, the capital was moved to Phoenix, with temporary offices being set up in Downtown.

The Beginning of Phoenix’s Story

Downtown Central Phoenix History

Horse-drawn trolley cars in Downtown Phoenix from 1887 to 1948.

The city of Phoenix’s story begins as people from those settlements expanded south, in conjunction with the establishment of a military outpost to the east of current day Phoenix.

Agriculture

Phoenix served as an agricultural area that depended on large-scale irrigation projects.

Pre-World War II

Until World War II, the economy was based on the “Five C’s”: cotton, citrus and cattle, climate and copper. The city provided retail, wholesale, banking, and governmental services for central Arizona, and was gaining a national reputation among winter tourists.

Post World War II

The post-World War Two years saw the city beginning to grow more rapidly, as many men who had trained in the military installations in the valley, returned, bringing their families.

Population Growth Post War

The population growth was further stimulated in the 1950’s, in part because of the availability of air conditioning, which made the very hot dry summer heat tolerable, as well as an influx of industry, led by high tech companies. The population growth rate of the Phoenix metro area has been nearly 4% per year for the past 40 years.

Growth Rate Slows During the Great Depression

The growth rate slowed during the Great Recession but the U.S. Census Bureau predicted it would resume as the nation’s economy recovered, and it already has begun to do so. While currently ranked 6th in population, it is predicted that Phoenix will rank 4th by 2020. Currently it’s the 5th most populous city in the United States.

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187 matches found

$65,522
1701 W TUCKEY Lane, 223, Phoenix, AZ 85015
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 1
# of Bathrooms: 1
Square Footage: 689
Year Built: 1971
Subdivision: LA FUENTE CONDOMINIUMS UNIT 101-138 & 201-238
City/Town Code: Phoenix
Description: Welcome to this Pool Side Condo! This is a lovely one bedroom second floor ...
Last Updated: August - 25 - 2019
$150,000
6501 N 17TH Avenue, 110, Phoenix, AZ 85015
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Open House (08/24/2019 - 8:00 am)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 2
# of Bathrooms: 2
Square Footage: 1281
Year Built: 1964
Subdivision: HIALEAH CONDOMINIUM COMMON ELEMENTS
City/Town Code: Phoenix
Description: This Phoenix offers hardwood flooring, granite tile countertops in the kitc...
Last Updated: August - 25 - 2019
$315,000
930 N 9TH Street, 3, Phoenix, AZ 85006
View Photos (21)Virtual Tours (1)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 2
# of Bathrooms: 2
Square Footage: 1508
Year Built: 2007
Subdivision: ROOSEVELT 11 CONDOMINIUM
City/Town Code: Phoenix
Description: Very stylish 2 bedroom, tri-level condo in the heart of Phoenix. Excellent ...
Last Updated: August - 24 - 2019
$200,000
101 N 7TH Street, 147, Phoenix, AZ 85034
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Open House (08/24/2019 - 8:00 am)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 2
# of Bathrooms: 1.5
Square Footage: 963
Year Built: 1986
Subdivision: RENAISSANCE PARK PHASE 3
City/Town Code: Phoenix
Description: This property in Phoenix offers a great location with convenient access to ...
Last Updated: August - 24 - 2019
$109,000
1816 W TUCKEY Lane, 6, Phoenix, AZ 85015
View Photos (5)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 2
# of Bathrooms: 1.5
Square Footage: 1080
Year Built: 1964
Subdivision: ARCADIA SPRING TOWNHOMES UNIT 2 A CONDOMINIUM
City/Town Code: Phoenix
Description: GREAT Mid-Century Modern gated Townhome in the heart of Central Phoenix. So...
Last Updated: August - 24 - 2019
$132,000
5106 N 17TH Avenue, 16, Phoenix, AZ 85015
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Open House (08/24/2019 - 8:00 am)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 2
# of Bathrooms: 1.5
Square Footage: 1082
Year Built: 1981
Subdivision: VILLA CAMELBACK LOT 1-24 25 26
City/Town Code: Phoenix
Description: This Phoenix two-story townhome offers a loft, a breakfast bar, and a one-c...
Last Updated: August - 24 - 2019
$159,900
207 W CLARENDON Avenue, 12H, Phoenix, AZ 85013
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Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 2
# of Bathrooms: 1
Square Footage: 852
Year Built: 1964
Subdivision: EXECUTIVE TOWERS /NOT A SUB/
City/Town Code: Phoenix
Description: Welcome home to Claredon Avenue! This mid century modern condo was designed...
Last Updated: August - 24 - 2019
$92,000
7550 N 12TH Street, 137, Phoenix, AZ 85020
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Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 1
# of Bathrooms: 1
Square Footage: 626
Year Built: 1972
Subdivision: SUNDANCE CONDO LOT 101-150 & 201-250
City/Town Code: Phoenix
Description: Low-maintenance living in a fantastic Central Phoenix location! This 1 bedr...
Last Updated: August - 24 - 2019
$385,000
114 W ADAMS Street, 310, Phoenix, AZ 85003
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Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 2
# of Bathrooms: 2
Square Footage: 1718
Year Built: 2005
Subdivision: ORPHEUM LOFTS CONDOMINIUM 2ND AMD
City/Town Code: Phoenix
Description: REDUCED to $385,000 One of the Larger units in the Orpheum Lofts, Only $224...
Last Updated: August - 24 - 2019
$285,000
615 E PORTLAND Street, 119, Phoenix, AZ 85004
View Photos (18)
Open House (08/24/2019 - 8:00 am)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 2
# of Bathrooms: 2
Square Footage: 1238
Year Built: 2004
Subdivision: ARTISAN VILLAGE CONDOMINIUM AMD
City/Town Code: Phoenix
Description: Built in 2004, this Phoenix one-story industrial modern condo offers a kitc...
Last Updated: August - 24 - 2019

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