History of F.Q. Story Historic District

The History of FQ Story Historic District in Phoenix Arizona

Francis Quarles Story

The FQ Story Historic District History begins In 1887 where Francis Quarles Story purchased the land that sits today in downtown Phoenix, Arizona whom this district is named after. There are several other stunning historic districts close to FQ.

Pertinent Facts of FQ Story Historic District

Location: McDowell Road and Roosevelt Street, 7th Avenue west to Grand Avenue (near 17th Avenue) – 1200 acres, 364 buildings)
Historic Significance: Architecture/Engineering, Event
Architect, Builder, Developers or Engineer: Lane-Smith Investment Company, A.F. Wasielewski
Architectural Styles: Bungalow/Craftsman, Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Modern Movement
Areas of Significance: Architecture, Community Planning And Development
Periods of Significance: 1900-1924, 1925-1949
Historic Function: Domestic
Historic Sub-Function: Multiple Dwelling, Secondary Structure, Single Dwelling
Current Function: Domestic Current Sub-function: Multiple Dwelling, Secondary Structure, Single Dwelling

About Francis Quarles Story

He was a Boston wool merchant. His ill health had taken him to California a decade before he purchased the acreage that is today the FQ Story Historic District.

Making Sunkist Orange Famous

He had settled in Los Angeles County, studied the cultivation of citrus, planted orange groves, and is credited with founding the national advertising campaign that made the Sunkist Orange famous.

Active in many educational and conservation endeavors, FQ Story was a director and president of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. He was also a tireless booster of commercial and industrial enterprises in California and Arizona.

Promoting Agricultural and Townsite Development

Story and other prominent southern California landowners expanded into the Salt River Valley of Arizona in the late 1880s. They invested in land while promoting both agricultural and townsite development.

The History of FQ Story Historic District

The Streetcar Line

Although he never lived in Phoenix, Story was involved in numerous projects. For example, the design and construction of the 100 foot-wide Grand Avenue thoroughfare in 1887, and, the subsequent building of its streetcar line.

The Grand Avenue and University Additions

In the early 1900s, Story was influential in the founding of the Grand Avenue and University Additions, but their development was disappointing.

In spite of having announced in 1910 plans to subdivide the 200 acre parcel, which would become the Story neighborhood, he sold the entire parcel to the Phoenix firm of Jordan, Grace and Phelps in 1919.

History of FQ Story Historic Phoenix District Homes

Development in 1920

In 1920, when development of the FQ Story neighborhood began, Phoenix had a population of 29,000.

It was advertised as a streetcar suburb, being close to the Grand Avenue and Kenilworth carlines. The first houses were clustered by the streetcar line at the eastern edge of the neighborhood.

The Building of Detached Garages

As building proceeded westward and the auto became more common, houses began to feature detached garages and porte cocheres. Tudor style homes are the most prominent and brilliant in this district.

If you’ve ever looked around the FQ Story historic neighborhood, throughout you’ll see the ornate metal work by John Henry Pierce.

The Last Development Phase

FQ Story Historic Neighborhood HomesThe last development phase began in 1927, encompassing eighty acres from 11th to 15th Avenues, between McDowell Road and Roosevelt Street.

Development Peaks in 1930

Development hit its peak in 1930 with the construction of 133 new houses, only to falter as the Depression hit Phoenix.

Construction declined, but by 1938, approximately 75% of the FQ Story Addition had been completed.

FQ Story Historic Home built in 1941


In 1920, when development of what is now the FQ Story Historic District began, Phoenix had a population of 29,000; almost six times what it had been at the turn-of-the-century.

Grand Avenue is Built

Grand Avenue had been built to link central Phoenix with the thriving agricultural communities of Glendale and Peoria. Like the nearby Roosevelt neighborhood, Story was advertised as a streetcar suburb, being close to the Grand Avenue and Kenilworth carlines.

Streetcar Lines, Narrow Lots and Automobiles

As in other developments oriented to the streetcar, Story was laid out with narrow, deep lots. The streetcar line at the eastern edge of the neighborhood clustered the initial houses.

By the middle of the decade, as the automobile became more common. As a result, houses located further west began to incorporate detached garages and side yard porte coheres appeared.

Their presence reflects the growing impact of the automobile on historic Phoenix homes architecture and suburban American life by the mid 1920s.

Early Advertising in FQ Story

1927 English Tudor FQ Story Phoenix

When subdivision of the F.Q. Story Addition began, it was described in advertisements in the Arizona Republican in March of 1920 as “The Real Estate Event of the Season!” and “The Place, the Thing, and the Time you have been waiting for.”

Advertising boasted that the developers “expect to sell this entire tract within thirty days.” In spite of the hype, only one house was built in all of 1921.

The Flood of 1921

This was due to the fact that the area lay directly in the floodway of Cave Creek, which in 1921, inundated the entire western end of the city and put two feet of muddy water on the first floor of the State Capitol just a mile to the south. No lives were lost, but property damages were severe and estimated to have exceeded the million-dollar mark.

Tudor In FQ Stor 1926

Residential Development

After Cave Creek Dam was completed in 1923, thirteen more homes were built in this residential development. And, in January of 1924, the Dwight B. Heard Investment Company reopened the original Story Addition.

North Story

The newly formed partnership of Lane-Smith opened North Story, and by 1926, a total of 113 homes had been built on streets from Roosevelt and McDowell between 7th and 9th Avenues.

Both sections had a requirement that buildings cost a minimum of $5000. The subdivision also had gas and electrical service. Kenilworth School had opened in 1920, and in 1926, Franklin School was built on McDowell at 17th Avenue.

1931 FQ Story neighborhood home on Lynwood StreetDevelopment Accelerates

The last development phase of the Story Addition began in 1927 when “New Story” opened, covering the eighty acres from 11th to I 5th Avenues, between McDowell Road and Roosevelt Street.

At $3000 to $4000, building restrictions were slightly lower here and duplexes were permitted in certain sections.

Constructing a “Model Home”

In July 1927, the developers, Lane-Smith Investment Company, encouraged sales by having A.F. Wasielewski Construction Company construct a ‘model home’ at 1106 West Lynwood, a novel idea for the period.

West Story Subdivision Opens also Known as Franklin Addition

By September forty more homes had been built. At the same time, the remaining westerly portion of FQ Story’s land was opened as “West Story” by developers Cowley, Higgins and Delph Company.

It was also known as Franklin Addition, named for the new primary school nearby. Building restrictions were more modest still, just $2500 and $2200, which allowed working families to build in the area.

Development Peaks

Development hit its peak in 1930 with the construction of 133 new houses, only to falter as the effects of the Depression hit Phoenix. Construction declined, but by 1938, approximately seventy-five percent of the F.Q. Story Addition had been developed.

FQ Story Tudor Historic Home

Typical Phoenix Neighborhood

As FQ Story Historic District history would have it, men of wealth and influence bought large blocks of land for resale. But, they never intended living in the area.

Initially a Speculative Venture

They initiated the F.Q. Story neighborhood as a speculative venture. In its historic period, it was a typical middle class neighborhood. Other historic Phoenix districts were also speculative.

Eastern Sections of FQ Story and Higher Building Restrictions

FQ Story Historic District history in the making continues In the eastern sections with the higher building restrictions. The earliest Story residents were mainly of white-collar status professional people. This included physicians, lawyers, presidents and owners of small to medium-sized companies.

West of FQ Story

On the west side were government personnel, sales people of all kinds, and a number of contractors who built in the area. All three partners in the realty company of Cowley, Higgins and Delph lived in “West Story,” as did a number of O’Malley Lumber Company employees.

The Early FQ Story Residents

The people who were first drawn to the neighborhood were considered one of its primary attractions. At one point during its development, the Price & Price Investment Company ran an advertisement listing the names and occupations of nearly all Story Addition property owners in an attempt to encourage sales. Homes were fairly small. And, even at their most lavish, relatively inexpensive in comparison with some of the other emerging Phoenix neighborhoods of this era.

FQ Story Historic Home 1926

Neighborhood Commercial Activity

The developers of Story Addition in the 1927-28 period also planned for commercial activities in the neighborhood.

Commercial buildings were constructed in eight locations. Characteristic of commercial development of the period, these buildings were located on corner lots on McDowell, Roosevelt, and Grand Avenue, the chief thoroughfares.

The Pay’n Takit Market at 7th Avenue and Roosevelt

The only building constructed during this time, which remains intact in the neighborhood today, is the Pay’n Takit Market at 7th Avenue and Roosevelt. This small grocery was the twenty-third store opened up by the Pay’n Takit Grocery Company.

A Phoenix chain founded in 1917, they promoted the “innovative” concept of self service or “cash and carry.” Today, FQ Story is one of the most coveted historic districts in Phoenix, Arizona.

Historical Information provided courtesy: Historic Preservation Office of the City of Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department 200 West Washington Street Phoenix, Arizona 85003 (602) 261-8699

F. Q. Story Historic District Information

Homes For Sale In F.Q. Story Historic District