Constructed by local builder, Clinton Campbell, in 1926, the A.E England building was originally constructed as an auto building. The building’s design of the large storefront windows served its purpose to showcase vehicles from Hudson Motor Car Co. (1909-1954). Not only did the A.E. England building serve as an automobile showcase, but also served as a business for the Electrical Equipment Co, a stationary store, and an art gallery over the years. Currently, the building has been restored by the City of Phoenix and is known to be Historic Property in the Phoenix Civic Space.
Clinton Campbell (1865-1937) was known as
a prominent builder for the city of Phoenix, Arizona. The A.E. England building
that is currently run by the City of Phoenix, was originally the A.E England
Motors, Inc./Electrical Equipment Co. building built by Clinton Campbell. Not only did Campbell build the A.E
England building, but his works also include: Clinton Campbell House, 361 N. 4th
Ave., Phoenix, Arizona; El Zaribah Shrine Auditorium, 1502 W. Washington St.,
Phoenix, Arizona; Firestone, 302 W. Van Buren, Phoenix, Arizona; ASU President’s
House, ASU Campus, Tempe, Arizona; and Bear Down Gym, NRHP-listed, at University
Throughout the 1920s-1930s, the A.E.
building served as a showcase for vehicles under the Hudson Motor Co. The
company had started in Detroit, Michigan and was founded by Howard Coffin,
George W. Dunham, Roy E. Chapin, and largely funded by the department-owner
himself, Joseph L. Hudson. This type of model car was known to be one of the first
low-priced cars on the American market and had sold over 4,000 vehicles in the first
year of being in business. Their competitors at the time were Ford and Chevrolet
due to them coming out with the Essex line. Hudson Motor Company’s peak was in the
year of 1929, however, due to the Great Depression, their sales became slow.
After Hudson’s continuous losses in business, they eventually merged with Nash
During the early 1930s, the A.E. England
building left the auto sales business and instead, became the Electrical
Equipment Co. Their merchandise was based in purveyors of
radios, batteries, and Kelvinator refrigerators. This business lasted for
the next twenty-five years. Throughout those years, the Electrical Equipment
Co. along with The Arizona Republican (now The Arizona Republic) newspaper, owned
the KTAR radio station which was the first radio station in Arizona. The
Electrical Equipment Co. provided KTAR with equipment for the radio station,
originally located in the Heard Building, south of A. E. England Building, at 112 N. Central Avenue.
After years of being vacant, in 2008, the
A.E. England building was rehabilitated with Phoenix Historic Preservation bond
funds. As of today, it is part of Civic Space Park, and is also used by the community and Arizona State University’s downtown campus, also home to the Artlink A.E. England Gallery. The space is utilized as space for classes, meetings, and art/cultural events.