Walking Tour of Downtown Tempe AZ
Explore the history of downtown Tempe.
This andesite butte is of volcanic origin and located on Arizona State University's Tempe campus. Locals often refer to the butte as "A Mountain," a reference to the 60-foot-tall gold-painted letter 'A' that is made of rock and located near the top of the butte. Another name for the area, used by the City of Tempe, is Hayden Butte. The highest point of Tempe Butte stands at 1,398 feet in elevation, while its base is at approximately 1,150 feet in elevation. Tempe Butte is most often seen as the backdrop to games held in nearby Sun Devil Stadium.
The Harrington-Birchett House was built as a brick Victorian cottage; however, a 1931 remodeling changed it into a Period Revival-style home with Tudor elements, including the enclosure of the house's porches. The house has an exterior coating of stucco over its brick face. The house features an irregular plan with a steeply pitched hip roof. The front facade has a setback for the central entryway and again on the east end. The doorway is framed by two concrete steps and set into a semi-elliptical arch made of decorative brick. Wood-framed windows are either in double-hung or casement arrangements. A double garage at the rear of the house has two car doors. Stylistically, the complete transformation of the home's architectural style is "unusual". Currently the house is owned by Arizona State University and stands vacant.
The original St. Mary's chapel, dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, was located in the area now occupied by the Arizona State University Sun Devil Football Stadium. Mexican American residents constructed the small adobe building in 1881. As the congregation grew, the Catholic Church purchased additional lots at Eighth Street and College Avenue (now University and College) and constructed a larger church.
Matthews Hall is the oldest intact dormitory on the Arizona State University campus. Built in 1918, it was designed by L. G. Knipe and dedicated in 1920 as a men's dormitory. It was named for the president of the Tempe Normal School, Dr. Arthur John Matthews. The building currently houses a photography gallery and offices for the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.
Established in 1950, the Arizona State University Art Museum houses of 12,000 works art from around the world. The collection is comprised of contemporary, American, and Latin American art, as well as ceramics, prints, and works by regional and emerging artists. The collection of 20th century and contemporary ceramics is one of the largest in the United States. The museum is located in the Nelson Fine Arts Center building, which was designed by famed architect Antoine Predock, who created a museum that reflects the harsh desert landscape in which it is located. The museum features five galleries and three sculpture courts. It also operates the Ceramics Research Center at Brickyard, which features a ceramics studio and exhibition space, and the ASU Art Museum Project Space at Combine Studios (located in downtown), which hosts the museum's international artist residency program.
The last publicly-commissioned building by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium is named in honor of a former university president. Groundbreaking for the auditorium took place on May 23, 1962, followed by 25 months of construction. The building opened both on-time and under-budget in 1964 with a performance of the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy.
The President's House is a historic building on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University that was built in 1907 to serve as the home for the president of what was then known as the Tempe Normal School. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 and currently houses the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, known as the Writer's House.
The Administration/Science Building, originally known as Science Hall, is a building on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. It is the second-oldest building on campus, constructed in 1909. It currently houses the University Club, a members-only institution open to faculty, staff and community members.
The Pat Tillman Statue and Tunnel is located in the north end zone of Sun Devil Stadium. The former Sun Devil was a star on the field and in the classroom. After Tillman was done at Arizona State he did not have to go too far when he was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals. After a couple of years of a successful NFL career, he retired and decided to join the army after what happened on 9/11. Even though Tillman is known for his heroic decision and giving up his career to helping his country he was still just as big of a star and leader on the field.