Phoenix Walking Tour- Historic Downtown and Heritage Square
This walking tour includes some of the historical markers, landmarks, and historic buildings of Phoenix and concludes with a walk around Heritage Square.
The New Windsor Hotel, also known as the 6th Avenue Hotel - Windsor Hotel, is the only 19th century hotel which is still in use in the Phoenix, Arizona, original town-site.
Built in 1929 as a premier vaudeville house, the Orpheum was the last major construction project in Phoenix before the onset of the Great Depression. It was converted to a movie theater over time, and by the late 1960s, much of the fine interior work had fallen into disrepair, while some its intricate murals had been painted over, either to hide the decline or to black out the murals in order to focus attention on the silver screen. By the 1980s the theater was abandoned, but a campaign by the Junior League raised awareness of the need to preserve the historic theater. Today, it has been completely renovated and is one of the finest entertainment venues in the city.
This grand building was constructed in 1929 to house City Hall and the Maricopa County Courthouse. It is actually two building conjoined into one structure. Its architecture is an eclectic blend of Mission Revival, Spanish Colonial, and Art Deco styles. The building is also significant in the development of both the city and county in late 1920 and 1930s. It represents the tremendous economic growth that occurred in the city and country during this period. The building is also significant for being the site of the Miranda vs. Arizona court case, which resulted in the conviction of Ernesto Miranda for the rape of a woman in 1963. After learning that he did not have to give a written and signed confession, he recanted his story and appealed the decision with the assistance of the ACLU. In 1966, the Supreme Court overturned the decision, arguing that Miranda's rights were not explicitly stated to him after his arrest. Given this significant event, the building's architecture and the role it played in the city's development, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places 1989.
The historic Luhrs Building located just south of the CityScape was once the tallest structure in the city of Phoenix. Phoenix City Council member (1881-85) and local businessman, George H.N. Luhrs bought the land in 1884 and this ten-story building was completed in 1924, five years prior to the Luhrs Tower which is located just west of this brick structure. The building was renovated in 2009.
Those who have seen Alfred Hitchcock's famous movie, Psycho, may recognize this building from the opening scene. The Heard Building was constructed in 1920 by landowner and real estate developer, John Heard, who also owned the Arizona Republican (now Arizona Republic) newspaper from 1912-1929. The building was the first multi-story structure in the city (and the first high rise) was also unique in that it was constructed entirely out of poured concrete. This was in response to a fire that destroyed a hotel in 1910. The building was also home to the Snell & Wilmer LLP law firm, Greater Arizona Savings and Loan, and the Arizona Gazette. Today, the Heard Building is used for office space for startups and tech companies. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.
Hotel San Carlos is one of the more important landmarks in Phoenix. It was built in 1928 and designed by Los Angeles architect George Whitecross Ritchie in the Italian Renaissance Revival style. The hotel was the first truly modern building in the Southwest: it was the first high-rise in the region with air conditioning an elevator (hand operated), and had a steam heat radiator system (this is still operating today). It also featured Italian tapestries, a card room, dance room, an outdoor sun room, and chilled ice water taps in every room (these still exist though are no longer operating). The interior, particularly in the lobby, has largely retained its original woodwork and other decorative elements such as textured concrete decorations. Numerous celebrities, politicians, and other notables have stayed here including Marilyn Monroe and Cary Grant. The hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
This 9-story Second Renaissance Revival style building was built in 1928. The plaque, located on the Central Avenue side of the building, gives a brief history of the building which has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Phoenix Historic Property Register. Designed in the Second Renaissance Revival style, the Security Building was originally the headquarters of produce growers and law firms. This building was purchased by Maricopa County in 2001 and historical renovations began in 2005.
John Waddell's "Dance" (1974) comprises several nude figurative bronze sculptures depicted in a variety of dance poses. One piece features a man lifting a woman with outstretched arms towards the sky, and another a woman playing the flute. The figures dot a plaza in front of the Herberger Theater Center, where resident companies include the modern dance company Center Dance Ensemble. (1)
Located directly adjacent to the entrance of St. Mary's Basilica, this historical marker commemorates Father Edouard Gerard, the first Catholic priest ordained in Arizona. He served as pastor of the Church of the Assumption between 1877-1885 and founded the first Catholic church in 1881. He eventually became Vicar General of the Vicariate Apostolic and Diocese of Tucson. Pope Pius XI named Gerard Domestic Prelate for his years of service. Gerard passed away on Christmas day, 1936 and is interred at Holy Hope Cemetery here in Tucson.
St. Mary's Basilica is home to the oldest Catholic parish in Phoenix. Construction began on this site in 1880 and is Phoenix's second oldest Christian congregation; the first one being the First Presbyterian Church, founded in 1879. The current church building, which was declared a basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1985, was built in two stages. The first occurred between 1902-1903 when the basement was built. This area served as the church until the rest of the building was constructed from 1913-1914. It was designed with a Moorish Revival style exterior (with some Romanesque features) and a Romanesque style interior. The basilica features the largest number of stained glass windows in the state and an organ containing 1,337 pipes that was installed in 1921. The basilica was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The schedule of Masses and Gift Shop hours are listed below.
Artwork has been a critical component of the Phoenix Convention Center since it originally opened in 1972. Building upon this civic commitment to the arts, the City, through the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Public Art Program, commissioned new artworks by local, regional and national artists to be incorporated into the expanded Phoenix Convention Center. These works offer a variety of perspectives on life in Phoenix, the United States, and the world in the 21st century, and join several other pieces in the Convention Center’s extensive collection. (1) NOTE: The Visitor Information Center, is located in the Phoenix Convention Center & Venues West Building.
The Burgess Carriage House was built circa 1881 and is the only structure remaining from the Francis Marion Mognett Ranch. It is also the only building moved (in the 1970s) to block 14 of Heritage Square Park. It is now the ticket office, gift shop, and information center for the historic Rosson House, which has its own Clio entry and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sisters Anna and Marguerite Haustgen built this house in 1923 as an investment property. They lived in what is now known as the Stevens-Haustgen House, which is also located here at Heritage Square Park. Its features, such as the sleeping porches (which were opened at night to let cool air in), make it the most typical Arizonan structure at the park. Today, the building houses the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department and the Heritage Square Foundation.
This historic bungalow was constructed in 1901 by Constance Stevens, a widow and employee in a local retail business called "New York Store." The house is representative of an architectural trend that was moving westward at the turn of the century. The bungalow style, which had emerged in the Midwest, started to replace the sun-dried adobe brick houses that were commonplace in the West. The house is also unique in that features a unique roof system. The roof is 16 inches higher than the attic level to allow for better air circulation.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Baird Machine Shop was constructed in 1929. It is an excellent example of commercial architecture from the early 20th century. Today, the building is now the home of Pizzeria Bianco, a popular pizza restaurant that features a wood-burning stove.
Constructed in 1901, the Stevens-Haustgen House bungalow features wide porches and low rooflines. This style was typical of homes built in California at the turn of the century. It was built by Constance Stevens, who lived in the nearby Stevens House, to be used as a rental property. In 1911 a man named Edward Haustgen purchased the house and rented it out to his sisters Anna and Marguerite from 1937-1952. Today, the house is the location of the Heritage Gallery which features changing exhibits. Visitors can tour the house as part of the Rosson House Museum tour.
Cattleman and flour miller Leon Bouvier built this house in 1899. It's a fine example of a Midwestern bungalow, a style which was gaining popularity in Phoenix at the turn of the century. The house was also later used as a rental property by a woman named Eliza Teeter, who bought it from Bouvier in 1911. She rented it until 1919 when she moved in. The house today is home to the award-winning restaurant Nabuo at Teeter House, which is an Asian-style teahouse and izakaya (a type of Asian gastropub).
Built in 1899 as a detached carriage house for the Bouvier-Teeter House, this historic structure is now the location of Royal Coffee Bar & Roasting Company. It is a good example of what a typical carriage house looked like back then, with a space to store animals, a vehicle, and supplies, and a loft above these areas.
The Silva House was built in 1900 by Phoenix liquor dealer A.F.C. Kirchoff, who rented it out to make some extra income. The architecture is interesting in that it combines the bungalow style with neoclassical revival elements. In 1906, he sold it to Glendale rancher and warehouse owner Alejandro Silva, who leased it for the next 20 years. The family owned the house until 1977 when the city acquired it. During the following decades it became a museum and several restaurants, including the current British-themed one, The Rose and Crown, which opened in 2008.
Rosson House is a 2,800 square foot Eastlake Victorian style home, built in 1895 by Dr. and Mrs. Roland Rosson. A classic example of the late Victorian style, it is fully restored to its original grandeur. Experience what life was like for residents of Phoenix in territorial Arizona. Docent-guided tours feature all living areas of the house and highlight the stories, people and places that influenced the property and surroundings. The Rosson House was restored in the 1970s through a community effort involving the City of Phoenix, dozens of local institutions and hundreds of volunteers.