The Mexican-American War and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ceded much of what would become the American Southwest to the United States set in motion a long process of transformation. Many “aspiring landowners” knew of the fresh land and acts…

Until 2012, the Alpha Drive fraternity community occupied this district of campus, with thirteen houses (ten of which were occupied) providing a unique gathering place for men affiliated with the university’s fraternity community. For better or for…

The area in Tempe between College Avenue and Veterans Way, on the northside of University Drive, is currently home to several Arizona State University (ASU) buildings such as the Fulton Center, Mona Plummer Aquatic Center, as well as several popular…

Fraternities at Arizona State University are currently housed in the Greek Leadership Village with sororities, but they once lived along Alpha Drive near the stadium. In the early 1960s, when the homes on Alpha Drive were constructed, according to…

It all began with two men: a master architect and a university president leading a small school toward becoming a major university. Gammage Auditorium resulted from the collaboration--becoming a symbol for ASU and Tempe, and emerging as…

In the fall of 1966 Professor Bob McConnell at Arizona State University (ASU) taught an eight-week class that would alter the Salt River bed forever. Class AC 429 tasked its students with one monumental chore: turn the then dry and troublesome salt…

In 1958 Proposition 200 passed in a statewide election by a 2-1 vote and Arizona State College became Arizona State University. That same year Sun Devil Stadium opened, and the team moved from the smaller Goodwin Stadium. The new stadium, opened with…

Searing heat scorches Tempe, Arizona and the Sonoran Desert from May through September and the only beacon of relief from the oppressive heat is air conditioning. With a tap of the thermostat…presto, the magic of chilled air wafts from our vents.…

The Victory Acres neighborhood of Tempe highlights the unique story of Mexican-American suburbanization. La Victoria, a tight-knit, predominantly Mexican American, community, emerged during the post-War growth of Tempe and the surrounding region. La…

The Rose Bowl Auto Court was the prototypical automobile court of the 1930s. Two wings of cottages, with adjacent carports, faced a long central courtyard with a lawn, palm trees, and a small swimming pool. It's buildings were both heated and…

The Kon Tiki Hotel was constructed in 1961 by the R.L Branaman Construction Company for a cost of $528,000. The hotel was designed by James Salter who worked at the influential mid-century architecture firm Haver & Associates. The development was…

The Sandman Hotel was constructed in 1955 by H & J Construction Company. In a 1956 advertisement, the Sandman offered "Resort living at its finest." Owner/managers Clayton, Mary & Virginia Niven offered a variety of different room types,…

In the early 1900s, ranch schools became popular in the Western United States. This was largely due to the example of President Theodore Roosevelt, whose success was attributed to his rough experiences in the West. Arizona led the nation in the…

This large, imposing school was built in 1914 on east Main Street. This school held the 4th-8th grade students until 1952 when Mesa Junior High was built. It then became an elementary school until 1973. At that time the Benjamin Franklin Elementary…

The 1898 Queen Anne-style theater, located at 300 West Washington Street in Downtown Phoenix, was originally constructed by architect S. E. Patton for nearly $35,000 (nearly $1 million today) and boasted conical towers, 20 bay windows, accommodations…

On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which gave permission for the War Department to relocate Japanese and Japanese-Americans living in the western United States to concentration camps. In March 1942, with…

The Great Depression had a profound impact on the United States as well as greater Phoenix. In an effort to confront the economic and social costs of the Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt argued for a New Deal in which the federal…

The Hohokam people lived in the Mesa area for nearly 1,500 years. Hohokam, (a Pima Indian word meaning ‘‘those who have disappeared’’), first appeared around 1 CE initially growing beans, squash, corn and cotton serving a very small population of…

Carl Hayden's political career began at the dawn of the twentieth century, and almost immediately focused on improving and extending infrastructure, including especially water issues. In September 1900, recently returned from Stanford due to his…

Charles Trumbull Hayden was born in 1825 in Hartford County, Connecticut. After moving from Connecticut to Missouri, he began working with a freighting business and traveled to Arizona frequently. In 1870, Charles Hayden and his business associates…

The Hayden House, or La Casa Vieja as it came to be known, is the longest standing Mexican-adobe structure in Arizona. It was built in 1873 near the South bend of the Salt River. Originally constructed by local Mexican and indigenous craftsmen for…

Developed along the banks of the Salt River, the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa, Arizona, both both depended on the river and feared its seasonal flooding. Controlling the river emerged as a central challenge to economic development in the Salt…

Charles Trumbull Hayden came to the western half of the United States in search of economic gain and adventure like the many settlers before him. Shortly after the Gadsden Purchase in the 1850s, Charles Hayden opened a profitable general store in…

In the 19th century, women migrating to the west had opportunities not available to those in the East. These include the right to vote, equal pay for teachers, and more liberal divorce laws. Women confronted and supported the creation of the…

Although the first school in Mesa started in 1879, few children went to school past the age of 12 or 13. Mesa didn’t start a high school class until 1899. They held the class in the upstairs of the Old North School. Mesa Union High School District…

The year 1910 marked the beginning of racial segregation in the elementary schools in Mesa. During Mesa’s territorial years (1878-1910), all children were allowed to attend any school. In 1910 the Webster School was built for the Mexican American…

The Irving School stands in the Town Center area of Mesa at 155 North Center Street. It was built in the same location that the old North School stood for 37 years. It was named after the American writer Washington Irving. Designed by architect…

Women played an active role in the cultural development of Arizona communities including Mesa. The General Federation of Woman’s Clubs of Arizona was established in 1901. On March 9, 1917, 53 women signed a charter to organize the Women’s Club of…

The Dunes hotel was built in the mid-century along Van Buren Avenue in Phoenix, which straddled Federal Highways 60, 70, 80, & 89, which were among the central arteries of the American Southwest.

In 2004, a defining piece of the Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1957 state capitol design rose in the Promenade shopping center in Scottsdale, Arizona. The shopping center desperately needed a focal piece, and Frank Lloyd Wright protégé Arnold Roy was happy to…