The first president of the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board, William Hartranft, modeled the city's Encanto Park after San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. In so doing, Hartranft channeled the vision of Frederick Law Olmsted, an American landscape…

During the week of December 4, 1905, heavy rainstorms forced state officials to reschedule Arizona’s first territorial fair. Weeks later, on Christmas Day, the fair opened its doors. Governor Joseph H. Kibbey made a few opening remarks to more than…

In the early morning hours of April 1, 1934, The Arizona Republic reported that 6,000 Arizonans gathered for a sunrise Eastertide service at the Papago Park Amphitheater. With seating for only about 5,000 people, an overflow crowd sat on the…

William Hartranft founded Encanto Park in 1934, seeking to create a park for Phoenix that was like San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park or San Diego’s Balboa Park. Hartranft’s inspiration tells us how Americans living in the 1920s imagined what a park…

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 Chicago Cubs have called the Arizona home during the spring months for over 60 years. Each February, Cubs players make the trek to the Valley of the Sun to prepare for the grueling season ahead of them. However, the Cub’s ties to the Valley go…

The Temple is decorated on its corners with frieze panels that depict Latter-day Saint beliefs about the gathering of Israel from the four corners of the earth as prophesied by Isaiah in the Old Testament of the Bible. A.B. Wright crafted the…

The Vance Auditorium was built in 1904 by John Thomas Vance. People all around Mesa came to the dances. At the time of its construction, it was the biggest auditorium in the southwest. In 1919, Vance sold the building to the Maricopa Stake of The…

Finished in 1930, the U.S. Post Office in downtown Phoenix was built by private architects who designed typical federal buildings from the 1920s and 1930s. The art that is found inside the building is quite unique. The murals reflect the economic…

The Orpheum Theatre opened in 1927 when the movie industry took the nation by storm. It was built as a large, expensive, and ornate theater to showcase high culture productions. The theater was built to house plays, movies, and…

Fish hatcheries are the last thing people probably think about when they think of Arizona. During the Great Depression, however, raising fish meant jobs.The Hunt Bass Hatchery was initially commissioned in May of 1932 by Governor George W.P. Hunt as…

When he was just 25 years old, Dwight “Red” Harkins founded Harkins Theatres and built the College Theatre in 1940 at the tail-end of the Great Depression. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Harkins was bound for Hollywood, with dreams of becoming…

Breadlines, street corner apple vendors, and families traveling cross-country in jalopies looking for employment are phenomena unknown to most alive today. As those who lived through the Great Depression continue to fall by the wayside, memories of…

The graceful, even beautiful, lines of Scottsdale Grammar School #2 convey a sense of prosperity. Stability seems to be written right into the school’s symmetrical concrete façade. It is a testimony to the optimism of 1928, the year it was built—a…