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…

The Desert Botanical Garden emerged as an antidote to the agricultural and economic development of Phoenix. A dedicated group of Phoenix residents, concerned about the city’s sprawling expansion and the increasing destruction of the surrounding…

Founded in 1939, the Desert Botanical Garden has helped to change the way Phoenicians see the Sonoran Desert. As Phoenix began to grow in the 1920s, many residents saw the desert as a blighted landscape in need of improvement. Local politicians and…

In Arizona hotels and resorts emerged as a cornerstone for tourism early in the twentieth century; they became pivotal in “selling the desert”. Sprawling landscapes with luscious green golf courses, rows of palm and citrus trees, swimming pools,…

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…

Relative to other cities in the Valley, Scottsdale’s connection to baseball is decidedly newer. Whereas teams have been visiting and play exhibition matches at Phoenix Municipal Stadium and Mesa’s Rendezvous Park since the early 20th century,…

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…

It’s February 13th, 2015. The Arizona State University Sun Devils take the field at Phoenix Municipal Stadium for the first time on this warm February evening. Hoping for a successful season in their first year at Phoenix Municipal, the Sun Devils…

The Tempe Town Lake was completed in the summer of 1999. Water is a scarce resource in Arizona so the water for the Tempe Lake comes from the Colorado River though a chain of canals. Since this is an unnatural, man-made lake in the middle of the…

Groundbreaking for Hayden Ferry Lakeside was on April 18, 2001 in Tempe, Arizona. Hayden Ferry Lakeside is a commercial development project that was constructed along the shore of the Tempe Town Lake. The man-made lake, which was completed in the…

In 1966, Dean James Elmore and his Architecture students at Arizona State University decided that something needed to be done about the large and barren dry bed of the Salt River; which had become somewhat of an eye-sore for the town of Tempe. The…

The creation of the Tempe Town Lake began as an exercise by James Elmore, dean of the College of Architecture at Arizona State University, for his students in 1966. He assigned his students to recapture the Salt River Channel. Not only was the dry…

Tempe Beach Park was been entertaining locals for almost ninety years. Built in 1931, Tempe Beach Park is one of the oldest recreational parks in Tempe. The park established one of Arizona’s first Olympic-sized pools which accommodated many national…

The first news of the Lakeside Amusement Park was noted on July 12th, 1949, where the man-made pond, located on the north side of the Salt River and east of the highway bridge, was just being planned to be the beginning of what would become said…

Nestled away about an hour south of Phoenix sits Casa Grande. Commonly thought of as the halfway point between Tucson and Phoenix, Casa Grande is a small city of just over 50,000 residents. While no professional baseball team currently resides in…

The Phoenix Suns played their inaugural NBA season in 1968-1969. Prior to the start of the season, the Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers played a series of exhibition games around the state to generate publicity for the team. On October 1, 1968 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…

The intersection of Main and Center street has been at the heart of Mesa's history for over a century. Now home to the Mesa Arts Center, conceived Mesa's firs shopping center was built in 1908 by A.J. Chandler on the corner of Main and…

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…

"Mother and daughter, father and son, may all be found splashing about in the cooling water of the Salt River canal, commonly known as the 'Town Ditch,' almost any evening now. There are regular canal 'beaches' where Phoenicians congregate in great…

Wealthy Northeastern socialite Gertrude Webster seemed to delight in defying class and gender stereotypes as she worked tirelessly to "Save the Desert" by taking charge of the Arizona Cactus and Native Flora Society (ACNFS)--now known as…

Adobe has served as an inexpensive and reliable building material for cultures across the globe for several millennia. Although ancient in origin, the use of adobe boasts thoroughly modern advantages such as renewability and energy efficiency,…

Built in 1956, the Hotel Valley Ho never had time for its original grand opening. The rooms filled up far too quickly to bother. The hotel thrived as tourists were drawn to Scottsdale's burgeoning arts and culture district; the industrial…

Across 19 major-league baseball stadiums in 19 states, are scattered the ashes of former Pink Pony owner, Charlie Briley. Perhaps one of the most well-known fans in the history of American baseball, Briley is largely responsible for bringing the…

During the 1950s Craftsman Court and Fifth Avenue were the heart of Scottsdale’s robust and vibrant arts scene. This vibrancy was both cause and symptom of Scottsdale’s newly inaugurated status as a glamorous, tourist destination. National…

Lloyd Kiva New was a leading artist and designer in Scottsdale's burgeoning arts and crafts community following World War II before emerging as a national leader in arts education. Born in Oklahoma in 1916 to Cherokee and Scot-Irish…

When the Hotel Valley Ho opened in 1956, it quickly became a playground for Hollywood refugees. James Cagney, Rudy Vallee, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Marilyn Monroe all relaxed under its roof. Like many local resorts, the…

If, as poet Wallace Stevens suggested, “The only emperor is the emperor of ice cream,” then Sugar Bowl founder Jack Huntress was a very important man. Huntress opened the Sugar Bowl on Christmas Eve 1958, a date that seems especially appropriate…