Maple-Ash Neighborhood

Maple Ash began its construction in the early 1900’ s and is considered one of the oldest existing historic neighborhoods in Tempe. Its’ borders extend from the south side of University Drive to the north side of Hayden Lane and from the west side of Mill Avenue to the west side of Ash Avenue.

Along with the early development of this community, flood irrigation was a key aspect to what makes this neighborhood unique to this day. Flood irrigation was originally used for agricultural land by transporting water through channels of open ditches. Maple Ash took this system and used a distribution of pipe systems to replace the open ditches for residential purposes. This highly desirable watering system was so popular because it made having a green oasis in the middle of the desert a reality, providing lush green lawns and healthy shade trees year round. The healthy vegetation also dropped the ambient temperature in this area by an average of 3-11 degrees year round. Problems began to arise in the 1950’s and the water consumption turned into a financial issue. The city proposed that they should raise the fee residents pay in exchange for the water service they are providing. Residents did not agree with this idea and it was later decided that the city would stop offering flood irrigation services and stop creating new ones for future use.

In the early 2000s the neighborhood's association received a $12,000 grant to transform the historic irrigation standpipes into a public art display. Not only did the artwork beautify the community but it also had historic stories built into the murals about the people and architecture that created Maple Ash into what it is today.