Garfield A. Goodwin moved to Tempe in 1888 and began his long-time commitment to Arizona State University and the revitalization of Tempe.
As a student, Goodwin played on the Territorial Normal School's first football team. As an alumnus, he helped the Tempe Normal School become a four-year accredited institution and acted as secretary of the school board. Later he promoted the creation of Tempe's first football stadium and headed the Tempe Beach Committee to establish the city's first park. If that wasn't enough, citizens elected him mayor, an office he served in from 1924 to 1926. Goodwin also served on the City Council for six years and was the President of Tempe Commerce and the local Rotary Club.
Amid all of his service to the city, he found time to run a Mill Avenue curio store, which he opened in 1903. Goodwin made frequent trips to New Mexico to purchase Native American arts and crafts that he sold in the store. Goodwin is one of many who capitalized on "Arizona culture," which borrowed from many Mexican and Native American cultures. He ran the business until his death in 1944. Many of the Native American artifacts Goodwin collected can be found in the Heard Museum. The property and much of the merchandise were sold to an acquaintance, Larry Miller, who ran the store until 1965.
The building is now home to multiple businesses but retains much of the original interior and exterior. Today, the original awning that once held the curio store's sign is still intact.
"The Garfield Goodwin Building is significant for its association with Garfield A. Goodwin, a prominent citizen of Tempe and operator of the Goodwin Curio Store for 41 years. The Garfield Goodwin Building is Tempe's only one-story cast iron frame commercial building and retains a significant portion of its exterior and interior integrity." (Tempe Preservation, Mill Ave Tour)