Although it may not look the part now, the Vienna Bakery building was built as a Victorian-style commercial store in 1893 by John S. Armstrong. Armstrong was postmaster in Tempe, president of the Farmers and Merchants Bank, and he introduced the bill that established the Territorial Normal School for Tempe in 1885. The building itself was originally a drugstore for three years before changing into a post office. The post office did not last very long either and was only in the building until 1900. Charles Bauer seized the opportunity and leased the building in 1904. Bauer opened up the Vienna Bakery and the business operated until 1963.

Today, the building does not look like Victorian architecture at all. This is because, in 1928, the building was remodeled into the popular Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, much like other buildings on Mill Avenue, including the Casa Loma Building. Spanish Colonial Revival-style architecture was made popular by the completion of the Panama Canal in 1914. The Panama-California Exposition from 1915-1917 took place in San Diego and showcased the architectural style pioneered by Bertram Goodhue.

"This is the only example of Commercial Victorian-style architecture in downtown Tempe. It served as a drug store as well as the local post office before becoming a bakery. This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and received a Tempe Beautification Award of Merit in 1981." (Tempe Preservation, Mill Ave Tour)

Images

Vienna Bakery North of 5th St. on Mill, 1932
Vienna Bakery North of 5th St. on Mill, 1932 The Vienna Bakery in 1932, shortly after it was renovated to a Spanish Colonial-style building. Source: Photo courtesy of Tempe History Museum
 Mill Avenue and Fourth Street Looking East, 1971.
Mill Avenue and Fourth Street Looking East, 1971. After the buildings had been remodeled in 1971. Tempe City Hall is located in the back. Source: Photo courtesy of Tempe History Museum
Vienna Bakery Building, ca. 1996
Vienna Bakery Building, ca. 1996 The 1996 paint job and architecture of the old Vienna Bakery building which housed law offices and later was remodeled into a restaurant. Source: Photo courtesy of Tempe History Museum

Location

Metadata

Thomas Black, Jacquelyn George, and Salt River Stories Team, “Vienna Bakery,” Salt River Stories, accessed March 3, 2024, https://saltriverstories.org/items/show/57.