This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

Phoenix, Arizona, a city in repair


A friend of mine gave me a book yesterday about the first 100 years of The Arizona Republic Newspaper, 1890 to 1990. And I suddenly realized this morning that my memories of Phoenix started in the 1990s.

Yes, I was in Phoenix before then, but I really don't remember much about the 1980s. What I do remember is a lot of road construction. And to be fair, I was in California during most of the 1980s, anyway. But if you were in Phoenix in the '80s all I have to do is mention the Savings and Loan scandal, or corrupt politicians, and you will know what I mean.

What I have come to realize only recently is that Phoenix is a city in repair, and is this day. And the more I learn about Phoenix in the '60s, '70s, and '80s, the more I learn about a city that was in disrepair. If you have memories of that time, you recall the mess that Phoenix had become. The abandoned downtown, the lack of a decent freeway system, air that was so filthy and polluted that Phoenix had gone from being a place where people moved to in order to breathe clean desert air to one of the most polluted cities in the country.

But by the time my memories of Phoenix kick in, in the 1990s, Phoenix is a city well under repair. I've seen a lot of changes, mostly for the good. The air is so much cleaner, the freeways are so much better. I could go on and on, but if you've seen it, you don't need me to tell you. And if you haven't seen it, well, it's just going to get better and better, and you will see it. But be prepared for more "under construction" signs.


Like the mythical Greek bird it was named after, Phoenix has been reborn, rising out of its ashes. Yeah, I know it sounds corny, but it's true. This is my town, and I'm proud of it!

Photo above: road construction on 7th Avenue at the Melrose curve in the 1960s.


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