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

Downtown, Midtown, and Uptown Phoenix


If you're interested in Phoenix history, like I am, you have heard of the three different areas of downtown Phoenix, specifically - Downtown, Midtown, and Uptown. And even though the descriptions don't really apply anymore to a city that has sprawled out so much, they are still used, with affection, by people who live and work there.

Downtown Phoenix. Looking north on Central towards Washington in 1923, Phoenix Arizona

Downtown. Downtown Phoenix is at Central Avenue and Washington, and spreads out to include a few blocks of tall buildings. It includes the baseball stadium and the basketball arena. It's where the Civic Center is, and CityScape. Arguably it could go as far north as McDowell, but mostly it's south of Roosevelt. It goes as far south as the railroad tracks.

Midtown in the 1965. Looking southeast towards Central and Osborn, Phoenix, Arizona

Midtown. Although there are tall buildings marching consistently up Central Avenue from downtown nowadays, back in the 1960s there was quite a gap between downtown and midtown, which is about where the Financial Center Building is, at Osborn, north to Clarendon, where the Rosenzweig Center (called City Square nowadays) was built.

Uptown in the 1950s, Central Avenue and Camelback, Phoenix, Arizona.

Uptown. That's easy to find, as the shopping center built there, at Central Avenue and Camelback in 1955, is still called Uptown Plaza.

So there you go, from downtown to uptown in just a few miles!

Image at the top of this post: Looking north up Central at Washington, downtown Phoenix in the 1960s.


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