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

Why the city of Phoenix keeps changing


If you're an old-timer living in the Phoenix, Arizona area, that is, for more than a couple of years, you probably have noticed the constant change. It seems like "every ten minutes" there is a new building. There is always road construction.

Like Los Angeles, Phoenix began as a sleepy little town. And like LA, it has grown. But unlike LA, it still has room to grow. Los Angeles reached its limit long ago, hemmed in by mountains on one side, and by the ocean on the other. It is not a lack of the progressive spirit that limits LA, it has just run out of room to grow.

The history of Phoenix is all about people who believed in progress. These people were "unrealistically optimistic" that a great city would someday grow in the desert. You can point to Darrell Duppa, who named the city after the mythical Phoenix bird that grew out of the ashes. You can look at Dwight Heard, real estate wizard from the turn of the century through the 1920s. And then came Walter Bimson, who even put the word "progress" on the logo of his bank. And although it said "Progressing with Arizona", it really applied mostly to Phoenix.

Change, and progress, has been synonymous with the city of Phoenix since it began. And it looks like that progress will continue. Phoenix will be forever young!


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