This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. This blog is not supported by advertising, it's supported by the generosity of my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

The invisible signs of Phoenix, Arizona


Take a look at the sign in the photo above, and tell me what you see. No, there's nothing special about it, and there are thousands just like it all over the Phoenix area. And no, I didn't Photoshop anything into it, and there's nothing hidden that you have to squint your eyes to see. But my experience is that to most people who go past these signs a million times, they don't see what I see.

OK, hopefully you see it. These things tend to pop out more in photos than "in real life". It's the name of the shopping center. Of course, no one in their right mind would direct you to the Market Center shopping center, they would just say over by Sprouts, or Brake Masters. If you do see these things, then sorry, you're kind of weird. I see them all of the time. And there are thousands of them.

If you're a neighbor of mine, in Glendale, you may be familiar with Ted's Plaza, which has been on the northwest corner of 47th Avenue and Olive since the 1970s. Or maybe not. My favorite is Peoria Station, on the southwest corner of 67th Avenue and Peoria, which was actually designed to look kind'a like a train station when it was built in the 1980s.

I enjoy looking at old photos of Phoenix and often the only thing that remains the same in a shopping center is its original sign (if it hasn't been torn down). Yeah, it's trivia, but it's fun trivia. No, I don't tell people where someplace is by the name of the shopping center anymore than I would tell them to just go past Skunk Creek (that's where the Arrowhead Mall is, by the way).

If these signs have been invisible to you, believe me, when you start seeing them you'll see a LOT of them, and wonder why you never saw them before.

Thank you for history adventuring with me.


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What Patreon is http://bradhallart.blogspot.com/2016/03/supporting-creators-on-web-with-patreon.html