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!

Unfinished business in Phoenix, Arizona - the Collier Center


If you ever walked out of the America West, or U.S. Airways, or Talking Stick Resort Arena, on Jefferson, anytime from the '90s up to the present day, and wondered why the two blocks on either side of 2nd Street looked kinda incomplete, it's because they are.

The original design of the Collier Center, which is shown in this model on the 2nd floor of the Bank of America Building, included three more towers, one of which was to be a hotel. Of course, the Bank of America building was completed, and some smaller buildings, but the rest of the project was never finished. In fact, the block to the west (Block 23) is still just a parking lot.

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I visited the Collier Center for the first time just a few days ago and this model gave me a real sense of time-traveling. It's from the 1990s, and as you can see, the idea was to have a high-rise hotel on the northeast corner of 3rd Street and Jefferson. It was a great location - the parcel of land extended out because of the curve created in the 1980s as Jefferson curved around the south building of the Phoenix Civic Plaza. So people could stay at the hotel, and go to a basketball game, or a baseball game, or go to the Civic Plaza. It seemed to make sense.

Of course, the hotel was never built. I have no idea why, I just know that architects hate this kind of stuff. Of course it's never too late, and it's possible that there are plans to complete this project. If you wander past it, on 3rd Street, you'll see that the concrete was set and that construction was beginning. Maybe they'll try again. And personally, I'd like to see those second-story palm trees and the reflecting pool!

Looking west at the Collier Center model from 3rd Street, Phoenix, Arizona.

Image at the top of this post: Looking north at the Collier Center model from Jefferson at 2nd Street, Phoenix, Arizona.