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!

Why the Calvary Church sign has a star on it, the original Westown sign


If you've seen the Calvary Community Church sign, which is just west of the I-17 freeway between Thunderbird and Cactus Roads in Phoenix, you probably weren't surprised to see a star. After all, it's a church, and a star is appropriate. But the star was there long before the church, in fact it was the original sign for Westown.

Time-travel with me back to the 1960s. And we're gonna drive waaaaayyyyyy north of Phoenix on the Black Canyon Highway. There are a few scattered houses, and businesses out there, but not much. Heck, even Metrocenter wouldn't be there until 1972. We're going to Westown.

The original Westown sign in the 1960s

I have no idea why it's out here. But you can see the Westown sign, with the star, for miles and miles. And it isn't just a mall, it's kind of a little community of businesses. It's a shopping city. Of course, there's a Valley Bank, and look over there, a nice big A.J. Bayless!

A.J. Bayless at Westown, Phoenix, Arizona.


1960s ad for Westown merchants, Phoenix, Arizona.

And don't forget T.G.&Y., Para Dimes Laundromat, Westown Union Service Station, Martin's Shoes, the Photo Den, Mary Lee's Beauty Salon, G&E TV Service and Sales, Stretch's Sip & Snack, Ryan Evans Drug Store, Famer's Insurance, Merry-Go-Round Nursery, Econo-Mart, and Pepe's Mexican Food.

Hey, Mexican Food sounds great, and I'm hungry! Let's go to Pepe's!

Many of the original buildings of Westown remain. To get a better view of them, drive along 27th Avenue near Larkspur, which is north of Cactus.


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