Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

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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