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

Walgreens in downtown Phoenix in 1933


Let's go to Walgreens in 1933 Phoenix. It's on the southwest corner of Central and Monroe. If you live in Phoenix nowadays, and don't recognize the picture in the building, that's not surprising, it hasn't looked like that since the bricks were covered up just a few years later when it became Owl Drug. And over the years the facade has been continuously updated, to keep it looking modern, smooth, and shiny. And maybe that's because Phoenix didn't want its buildings to look "old fashioned".



If you had visited this corner ten years ago, the old Central Methodist Church had been there. In 1925 it was torn down and this new building went up. Now, don't worry, the congregation built a nice new church just a few blocks north, between Pierce and Fillmore.



OK, let's go back to the southwest corner of Central and Monroe. Wow, everything is so modern! Phoenix went through a huge building boom in the '20s and my old town is hardly recognizable anymore. I sure don't see any horses downtown anymore! Theres even traffic lights! I'm glad it says "go" for the green light, some of the old-timers still aren't used to the color system. And I notice that a lot of people don't seem to pay attention to the "No left turn" sign, either! The traffic is just crazy! Watch out!

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Let's see now, what do I need at Walgreens? Maybe I'll get some hair oil - 17 cents seems like a good price.

As of this writing, the Central-Monroe Building has revealed the 1925 bricks for the first time since the early 1930s. It's where Michael's Jewelers, and Subway is nowadays.


The southwest corner of Central and Monroe in 1933. On the corner is the Monroe-Central Building, built in 1925, the tall building in the background is the Heard Building, built in 1919. Between them is the Craig Building, built in 1929. All of these buildings are still there.