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!

How the Dud R. Day building became the Van Buren, Phoenix, Arizona


When I first started noticing the building which is now called the Van Buren a few years ago (the photo is from their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheVanBurenPHX/ ), it was a faceless building, covered with stucco, with no windows, and had been that way for decades. I just called it the "Faceless Building". It's typical of what Phoenix has done with its old buildings since the 1970s, either tearing them down, or making them ugly and unrecognizable. But I would look at it, and squint my eyes, and wonder about it.

As the Phoenix Motor Company in 1939

Then I started discovering photos from the 1940s of the Phoenix Motor Company, and I knew that it was the same building. Even without windows, the shape was the same. I was surprised to see that it was still there, and I hoped that someday it would be restored, and reused, which actually happened this year.

1930 Articles of Incorporation for the Dud R. Day Motor Company

Then it got even more interesting. I learned that it wasn't built as the Phoenix Motor Company, it was built as the Dud R. Day Motor Company. I haven't found a photo of it when the building was brand new, in 1930, but I'm still looking.

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I have a lot of photos of what I call the Phoenix Motor Company building. I have to call it something, so I can find the file on my computer. But really, it's the Dud R. Day. You can call it the Van Buren if you want to. I'm just glad that it's there, beautifully restored, and part of what hopefully will be a vibrant place again in Phoenix, Arizona, on Van Buren Street.

The Phoenix Motor Company in the 1940s, 4th Avenue and Van Buren, Phoenix, Arizona. Originally built as the Dud R. Day Motor Company, now called the Van Buren.