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!

Watching the Heard Building being built in 1919, Phoenix, Arizona


I just love watching construction. I would stop on my way to school whenever I saw a fence and knew that a building was being built, and I've never outgrown the fascination. I have no idea what's involved, to me it's just Tonka Toys and building blocks, guys wearing construction hats, and a chance to see what's inside of the walls of a building. I'm particularly fascinated by high-rise buildings, which are just ordinary places to me, with offices and elevators, which before the windows are put in are way cool places up in the sky. It makes me a little dizzy to see the people working on them, way up there.

Today I'd like to time-travel with you and watch the gigantic "sky scraper" of Phoenix being built in 1919.

1919 article about the construction of the new Heard Building, Phoenix, Arizona. From the Library of Congress.


The Heard Building in the 1920s, Central Avenue between Adams and Monroe, Phoenix, Arizona. The biggest building in Phoenix at the time, it's still there, but doesn't look quite so big anymore.

The building is being built by Dwight Heard, of the Suburban Land and Investment Company. Everyone knows how successful he and his wife Maie have been since they began their company in 1897. Some people disagree with what they have been doing, which has made Phoenix grow in leaps and bounds, from a tiny town in Territorial Days to the suburban city that it is now, in 1919. But I like it. I like the new buildings, and Phoenix has never had anything like this.

1920 article about the Heard Building soon after its completion. From the Library of Congress.


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Wow, it's BIG! I understand that it's going to seven stories tall. As soon as I'm allowed to, I'm gonna go in there and just look at the view. It'll be amazing!

View of Central Avenue looking north from the Heard Building in 1919, Phoenix, Arizona.


The Heard Building is still there, in downtown Phoenix, on Central Avenue north of Adams. It's gone through a series of "face lifts" over the years, but has never been "modernized", "re-skinned", and most importantly, it hasn't been torn down.