Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona, just for fun. Advertising-free, supported by my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

The frightening growth of Phoenix in the 1920s


Phoenix has always grown fast. Nowadays, most people think of the explosion of growth after World War II, in the 1950s, but today I'd like to take a look at the 1920s, from the point of view of people who had been living there for a while. Let's take a look.

It's the 1920s and we're looking northwest on the corner of Central and Adams. We've lived in Phoenix since before the Heard Building (that monstrosity back there) was built in 1919, and before the streets were paved, in 1911.


The first thing that I notice is that there is now a police officer standing in the road. And he has a "stop/go" sign. Before that, people just used courtesy on the streets, but now it's all enforced by law. What's Phoenix coming to? I don't see a gun on him, but I'm sure he has a whistle, and I'm sure if someone doesn't obey them, they're going to the hoosegow.

Although I do have to admit that the paved streets are nice. It doesn't rain often in Phoenix, but dirt streets turning into mud isn't pleasant. I guess I'm OK with that. The new street lights look nice, and are a big improvement over the ones that just hung down from wires, going back to when Phoenix first had electricity, in the '90s.


I like the look of the Gooding Building, nice and ornate, not as bland as the Heard building back there. I suppose it saves money to keep them looking simple! Darned modern stuff! Nobody cares anymore!


The church is still there, but not for long I'd expect. I understand that the Central Methodists are already thinking of building a bigger church further north on Central. Where will it all end? I understand they plan to tear down the Occidental, too. Phoenix just isn't the way I remember it to be! I miss the good old days!

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