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Visiting Phoenix, Arizona in 1954


There's really nothing special about the year 1954 for me, I just grabbed it at random today, and I thought it would be fun if we would time-travel back there, using some pics from my collection.

This is way before my time, so I'll try to stick with what I know, which isn't much. I'm an old advertising guy, so I thought I'd start with a 1954 ad - Arizona Sunshine Playground! From the looks of the illustration, you could ride horses and golf in just about the same place. And if it were the Biltmore, it really was true - there was (and still is) a golf course, and back then Lincoln didn't go through, so there were trails where you could ride horses in the foothills of the Phoenix Mountains. By the way, what's with the lady with the belly button with the golf clubs? Since this is 1954 she's either in her underwear or it's one of the earliest images of a bikini that I've seen. On a golf course? Anyway let's wander around a bit...


Here's a rendering of a restaurant in Phoenix that would be become very popular. It was called Bob's Restaurant in this 1954 drawing, but it would be Bob's Big Boy. It was at Central and Thomas Road, on the northeast corner. It's gone now, but if you're still hungry for one of those burgers, you can still go to Burbank (near Los Angeles), there's one on Riverside.


Of course there were a lot of orange groves at the base of Camelback Mountain in 1954. This area is called Arcadia.


Since it's 1954 we could go to the Fox Theater and see "the Egyptian"! CinemaScope and full stereographic sound! Nice and cool in there, too!


If we have fifteen cents in 1954 we could get a burger at McDonalds. This was on the southwest corner of Central and Indian School Road. It was still there when I moved to Phoenix in 1977.


How about going to Sky Harbor Airport in 1954? Terminal One is long-gone, but the tower was reused over at Cutter Aviation, and you can still park in the curved parking lot of Terminal One.


And let's not forget to go watch a Sun Devil football game in 1954 at Arizona State College, which would become ASU in 1958.


And since we're in Phoenix in 1954 let's go visit some lovely female Valley Bank employees. Valley Bank became Bank One in 1992, and Bank One became Chase Bank in 2002.


OK, let's stop at the train depot in 1954. The building is still there, at 4th Avenue and Harrison, but the train doesn't stop there anymore.

Thank you for visiting 1954 with me!

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