Midtown Phoenix


At the turn of the 20th century, downtown Phoenix was the center of commerce and government of the young city. North of downtown, the homes of business and civic leaders, along with farms and ranches, lined Central Avenue, informally known as “Millionaires’ Row.” As the city grew, houses and agricultural operations eventually yielded to subdivisions, commercial buildings, and high-rises. While Midtown Phoenix changed dramatically over the years, it has retained much of its historic character and is continuously evolving to meet the needs of the community.


About the Author:

Author Derek D. Horn moved to Phoenix in 1981. After a career in building design and development regulation, he recently retired from the City of Phoenix Planning and Development Department and is a current member of its Historic Preservation Commission. His experience as an engineer, regulator, community leader, and Midtown resident uniquely positions him to relate the history of this area. Photographs from the archives of the Arizona Science Center, Phoenix Public Library, and Heard Museum, as well as from the author’s collection and other sources, showcase the development of Midtown Phoenix and Central Avenue from its rural roots to the dynamic urban center it is today.

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