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-   -   Phoenix 101: What killed downtown (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=239762)

muertecaza Aug 5, 2019 4:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PHX31 (Post 8648568)
Some people have different numerical definitions of "a couple", yours must mean 50 because that was the reality.

I'm not claiming it was "amazing", just that it was typical pre-war small-u.s.-city-esque.

To add a little concreteness to this discussion, here are the aerials:

https://gis.maricopa.gov/GIO/Histori...ial/index.html

From my viewpoint, the 1949 aerials show what I would consider an urban downtown that extends at most from Van Buren to Jackson, and 7th Ave to about 5th St. And even within those bounds, there are a decent amount of parking lots and warehouses. That's about a square kilometer--.4 square miles. Yes, about 50-70 blocks, but still a very small area.

badrunner Aug 5, 2019 5:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Obadno (Post 8649361)
But riverside is an outgrowth of LA and hardly functions as an independent metro at all, with even less of a core than Phoenix has.

Not in 1950 it wasn't. And besides, the very fact that Phoenix's postwar growth tracks so closely to a metro area that is entirely suburban is the relevant point here. Not just the population numbers, but the built form is the same. It's actually the point you were trying to make vis-a-vis sprawl being the order of the day. You were just using the wrong examples to do so, as others have already pointed out.

Obadno Aug 5, 2019 5:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by badrunner (Post 8649846)
Not in 1950 it wasn't. And besides, the very fact that Phoenix's postwar growth tracks so closely to a metro area that is entirely suburban is the relevant point here. Not just the population numbers, but the built form is the same. It's actually the point you were trying to make vis-a-vis sprawl being the order of the day. You were just using the wrong examples to do so, as others have already pointed out.

I don’t see how you could reasonably make that comparison when Phoenix operates as an independent regional center with a clearly identifiable core (even if small for its size) can you accurately say riverside is the clear center of the inland empire over San Bernardino? They seem pretty similar, both act as far sub-cores for the greater LA area same goes for San Jose.

Sure the inland empire has 4 million whatever number of people but in function those are 4 million suburban residents of the greater Los Angeles area

badrunner Aug 5, 2019 5:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAYNYC (Post 8649782)
I don't know, man. While I agree DTLA has a long way to go, and should ideally blow away the smaller cities you mentioned, I think downtown Phoenix is much more comparable to downtown San Jose due to its suburban office park look and feel. As relatively small as DTLA is, I've never felt that same vibe there.

Good point. San Jose is another good comparison for postwar growth trends of similar sized cities. Phoenix actually outpaced a lot of its peer cities from that time period.

1950 metro area population:

San Jose - 290,547
Phoenix - 374,961
Riverside - 451,688

Los Angeles - 4,367,911

JAYNYC Aug 5, 2019 5:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Obadno (Post 8649802)
When I’m saying development patterns I mean the entire city/metro

Both la in a Phoenix spread out post war, hopscotching across their desperate basins, master planned communities car oriented suburbs and the development of multiple small cores spread out over a large geographic area, which eventually merged together.

La was filled out decades ago so they began to densify earlier.

Every large sunbelt/mountain west city did this, so why raise it as a point of comparison? The scale to which L.A. did is simply not comparable to the scale at which Phoenix did. Phoenix has evolved at a much more similar scale to Las Vegas (and Riverside), although larger than both.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Obadno (Post 8649802)
San Jose to me is much like riverside (not in urban form in economic function) as it doesn’t operate or seem like it’s own independent place, it’s a second core in the orbit of San Francisco.

You've noted your opinion about this in several posts. I understand the point you are attempting to convey, but to me, the look and feel of Phoenix is much more comparable to San Jose, in both of their respective downtown cores and beyond. This is regardless of whether San Jose 'functions as a satellite city in the orbit of San Francisco' or however you want to put it. Again, to me, the look and feel of San Jose is much more comparable to Phoenix than it is to Riverside. I'd even go so far as to say that downtown San Jose is more impressive and livable than downtown Phoenix.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Obadno (Post 8649802)
I also wouldn’t say downtown Phoenix feels like a suburban office park. So I wouldn’t use the term suburban but I would say small, for a region of 5 million downtown feels like it belongs to a city of 500k

You live in / near Phoenix, correct? Because I'd say you're likely exhibiting a bit of homerism (whether intended or unintended), and in the minority with regards to your opinion about its downtown feel.

And not that I'm obligated to share my overall opinion of Phoenix, but for the record, I actually do like the city for what it is.

badrunner Aug 5, 2019 6:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Obadno (Post 8649859)
I don’t see how you could reasonably make that comparison when Phoenix operates as an independent regional center with a clearly identifiable core (even if small for its size) can you accurately say riverside is the clear center of the inland empire over San Bernardino? They seem pretty similar, both act as far sub-cores for the greater LA area same goes for San Jose.

Sure the inland empire has 4 million whatever number of people but in function those are 4 million suburban residents of the greater Los Angeles area

The comparison makes sense in that both the Inland Empire and Phoenix are large, multi-nodal, relatively dense, sprawling suburban population centers, experiencing the exact same pattern of postwar population growth, with very similar built form. Yes, Phoenix has more of an identifiable core today, as it functions as its own regional center, but back in 1950 it was barely what you would even call a "downtown", as you've stated. Just a few blocks with a smattering of old buildings. It really wasn't that far off from downtown Riverside or San Bernardino back then.

They are similar demographically as well. Median age: 36.7/34.5. Median household income: 61,506/61,994

There's nothing wrong with being compared to the Inland Empire. Like Phoenix, it might be much maligned by snobs and urban enthusiasts, but by national standards it's a desirable place to live with a high quality of life amid beautiful surroundings. We even have some IE forumers here who seem to enjoy it out there.

Obadno Aug 5, 2019 6:39 PM

I simply disagree with the perception that Phoenix “feels” like the Ie or San Jose. I think that is inaccurate. Not that it’s a big deal Seems to me most people have a very skewed perception of what this city is actually like.

If you want to feel like riverside or San Jose go to downtown Mesa or Chandler in my opinion. Sure they are tiny in comparison to even riverside but that’s kinda my point. Riverside and San Jose (despite San Jose having a decent sized downtown) will always have that vibe of being a satellite and that makes a huge difference in how people there view it and The culture it has.

LA21st Aug 5, 2019 7:16 PM

I don't get this at all. You don't want Phoenix compared to the I.E or San Jose, but you want it compared to LA??? :shrug:

Many people think the IE is like Phoenix or Vegas.

Again, Phoenix and LA didnt develop the same way. Pre 1950, downtown LA was the center of the metro, and thriving. It had the biggest street car network in the world and one the of the biggest metros in the country.
These other sunbelt towns didn't have this.

It's just weird to me that you're trying to lump LA into this, when Dallas, Houston are more comparable here.

JAYNYC Aug 5, 2019 7:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st (Post 8649948)
I don't get this at all. You don't want Phoenix compared to the I.E or San Jose, but you want it compared to LA??? :shrug:

Many people think the IE is like Phoenix or Vegas.

It's just weird to me that you're trying to lump LA into this, when Dallas, Houston are more comparable here.

I agree that Phoenix is more comparable to San Jose, the IE and Vegas than Phoenix is comparable to Los Angeles.

I disagree that Phoenix is comparable to Dallas or Houston. Both Houston and Dallas skew more towards an L.A.-type design, but in different ways. Houston = larger downtown skyline than Los Angeles, Dallas = comparable to Los Angeles due to its numerous massive (150K+ population) suburbs; Plano, Arlington, Richardson = Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena, etc.

Phoenix is more in the suburban office park-look and feel category along with San Jose, Vegas and the IE. Just do a Google images search of "downtown Phoenix" and downtown San Jose" - they look virtually identical, whereas Los Angeles / Houston / Dallas (and Atlanta) all have a separate, similar look.

It could be argued that Houston or Dallas is a "baby L.A.", whereas Phoenix is more of an "oversized San Jose, IE or Vegas".

Obadno Aug 5, 2019 7:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st (Post 8649948)
I don't get this at all. You don't want Phoenix compared to the I.E or San Jose, but you want it compared to LA??? :shrug:

Many people think the IE is like Phoenix or Vegas.

Again, Phoenix and LA didnt develop the same way. Pre 1950, downtown LA was the center of the metro, and thriving. It had the biggest street car network in the world and one the of the biggest metros in the country.
These other sunbelt towns didn't have this.

It's just weird to me that you're trying to lump LA into this, when Dallas, Houston are more comparable here.

I did use Dallas, but I also think LA is a good comparison, because as stated, despite being much larger and thus starting with a bigger downtown baseline after that all the cities developed in much the same way. Riverside and San Jose despite being massive in and of themselves operate as essentially giant suburbs to other Gorilla cities in their region, phoenix does not and thus they arent really as good of a comparison.

Try to get over the hangup you have with LA being bigger earlier. I know skyline pictures arent really the best example but lets be real here.

Riverside:
https://www.cpcmg.net/wp-content/upl...Physicians.jpg

Yeah Riverside is the same size as Phoenix but these two cities CLEARLY did not develop in the same way, as riverside and the greater IE are essentially giant suburbs.

San Jose:

https://live.staticflickr.com/8359/8...d099d2ec_b.jpg


San Jose is quite a bit larger but I can see what you refer to as suburban office park feel.

Now dont Mistake my intent here because I am not trying to claim that the downtown is Big but it is certainly not laid out in a suburban fashion it does not have wide streets or tons of space between the buildings. Its a tight cluster that you get as the central core of a region, San Jose and Riverside dont quite fulfill the same thing as they are by their very nature, secondary in the region.

https://atlascpas.com/wp-content/upl.../PhoenixAZ.jpg


Actually San Jose reminds me of the Texas Medical Center outside of downtown Houston, or a big version of what we call midtown (which is actually where I work) about 1.5 miles north of downtown. or if you look in the background a cluster of office buildings loosely called Biltmore which is about as big as Riversides downtown.

https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/midt...t-36852081.jpg

JAYNYC Aug 5, 2019 8:04 PM

I'm sorry, but those photos you posted ^ of Phoenix and San Jose do more to support my claim, and to discredit yours. They look essentially identical.

LA21st Aug 5, 2019 8:04 PM

A hang up being bigger? Thats a fact. You have a hang up with this, not me.
LA changed it's development course when it chose freeways over it's massive street car network. Thats what makes different from Houston, Dallas or Pheonix.

If you want to think they're more similar, ok. I dont know how many people would agree with it.

Obadno Aug 5, 2019 8:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAYNYC (Post 8649998)
I'm sorry, but those photos you posted ^ of Phoenix and San Jose do more to support my claim, and to discredit yours. They look essentially identical.

Well I guess agree to disagree on that

As for LA, you do have a hang up not sure why you can’t get over it.

JAYNYC Aug 5, 2019 8:09 PM

To be honest, downtown Phoenix is more comparable in terms of aesthetic, design and functionality to the Los Angeles satellite city of Glendale, CA, than it is to downtown L.A. itself.

JAYNYC Aug 5, 2019 8:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Obadno (Post 8650004)
As for LA, you do have a hang up not sure why you can’t get over it.

You are correct. I cannot get over the fact that someone would compare Phoenix to Los Angeles. It's absurd, ridiculous, laughable, etc.

But, whatever helps you sleep at night. :D

JAYNYC Aug 5, 2019 8:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Obadno (Post 8650004)
Well I guess agree to disagree on that

So you honestly think downtown Phoenix looks more like downtown L.A. than it looks like downtown San Jose or downtown Glendale in those photos you posted?

Honestly?

Sun Belt Aug 5, 2019 8:14 PM

Suburban office park:
http://static2.businessinsider.com/i...-996/undefined
Phoenix:
https://www.retirementliving.com/wp-...ent-Living.jpg

Obadno Aug 5, 2019 8:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAYNYC (Post 8650008)
You are correct. I cannot get over the fact that someone would compare Phoenix to Los Angeles. It's absurd, ridiculous, laughable, etc.

But, whatever helps you sleep at night. :D

I was addressing the poster LA21 no need to get your panties in a bunch

Both cities developed in extremely similar ways, one being much larger does not change that, it only changes the magnitude of what is currently there.

JAYNYC Aug 5, 2019 8:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sun Belt (Post 8650011)

(...finds and posts the worst possible image he can find via a Google Images search of "suburban office park", and best possible angle of downtown Phoenix).

OK. So downtown Phoenix resembles downtown San Jose, CA and downtown Glendale, CA. Feel better? :rolleyes:

Obadno Aug 5, 2019 8:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAYNYC (Post 8650010)
So you honestly think downtown Phoenix looks more like downtown L.A. than it looks like downtown San Jose or downtown Glendale in those photos you posted?

Honestly?

Yeah actually I kind of do, Its a tight cluster surrounded by sprawl. Like a spike on a giant flat plain. LA's is as one would expect 5x larger, but proportionally ...

https://live.staticflickr.com/4305/3...701785d5_b.jpg

And relative to the overall region it represents its very undersized.

Now LA is starting to really develop its core quite a bit now so we will see how that goes in the next decade.


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