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  #41  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2019, 10:56 PM
austlar1 austlar1 is offline
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You are right that downtown PHX was a mess by 2005. Some of it (I think the area with the vacant lots you pictured, if that is the area south of the below grade IH10 below the museum and library), was leveled in the late 1990s. It was mostly early 20th century houses and small business structures at the time of demolition. It was in rough shape, but it had a certain strange charm. Anyway, there was not much life in downtown when I briefly lived in PHX in 1994-95. I couldn't handle the heat, but that is another story. Yes, my grandmother made a full recovery. My grandparents were very big on road trips and starting in the 1920s they would take long trips, accompanied by my mother, uncle, and some of their cousins to places all over the western US. My mother used to have amazing scrap books filled with pictures of these land voyages. I don't think she realized how remarkable those trips really were.

Here's a link with lots of pics of PHX downtown and midtown in the 1960s. https://roguecolumnist.typepad.com/r...e-sixties.html

Last edited by austlar1; Jul 19, 2019 at 11:32 PM.
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  #42  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2019, 6:37 PM
Buckeye Native 001 Buckeye Native 001 is online now
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Talton's blog does a pretty good job of conveying how small was Phoenix before it's population started to boom in the 1950s, and how what was present Downtown was destroyed/paved over as suburban development blossomed in every direction across the Valley of the Sun except for within Downtown Phoenix.

What's amusing to me about the opening of the original Psycho was how Downtown Phoenix was already starting it's decline by the time principal photography wrapped.

As soleri already mentioned, what is happening in Downtown Phoenix today is nothing short of a miracle even if it's subdued compared to other cities already undergoing urban renaissances. ASU Downtown has been a bigger boon than most Valley residents want to admit (Phoenix has at least one city council member and a State Legislature that openly loathe anything that benefits investing in anyone or anything that doesn't personally enrich them). There's still a hell of a learning curve when it comes to developing a viable urban living space in Central Phoenix. As a result of five-plus decades of suburban development, it's at a disadvantage wherein it has to compete with Midtown, 24th and Camelback (the Camelback Corridor?), Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale and Chandler for business development (coupled with height restrictions from nearby Sky Harbor Airport, this results in a short, lackluster skyline). Hell, as ugly as it's street presence is, it's amazing that a building like Valley Center (aka Chase Tower, Arizona's tallest at a whopping 483 feet) was constructed in the early 1970s because Valley Bank's president wanted to show to other developers and businesses that there was still a reason to stay in Downtown Phoenix. It was obviously a failed effort, but it's hard to knock someone's civic stewardship.

When my family moved to Phoenix in 1996, there was never a reason for us to go Downtown except to visit a handful of museums as well as Suns and Diamondbacks games (it pisses me off to no end that the Dbacks want to move to the Salt River-Pima Reservation near Scottsdale). It was strange moving from a place like Cincinnati, which has large, centrally-focused public spaces such Fountain Square, Sawyer Point and Public Landing, but compared to 15-20 years ago, there's some semblance of an urban movement in Downtown Phoenix that simply hadn't been there for as long as most of us can remember.

It sounds defeatist to say that there's a faint pulse now compared to decades past, but it's hard to emphasize/overstate just how important it is that there's something, anything, happening there right now.
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  #43  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2019, 10:15 PM
Obadno Obadno is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post

It looks like it was nuclear-bombed.

And now it looks like this:


Like it says in the article, there's development now, but a lot of it consists of superblocks.

The first several paragraphs of the Rogue Columnist Article part 1:
I dot know what’s to them you man, there was never much of a downtown, sure there was a busy ish center of town when it was literally a town but Phoenix never had a serious downtown. It didn’t destroy its downtown it never had one to begin with
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  #44  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2019, 11:01 PM
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Then and Now:

2011:
https://goo.gl/maps/DSF5KDyj5rD3UKwBA
2019:
https://goo.gl/maps/KJLhfE97e29EhsPd9

What was once a neighborhood of single family bungalows, that was cleared out in the 1980s has risen from the ashes into a new residential district. Pretty remarkable changes in just a few short years.

E] Take note of the historic, slow growth, California Fan Palms. They're all that remains from the past.
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  #45  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2019, 5:29 PM
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Ah, pity Phoenix bulldozed its historic downtown but its not alone. I've seen this all over America, especially South and West.
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  #46  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 3:26 AM
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Ah, pity Phoenix bulldozed its historic downtown but its not alone. I've seen this all over America, especially South and West.
Let me just put out a few facts.

AZ became a state in 1912. In the 1920 census the entire state had 334,000 people. In 1950 it was about 750,000 people FOR THE STATE.

Phoenix was 107,000 people in 1950. It never had a car-less downtown. It never really had a "downtown" before the "modern era" (post WWII). Therefore it never really had a downtown to bulldoze. Not like a Kansas City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Denver, Portland, etc... to name newer-ish (compared to the East coast) western US cities.
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  #47  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 2:36 PM
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What is lucky about this? Lucky you have next to zero surviving pre-war development to restore and that's lucky? Hooray for your sterile new autocentric podium hotels and apartment donuts, so lucky.

I think I'll still prefer a downtown Buffalo or a Cleveland that had a "carcass" to clean up.
You have seriously become one of the biggest trolls on SSP. It was a lot better here before you came around, and that is no exaggeration. Why don't you try adding something of value or substance instead of just pouncing on people and treating them like they're pieces of shit with your non-analysis shit-talking.
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  #48  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 4:18 PM
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Originally Posted by SunDevil View Post
Let me just put out a few facts.

AZ became a state in 1912. In the 1920 census the entire state had 334,000 people. In 1950 it was about 750,000 people FOR THE STATE.

Phoenix was 107,000 people in 1950.
You would think people would know this. Especially on this forum.
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  #49  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 4:26 PM
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Not coincidentally the decade in-home air conditioning began to proliferate (50s).
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  #50  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 4:36 PM
Obadno Obadno is offline
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Originally Posted by subterranean View Post
You have seriously become one of the biggest trolls on SSP. It was a lot better here before you came around, and that is no exaggeration. Why don't you try adding something of value or substance instead of just pouncing on people and treating them like they're pieces of shit with your non-analysis shit-talking.
They seem to have a big problem that time is what it is and some cities are not old.
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  #51  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 7:30 PM
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Originally Posted by subterranean View Post
Not coincidentally the decade in-home air conditioning began to proliferate (50s).
In the desert southwest many older homes still have "swamp coolers"--evaporative coolers that in very low humidity (5% is not rare in Tucson) can be quite effective and are a lot older technology than refrigerated A/C.

Looks like an A/C unit on the roof but inside is just a fan, water piping and something like a mop that holds large quantities of water:


https://www.robbinshvaconline.com/ai...g/swamp-cooler

Some houses have both (mine has wiring for both but only real A/C was ever installed). The evaporative units are a lot cheaper to run since only the fan requires electricity.
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  #52  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 7:46 PM
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Funny you should bring those up; I recently talked to someone about swamp coolers... I guess I could look up how they work online, but basically what they told me was that swamp coolers only work in dry climates, and it basically blows cold moist air (vs. an air conditioner which blows cold dry air).

So do they act as humidifiers too, then? They'd be good for people who have issues with dry air?
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  #53  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 8:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
In the desert southwest many older homes still have "swamp coolers"--evaporative coolers that in very low humidity (5% is not rare in Tucson) can be quite effective and are a lot older technology than refrigerated A/C.

Looks like an A/C unit on the roof but inside is just a fan, water piping and something like a mop that holds large quantities of water:
Good point. My wife's grandparents are in the Redding area (quite dry) and use a swamp cooler. Whenever I've been there in the summer it's kept the house surprisingly comfortable. They have to keep the thing on all day though or it can't keep up.
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  #54  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 8:39 PM
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Swamp coolers are useless during the monsoon season. I think it's about 80F with around 60% humidity in Flagstaff right now and it would feel about as useful as a panting dog breathing on you.
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  #55  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 8:40 PM
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Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post


Funny you should bring those up; I recently talked to someone about swamp coolers... I guess I could look up how they work online, but basically what they told me was that swamp coolers only work in dry climates, and it basically blows cold moist air (vs. an air conditioner which blows cold dry air).

So do they act as humidifiers too, then? They'd be good for people who have issues with dry air?
Yes, they only work in dry climates. The simple principle is that evaporation uses ambient heat which is why you feel cold when you get out of a swimming pool (and in AZ in summer, I've literally begun shivvering when it was 105 degrees in that situation). So evaporative coolers blow the air across/through water-soaked material causing evaporation which cools and, yes, humidifies the air before it is blown into the living space. But making the air more humid when the ambient humidity is 5% is not a problem--in fact, for most people it's desirable (I get nose bleeds from the dryness whenever I first go back to Tucson in the fall). It never gets "Gulf Coast humid".

If the ambient air is already anything like saturated with moisture, very little evaporation occurs and so very little cooling. These things are useful mainly in the desert but there they can be very useful and some form of them have been around a long time.
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  #56  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 8:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Buckeye Native 001 View Post
Swamp coolers are useless during the monsoon season. I think it's about 80F with around 60% humidity in Flagstaff right now and it would feel about as useful as a panting dog breathing on you.
Right which is why some homes have both--Swamp cooler to save money in May/June when it's hottest and before the monsoon starts, then A/C for once the humidity rises.

But it's also cooler (in Tucson by about 10 degrees in the daily high temps) once the monsoon starts and the point was that swamp coolers were used by desert dwellers in the Southwest before refrigerated A/C became available to regular consumers for home use. Back then they took the edge off the hottest weather and made desert living tolerable.
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  #57  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 8:48 PM
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which is why you feel cold when you get out of a swimming pool (and in AZ in summer, I've literally begun shivvering when it was 105 degrees in that situation). .
being from the humid eastern half of the nation, i didn't realize this until my 1st trip to vegas as a young adult.

i got out of the pool on a hot sunny vegas day and started shivering. i was like "WTF, it's in the 90s, how in the hell can i possibly be cold."

that kinda thing simply doesn't happen in the humid east, where a swamp cooler would be entirely useless.
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  #58  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 10:00 PM
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Prevalent, long-term humidity is why I would never consider moving east of Denver. I simply can't do it anymore and am miserable right now (83F with 33% humidity, dew point of 50)

We could always just revert to setting up canvas beds outside (precursors to Arizona/Florida rooms?) with the bed legs in buckets of water to prevent the scorpions from creeping into bed with us at night? That might slightly reduce the heat island in Phoenix...
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  #59  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 10:16 PM
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I simply can't do it anymore and am miserable right now (83F with 33% humidity, dew point of 50)
funny, it's 82 with a dew point of 56 here in evanston at the moment, and i'm doing back flips.

any dew point under 60 in july in chicago is a full-blown win. it's been like this all week. one of the most pleasant july weeks i can ever recall.
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  #60  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2019, 12:05 AM
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Is there a breeze off the lake? That might be the difference maker. It can get stagnant in the Ohio River valley around Cincinnati and while Flagstaff can get windy, it hasn't been for most of today (at least, it wasn't the times I was outside walking around downtown)
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