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  #1  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2008, 4:39 PM
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Phoenix's "The Deuce"?

Hey folks,

Do any of you guys have any stories or tales or pictures of Phoenix's old "Deuce" neighborhood, our very own old Skid Row?

It was named I'm guessing as by its two locations on 2's--2nd St near Van Buren and 2nd Ave and Madison. Had the area reasonably gentrified, it perhaps could have been our own Mill Avenue--an organically grown, mixed-use, pedestrian friendly neighborhood. In fact, Mill and various other Phoenix neighborhoods were its contemporaries, but obviously took different paths in their ultimate redevelopment.

The staple of The Deuce was basically "Single Room Occupancy" flophouses a lot like the Hotel Windsor, the 2-story building next to the Hotel Monroe construction site, and the image on the last scene of the 1960's Phoenix transition video, which we figure was shot near 2nd St just south of Van Buren. Gritty bars, restaurants (there's a story about the author finding somebody passed out in a bowl of menudo), liquor stores, immigrant cafes rounded the rest of The Deuce out.

We don't talk about it much, but The Deuce's demolition was Phoenix's very own rotten "urban renewal" project--losing an entire urban neighborhood at a time for a highly utilitarian, non-urban use like Civic Plaza. I wondered why Civic Plaza was built in its current location in the center of downtown as opposed to the periphery, but it appears Civic Plaza *was* on the periphery of what was then the respectable part of Downtown Phoenix.

Sure, the grittiness of The Deuce may have made its destruction obvious, but if we followed that mantra everywhere it appeared an easy solution, this country would have few great places left. It is unfortunate we followed it here.

The Deuce was torn down en masse for the North Building and Symphony Hall around 1972 and again for the South Building in 1982. The other 1970s wastelands in the area, Chase Tower and Hyatt, came from the same broken, destined-to-fail thinking--renewal by isolation. The massive walls and moats for projects built around this time were probably no accident--architects probably didn't want anything to do with the street scene at the time.

The 1970s for downtown Phoenix was an ironic turning point in our post-Park Central Mall decline. Downtown was booming with the things that were purported to renew it but in fact that which was constructed made our modern problem that much larger. It's when downtown started turning from being a collection of neighborhoods to a collection of uses. Many of the last stands of what could have given us a modern street scene were torn down, even tho demolitions in the area were well on their way by the 1950's.

I haven't found many articles (yet) that give more than a cursory description of the area... but some things I'm finding out about the neighborhood:

The homeless problem downtown may very well have originated in the Deuce's final destruction--on a cold rainy November night in 1982, some 300 were found camped making fires in Patriots Square. Many of the Deuce's residents--those folks in the flophouses had no place else to go.

Don't like the Matador? I was hearing a story of the Matador in its old location--a better place, a better vibe, better food, way cheaper before it corporatized to the hotel convention market with a move to the Regency Garage. Sing High Chop Suey is another restaurant that survives relocated from the Deuce.

Ernesto Miranda actually died from a stabwound received at a Deuce-area bar.

If you folks have any stories or pictures or anything from Phoenix's "The Deuce" part of town I would *love* to learn more about it!
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Old Posted Jul 3, 2008, 6:39 PM
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/\ Very interesting. I have not heard about it specifically called The Deuce. Although I've heard about downtown phoenix's rough past... seems like downtown's destruction for new buildings (like you talk about above) was inevitable, but that's just another reason downtown has struggled for so long. If everything was kept as-is in downtown (roughly 7th ST to 7th Ave, McDowell to Buckeye), save for the random tear down and rebuilding with a tower (actually "making good" on the proposal and rezoning for a high-rise, rather than tearing down a historic structure and letting the lot turn to dust), downtown Phoenix would be amazing right now (relative to what it is). I'm envisioning a couple streets like Mill Avenue, a more cohesive arts district, a warehouse district like other cities (just with smaller warehouses), and maybe even a real/thriving chinatown.

Oh well, there's nothing we can do about it now.

But I'd love to hear more about The Deuce. I'll try to dig something/anything up.
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Old Posted Jul 3, 2008, 7:16 PM
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This picture might shed light as to what it used to look like. I don't know if this was in anyway connected to "the deuce", probably not, but it may have turned into it's own shady area after a while. The building on the right looks like the one where that "Sticklers" sandwhich shop is now, near city hall. I'm pretty sure this is 3rd St looking south at Washington. The buildings and hotel and streets look like they could have fallen into disrepair, and have now been replaced by all of those hideous municipal buildings and/or parking lots there are downtown now.

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Old Posted Jul 3, 2008, 7:36 PM
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Good thread, combusean. Was this prompted by the column discussing the Deuce in the "Phoenix Republic" a few days ago? I was struck by three things in that column: first, that Phoenix tore down nearly 150 buildings in the Deuce; second, that the teardowns took place en masse until 1994 (I guess I sort of knew that as America West Arena opened in 1993, but it is still striking because the massive urban renewal projects that wiped out entire neighborhoods in other cities had pretty much stopped by the 80's, let alone 1994); and third, that the site of Ernesto Miranda's death (and possibly his arrest?) was where US Airways Center now sits. There's no testament to that fact anywhere that I know of-- and in a city that always gets slammed for having "no history"-- Miranda's life, as ironic as this is, is a pretty important part of American history because of the court decision that bears his name.

I can't find that Republic column online, but there's a blog on azcentral that discusses the column and fleshes out a couple facts: http://www.azcentral.com/members/Blog/Deanne/27028

http://downtownphoenix.blogspot.com
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Old Posted Jul 4, 2008, 4:34 AM
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Actually, it wasn't ... the chronlog of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce building--(one that is interesting as it stood only during downtown's decline) and identifying from where various shots were taken sort of got us thinking about Phoenix's old downtown.

I couldn't find the Republic column either--we were looking for it the other night.

I have an email out to Ms Turner, the author of the article--hopefully I get some traction.
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Old Posted Jul 4, 2008, 4:56 AM
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HOW I LEARNED I HAD LANDED IN THE BIG CITY
Arizona Republic, The (Phoenix, AZ) - September 15, 2006
Author: Clay Thompson, The Arizona Republic
Quote:
You people certainly seem to have a lot of bird questions lately. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because the weather seems to be turning a little nicer and you're getting out more and seeing more birds. I don't know.

Anyway, we have a bird question today, but first we have a days of Phoenix past question to deal with.

I know several people who grew up in Phoenix who refer to Van Buren Street as the " Deuce ." They don't know why that is, and neither do I. Have you ever heard of this, or do you know anything about it?

The Deuce was a chunk of downtown Phoenix bounded roughly by Second, Fifth, Buchanan and Van Buren streets. It was not exactly the city's pride and joy. It was a seedy neighborhood filled with flophouses, pawnshops, bars and cheap cafes and was razed in the '80s to make way for the convention center.

On one of my first days at work at the long-lost Phoenix Gazette, I went to lunch at a restaurant in the Deuce with some colleagues. At the counter, there was a guy asleep facedown in a bowl of menudo. I thought to myself, "You're not in Kansas anymore." Of course, I'm not from Kansas anyway, but you get the idea.

One thing about the Deuce : Its single-residence hotels, or flophouses, provided cheap housing for lots of people down on their luck. When they were razed, they were never really replaced, and a lot of people ended up on the streets.
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Old Posted Jul 4, 2008, 4:59 AM
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THINK BIG SMALLER - NEGLECTING THE LITTLE THINGS RAISES THE SPECTER THAT DOWNTOWN WILL REMAIN A DEAD ZONE
Arizona Republic, The (Phoenix, AZ) - July 30, 2006
Author: Jon Talton, The Arizona Republic
Quote:
From the newsroom window, I've watched Phoenix Civic Plaza turned into dump-truck loads. In the 1960s, it had been promoted as the big thing that would revive downtown .

That didn't happen. Far worse days were ahead when Civic Plaza first opened in 1972. A few other big things followed, including Arizona Center, US Airways Arena and Chase Field. Yet our core remained an underachiever in the American downtown renaissance of the 1990s.

Now, some of the biggest things yet are on the way: light rail, ASU, a huge new convention center and convention hotel.

Will this finally heal the heart of Phoenix, as Reg Manning's pro-Civic Plaza cartoon in the 1960s promised?

Answering that requires me to admit that my lucky streak has, if not ended, at least has slowed down.

I lived in San Diego; Denver; and Charlotte, N.C., as their downtowns were turned around. Progress was evident within two or three years. Yet I've been back in Phoenix for nearly six years and little has disturbed the empty lots and vacant buildings.

In Charlotte, nine high-rises are under construction or about to start downtown , with another four proposed. Now that real estate is slowing down, most of the projects announced for central Phoenix will be dead or long delayed.

All these are suburbanized, car-dependent cities, pointing to a profound competitive truth. Every city we're competing against for talent and capital has the same suburban stuff we have: same look-alike subdivisions, same malls. The best have their version of Scottsdale, their version of resorts and golf.

But they have something Phoenix lacks: lively downtowns and distinctive, convenient urban neighborhoods.

Phoenix's problems are complicated, and they were in the civic bloodstream when Civic Plaza opened. By destroying the Deuce , the old skid row, Civic Plaza caused the rising homeless population to scatter into the downtown business district and neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, the Papago Freeway was being planned that would eventually ram through the beautiful old houses of the Roosevelt district.

The neighborhoods between downtown and the Capitol, which contained irreplaceable historic houses and apartments, were allowed to become drug dens on the way to being demolished.

Meanwhile, the city allowed vast swaths to be zoned high-rise, making them too expensive to develop for decades, or maybe ever.

Making a stand in these areas could have helped stave off the destabilizing forces of sprawl. But the city's elite had moved to Arcadia or Paradise Valley, and few people back then questioned the process of car-based abandonment. Yet this consigned the Civic Plaza to being essentially a fortress in a dead zone.

It ensured that the road back would be needlessly difficult.

When I compare Phoenix to the other cities, another big difference emerges: The other turnarounds have been driven by business, not city hall. Lacking many committed major headquarters, or even a visionary developer such the late Ernest Hahn in San Diego, Phoenix operates at a severe disadvantage.

Meanwhile, Phoenix City Hall has been slow to adopt many of the salutary policies under its control. Downtown is still not the easiest place to do business -- far from it. Phoenix still lacks the historic reuse incentives and codes adopted years ago by its successful rivals.

City Hall can build big buildings, but it suffers from a tin ear when it comes to small, human-scale and connectivity. This is especially sad considering some of the talent on the city staff.

Thus, Phoenix has been AWOL in protecting and (equally importantly) reviving the warehouse district. Shade has yet to be a priority. Delightful, distinct small businesses struggle, not least against complicated, suburbanized city regulations.

Some downtown advocates see this neglect of the small as a consequence of an emphasis on the big. But a city the size of Phoenix must learn to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Downtown Denver (the city is one-third the size of Phoenix) has stadiums for four professional teams, plus a huge performing arts center and art museum, plus a teeming business district, plus chain stores, plus unique local stores and art galleries, plus urban housing.

The major projects in downtown Phoenix have an unprecedented potential, but we need the big and the small. We need a showplace national convention center -- and the galleries on Roosevelt. We need ASU -- and Bentley Projects.

Here's a simple yardstick: Are we making downtown a better place to work, play and live?

It's impossible to give up on the core without giving up on Phoenix.

The next 50 years are not going to be a repeat of the past 50, and Phoenix has no future if it cannot get its heart right, finally.

Reach Talton at jon.talton@arizonarepublic.com. Read Talton's blog at www.taltonblog.azcentral.com.
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Old Posted Jul 4, 2008, 5:02 AM
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EATERY SAW ROUGH TIMES
Arizona Republic, The (Phoenix, AZ) - September 19, 2004
Author: William Hermann, The Arizona Republic
Quote:
Anyone wondering whether downtown Phoenix is becoming a better place need only remember when the Deuce , a squalid conglomeration of warehouses, flophouses, cheap bars and ratty liquor stores, occupied much of the area between Monroe and Buchanan, Second to Fifth streets.

Harlan Lee remembers, because in the middle of that was, improbably, one of downtown 's most popular restaurants, Sing High Chop Suey House, which his grandparents and parents owned. Harlan remembers the violence of the area only too well. One night in 1966, while he was standing in the doorway of the restaurant, he was shot.

"It was past 1 a.m. and we were closed and I guess the guy in the back of the passing car was mad 'cause they couldn't come in; anyway, he shot me," Harlan said. "I still have the bullet inside me, between my aorta and spine."

Harlan, 11 at the time, was working late because in the Lee family everyone worked long hours at the restaurant.

Grandfather Fred Lee, who had come to Phoenix from China in 1927, opened the restaurant the next year. He wanted it to be named Shanghai, but spoke and read little English and when the sign painter returned a sign that said "Sing High," Fred didn't know the difference.

Harlan's father and mother Kai and Anna Lee worked there tirelessly and so did Harlan and his brother.

"It was grueling," Harlan said. "My parents worked terrible hours. And tried to deal with losing three of my brothers to a blood disease. They were incredible."

Incredible enough to create a restaurant that became a popular downtown attraction.

"When the Phoenix Suns started up as a team, they came in all the time; still do," Harlan said. "Jerry Colangelo was a regular, Connie Hawkins, Alvin Adams and (NBA referee) Tommy Nunez was a regular."

So were politicians like Governors Sam Goddard (and son Terry Goddard), Bruce Babbitt, Rose Mofford and Raul Castro.

But in the late 1970s and early '80s, the Deuce was demolished to make way for new hotels and for expansion of the Civic Plaza. Sing High moved from Third and Madison streets to First Avenue and Madison Street.

Harlan now divides management of the restaurant with wife Karleen Lee. Kai Lee died several years ago, but Anna Lee still comes in to manage on weekends.

"One thing that made the move possible, and makes all the work worthwhile, has been the loyalty of our customers," Harlan said.

Legal cowboy

We heard that Valley attorney Leon Bess, founder of the Phoenix firm Bess Kunz, is retiring, so we gave him a call.

Bess, 67, is one of those transplanted Easterners who took to the legend of the West -- cowboys, horses, boots and saddles -- like it had been in their blood all their lives.

Bess, who grew up in Detroit, says he was from a home of very limited means and a huge treat was the Thanksgiving Day Parade where he would stare fascinated at mounted police platoons.

"I'd dream of having one of those horses one day," Bess said. "I'd dream of living in the West."

After putting himself through college and law school and getting married, he moved his family to Phoenix in 1970. And between work and family, began to go on trail rides.

Success in law meant the ability to buy horses and to ride in about 30 Fiesta Bowl parades, three Rose Bowl Parades and buy a ranch near the Usery Mountains in Mesa.

Bess lives there now, riding every day, breeding Morgan horses, and being thankful, that, "though I very much miss my late wife, I have my lovely daughters, eight grandchildren, my dogs and my horses.

"I have more than I should have."

Submit items to localpeople@arizonarepublic.com or mail to Local People, c/o The Arizona Republic, 200 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85004.
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Old Posted Jul 4, 2008, 5:12 AM
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NEW HOMELESS FACILITY STILL FACES UPHILL BATTLE
Arizona Republic, The (Phoenix, AZ) - December 15, 2001
Author: Tom Zoellner and Elvia Diaz, The Arizona Republic

Quote:
...
Meanwhile, Les and Ruth Harlan are using a different type of mechanism to deal with the homeless: water sprinklers aimed at dousing the loiterers who hang around their 75-year-old family business in the 700 block of West Madison Street.

"It's just getting so bad that we felt it was the only way to keep them away," Ruth said. "They do drug deals and give you the finger. They have no respect for us."

The Harlans' heating, air-conditioning and sheet metal supply business is only a few feet from the St. Vincent de Paul dining hall, which many homeless visit daily. The Harlans say a permanent shelter would further undermine the neighborhood and their business.

Ricardo Medina, a 39-year-old immigrant from San Luis Rio Colorado in Mexico, used to sleep along the Harlans' sidewalk until the sprinklers wet him down and he had to find another place to spend the night.

"I came here to work but have not been that lucky," he said.

It is a frequent refrain in this neighborhood, where gunfire and petty assaults are commonplace and the call, "Hey, are you buying?" is a universally understood solicitation to purchase drugs.

In Territorial days, it was a middle-class enclave of government employees, railroad workers and laborers. But the urban flight of the 1950s sapped its property values, and it has been a homeless haven since the early 1980s, when 800 urban refugees settled in a lot that came to be known as "Tent City."

Fueled by an economic depression, the homeless problem was compounded by the urban revitalization of "The Deuce ," a seedy row of flophouses and cheap apartments that was leveled to make room for the Phoenix Civic Plaza.

The only social services in the area at the time, the 125-bed Salvation Army shelter and the St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen, were overwhelmed with clients. In 1985, CASS opened a "temporary" shelter in a former county morgue at 12th Avenue and Madison Street. The now-decrepit building is still the largest emergency shelter in the Valley and, for many, serves as a symbol for the city's lingering lack of a coherent approach to the homeless problem.

CASS, St. Vincent de Paul's soup kitchen, the Maricopa County Clinic for the Homeless, and the outreach programs Andre House and St. Joseph the Worker, are within walking distance of one another, but there is little administrative connection among them and no effective system to manage cases.
@#$!
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Old Posted Jul 4, 2008, 5:36 AM
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Idea: probably insane, disrespectful... but ... rebuild it... here:


...courtesy Google ... on 19th Avenue and Lower Buckeye...

endcapping the Rio Salado improvement district... All the dirt is city owned ...

The area is 12 downtown-size blocks northsouth on the longend by 8 blocks to the east and west...just about the size of Downtown itself... the airport would ensure low height limits, the area could use the reinvestment--especially with the kind of workforce housing that the Deuce provided.

Last edited by combusean; Jul 4, 2008 at 5:47 AM.
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2008, 1:28 AM
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No new construction could ever measure up to the historic treasures these buildings could have been if renovated, (or not). Too bad we razed half of our Downtown history, if not more. It does present some good challenges I suppose, like a way to create a new identity. Still, old red brick buildings always make for good botique shops, salons, architecture/ design firms/ lounges/ eateries. It hurts seeing old pics of good buildings.

Thanks for the education Sean!
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Old Posted Mar 2, 2010, 12:17 AM
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This thread needs a bump. Still looking for more information about old Downtown.
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Old Posted Mar 2, 2010, 9:41 PM
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This column has a bit on the Deuce, and Phoenix:

http://roguecolumnist.typepad.com/ro...-old-city.html
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Old Posted Mar 2, 2010, 9:54 PM
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From another column:

1930s
The Great Depression didn’t affect Phoenix as much as older American cities. Six banks and two building and loan associations failed, shops closed, and construction halted. Still, movie houses were open, and 1930s photographs show evidence of Downtown hustle and bustle. In the late 1930s, Downtown Phoenix’s retail sales ranked 13th in the nation.

February 25, 1931: Phoenix celebrated the 50th anniversary of its incorporation with a parade, costume ball and rodeo.

January 1933: Walter Bimson took control of Valley National Bank and is credited with helping save the Arizona banking system.

1934: The “business of sin” was alive, Luckingham writes, as brothels proliferated along Jefferson, Madison and Jackson streets between Central Avenue and Fourth Street. Today, the Phoenix Suns play basketball here.

1935: The two-story U.S. Post Office at Central Avenue and Fillmore Street opened. A 1937 stamp denoting the Works Progress Administration – created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to create jobs during the Great Depression – is still visible on the sidewalk along Fillmore Street.


1940s
The Phoenix population was 65,000 by 1940, and Downtown attracted droves of shoppers from outlying areas. In the 1940s, Kress’s, J.C. Penney, Newberry’s, Korrick’s, Goldwater’s, Switzer’s, the Boston Store (later Diamond’s), Montgomery Ward, and Sears, Roebuck and Co. were concentrated in a four-block area. Phoenix attorney Kenneth Diamond, a member of the Diamond retailing family, remembers a “dramatic event” that affected Downtown merchants. “Stores were open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays,” he recalls. “Pedestrians crowded the sidewalks.” Thousands of servicemen stationed in the Valley also crowded Downtown, prompting prominent businessman George Luhrs to liken Phoenix’s streets to New York City.

1946: Eugene C. Pulliam bought The Arizona Republic and would go on to wield great influence over everything from city government reform to freeway construction.

1947: Hanny’s, a three-story clothing store at Adams and First streets (now a restaurant by the same name), opened with a modern architectural look emulated by other retailers in post-war Downtown.

1948: Automobiles and city buses phased out Downtown’s railcars, which had run since 1887.


1950s
Downtown went into decline as post-war boomers sought a new life in the city’s outer reaches. In 1957, Phoenix’s first shopping mall, Park Central Shopping Center, opened at Central Avenue and Osborn Street with 34 stores, sounding a death knell for Downtown’s merchants. Goldwater’s relocated there and J.C. Penney later followed suit. “The retail mercantile heart of Phoenix hasn’t moved out from Downtown to its far-flung arterial arms or legs just yet,” said a May 1953 article in The Arizona Republic. Still, the writing was on the wall. Rapid growth and annexation also took the focus away from Downtown.

1955: Hotel San Carlos underwent a major renovation, adding a swimming pool to the rooftop. It is the only historic hotel still operating Downtown.

1959: The Phoenix Art Museum opened.

1959: The City of Phoenix purchased the Walker Building, a 1920 building that housed the first J.C. Penney store. It is now surrounded by city government buildings.

1960s
In the 1960s, cruising Central Avenue was in, but retail was out. All the major department stores abandoned Downtown. Empty storefronts became skid rows. “When I arrived in 1968, Downtown was on its way down,” says Jerry Colangelo, a major force behind Downtown revitalization in the 1990s. In 1948, Downtown had accounted for 35 percent of retail sales in Maricopa County. By 1963, Downtown’s percentage was 7.7 percent. Meanwhile, a crop of high-rise developments uptown split the Phoenix skyline in two.

1960: The 20-story Guaranty Building opened uptown, essentially, as Luckingham quoted an observer, “nailing the lid on the coffin of Downtown Phoenix.”

January 16, 1962: Valley National Bank created a buzz with the announcement it would build a skyscraper Downtown.

February 18, 1964: In a coordinated search, officials found 12 illegal “high odds” pinball machines operating within a mile of City Hall.

1967: The Civil Rights era was in full swing, and racial rioting occurred here as in other major U.S. metropolitan cities. Blacks demanded jobs, better parks for youths and more respect from police.


1970s
While retail and small business owners had fled, the financial community staked its claim to Downtown. The skyline soared in the 1970s with new development. The pinnacle – in height anyway – came in 1972 when Valley National Bank, the glassy high-rise now known as Chase Tower, opened. At 40 stories, it remains Arizona’s tallest building. A celebration on Central Avenue rang in Phoenix’s 100th birthday in 1970, with parties later at the Hotel Adams and the Hotel Westward Ho.

1971: The First National Bank Plaza (now the Wells Fargo Plaza) opened.

1972: The Monroe School closed due to the declining Downtown population. The building has been restored and today houses the Children’s Museum of Phoenix.

1972: The $21 million Civic Plaza, home to convention space and the 2,575-seat Symphony Hall, was built over a slum known as “the Deuce.”

1973: The storied Hotel Adams came down to make way for the 532-room Hilton (now the Wyndham).

1973: Voters shot down the proposed elevated Papago Freeway.

1976: Patriot’s Square Park was completed. So was the Hyatt Regency Hotel, which occupied the block where Montgomery Ward had once been.


1980s
By the 1980s, there were people crowded into local storefronts – but they were usually sleeping. “There was this hysteria about the transient population,” says Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, mayor of Phoenix from 1983 to 1990. While Downtown languished, midtown Phoenix and the Camelback corridor thrived. Tempers boiled over when developer and future Governor Fife Symington proposed the Camelback Esplanade project at 24th Street and Camelback Road. “The fight with Symington was epic and televised. It was a fight over where Downtown was going to be,” Goddard says.

1984: The City of Phoenix purchased the Orpheum Theatre, preserving its theatre palace architecture. After a massive renovation, it reopened in 1997.

1985: Phoenix now contained less than half of Maricopa County’s population, making Downtown less convenient and less relevant for those in outlying areas.

1986: Construction began on Renaissance Square, the first high-rise office building to go up in Downtown in a decade.

1989: The Herberger Theater opened.
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Old Posted May 9, 2010, 5:03 AM
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The new DUCE is open. It opened at 6pm today. Go Check it out. Its pretty sweet.
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2018, 5:00 AM
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Living in the Deuce

I lived on the streets of Phoenix on and off for 5 years (1981-1986) In the area of the Deuce. Knew nothing about being homeless prior to this... I credit the American Indian and Vinnie's ( St. Vincent Charity Dining Hall) soup kitchen for keeping me alive, especially during the first year... The Indians taught me how to deal with the heat and teaching me how to tell the time of day without a watch. Usually the only meal I had was at Vinnie's. When I first hit the streets , my wallet got stollen and I had no ID... so no food stamps, no welfare... And you had no bus money so you walked everywhere... And I met some of the most interesting people... Some you could not trust and some with a big heart that I hated to part with when I left Phoenix.
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2018, 3:58 PM
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Originally Posted by perryeyler View Post
I lived on the streets of Phoenix on and off for 5 years (1981-1986) In the area of the Deuce. Knew nothing about being homeless prior to this... I credit the American Indian and Vinnie's ( St. Vincent Charity Dining Hall) soup kitchen for keeping me alive, especially during the first year... The Indians taught me how to deal with the heat and teaching me how to tell the time of day without a watch. Usually the only meal I had was at Vinnie's. When I first hit the streets , my wallet got stollen and I had no ID... so no food stamps, no welfare... And you had no bus money so you walked everywhere... And I met some of the most interesting people... Some you could not trust and some with a big heart that I hated to part with when I left Phoenix.
I'm curious what your situation in life is now, if you don't mind me asking?
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  #18  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2018, 4:25 AM
perryeyler perryeyler is offline
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Living in the Deuce

for Soled.. My life now... It has been a long time since I was in Phoenix.. I now live in Sacramento CA. I am 75, soon to be 76. I am retired and live in a senior apt. complex. I have health issues that tell me I will not be here too much longer, which is ok.. part of life. There is one special person from the Deuce that passed a long time ago that I am looking forward to be reunited with on the other side. In a way I am sorry the city tore the Deuce down... it had a life of its own, The videos of the "New" skid row does not seem to have the soul that the Deuce had.
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  #19  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 3:54 AM
soled soled is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryeyler View Post
for Soled.. My life now... It has been a long time since I was in Phoenix.. I now live in Sacramento CA. I am 75, soon to be 76. I am retired and live in a senior apt. complex. I have health issues that tell me I will not be here too much longer, which is ok.. part of life. There is one special person from the Deuce that passed a long time ago that I am looking forward to be reunited with on the other side. In a way I am sorry the city tore the Deuce down... it had a life of its own, The videos of the "New" skid row does not seem to have the soul that the Deuce had.
Well, it's good to see you survived those days. Most folks from the streets don't do as well, unfortunately.

And there is something to be said for the soul and character in an area like the old Deuce, Perry. But it's still a challenging life, and surviving something like that brings you your own brand of character that no one else can touch and that you'll be able to minister off of forever.

I hope your health somehow improves!
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