Tempe highlights photographed in November 2010:
This city is located in the very hot 'Valley of the Sun' in the beautiful Sonoran Desert in Arizona. It is an adjacent suburb of Phoenix, the state's largest city. Tempe's population is 175,000, making it one of the largest suburbs in the Phoenix Metropolitan Statistical Area. Typical of most of the Phoenix area, it is developed with low-density housing sprawl and commercial strips; however, its small downtown adjoining the Arizona State University's oldest and largest campus is a livelier and higher density area with many noteworthy new developments.
Tempe Town Lake:
Forming the North border of the downtown and university campus area is this artificial lake, created by retaining an existing river with an inflatable dam and containing it within a wide basin a few miles long. As a large body of water in a parched landscape, it is a recreational asset for the metro area and new developments are starting to line its banks. Vehicle, railroad, and light rail bridges cross it as well.
Tempe Center For The Arts:
One of the new developments along Tempe Town Lake is this theater, studio, and gallery complex. Its refecting pool with an infinity edge fronts the lake, and is very effective for creating the illusion that the two are one when viewed from the center.
Other New Projects on Tempe Town Lake:
The small but growing downtown area is centered a few blocks South of Tempe Town Lake, with the dining and entertainment establishments on Mill Avenue being popular with university students. In fact, a few of the downtown buildings house some university facilities. Large new developments include an unfinished condo highrise pair, seen below, that is stalled.
Tempe Transportation Center:
The useful new light rail line that connects Tempe with Phoenix and the large suburb of Mesa has two platforms in downtown, including this intermodal stop.
An arid hill rises at the junction of Tempe Town Lake, downtown, and the university. It features a large symbolic letter 'A' looming over the area and can be climbed for good views, including the campus shown below. The Arizona State University's Sun Devil Stadium is nestled in the butte and its sports arena is at the base.
Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium:
Arizona State University (ASU) features this midcentury Frank Lloyd Wright-designed theater.
ASU Midcentury Buildings:
The campus has a large amount of facilities from this era.
ASU Contemporary Buildings:
The campus also has a good variety of facilities from the last 20 years.
Mesa Arts Center:
This project is not in Tempe...it is in the downtown of Mesa, a suburb next to Tempe. Mesa is the largest suburb of Phoenix, and with a population of 460,000 it is the 38th largest city in the United States! Despite its size, it is most definitely a sprawling low-density bedroom community. Its downtown is a pleasant but forgettable stretch of several blocks, and its highlight is this new center which is home to several theaters, a small contemporary art museum, and art and craft studios.
For my related Phoenix Metro picture threads, see: