05. The Commonwealth Canal

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    The Commonwealth Canal was concreted in June of 1912. A Chandler Arizonan article raved about how the canal was contributing to the beautification of the city.  The concreting was completed by June 21, 1912.  

    Read the article from June 6, 1912 here and the article about the completion on June 21, 1912 here. The text is available below.

    Before the number of the [Chandler] Arizonan is off the press, a force of workmen under the Assistance City Engineer Joe Cashman, will have completed the concrete work on the Commonwealth Avenue canal. For the past month a force of twelve men under the direction of City Engineer Binkley and Assistant Cashman, have been pushing for this feature of the beautification of the townsite of Chandler to make it the most beautiful city in Arizona, or as Dr. A.J. Chandler, owner of Chandler Ranch puts it, the Pasadena of Arizona.
    The concrete work extends from a point one block east of the city park, or one hundred feet east of the termination of the beautiful rows of trees lining Comonwealth avenue canal, through the townsite to the west, three blocks beyond the San Marcos hotel. Two hundred feet from the easterly terminus of the concrete work the canal makes a small circle around a small island, desinated to be the beauty spot of the concrete canal section. The concrete covers the bottom of the canal which has a clear width of six feet. The sides are concreted thirty inches.
    The canal throughout the new city is to be plotted with blue grass along the concrete section and with another grass imported from the east and especially adapted to holding the earth where the canal is not concreted. The concrete section has been laid along strictly engineering lines so as to absolutely prevent washing. The grasses will beautify the canal from the curbing on either side to the water's edge completely covering the sloping embankment between the curb and the canal.
    The canal is already lined with two rows of magnificent cottonwood trees from the city park east beyond the railroad station. Trees are on the ground and orders have been given for their planting along the westerly section of the .... townsite. In fact, trees have already been placed for a block west of the termination of the cottonwoods.
    Enough has already been done in the way of improvement to make the designs of Commonwealth Avenue clear, and assure that when the work is completed it will be the most beautiful throughfare in Arizona, bar none. The avenue is 120 feet wide. The canal and concrete sidewalks on either side of the canal in the center occupy 20 feet, allowing a fifty-feet roadway on either side, including sidewalks on the outside, ten feet in width. This gives a forty-foot roadway on either side of the canal between the curbs.
    The concrete sidewalk is already laid between the railroad on the east to a point where the concrete work on the canal begins. The road bed is to be macadamized from the end to end and parked with trees on either side as it is along the canal now.
    The Commonwealth Avenue improvement has gone far beyond the planning stage. The curbing is in place with the wide gutterways, for most of the distance. The whole scheme is rapidly approaching a full fledged reality, illustrating forcibly the real purposes of the founders of the Pasadena of Arizona.1


    The concreting of the Grand Canal along Commonwealth Avenue in Chandler is entirely complete. During the past week, Commonwealth Avenue has been planted with trees on both sides. The gravel is in place along the north side of the canal to be used in laying the concrete sidewalk thereon.
    The beautification of Commonwealth Avenue has progressed to a point which gives a good idea of what the founders of Chandler have in mind--making Commonwealth the most beautiful street in Arizona. The avenue is 120 feet wide from curb to curb. The canal, ten feet wide, runs down the center of the avenue. Five foot concrete sidewalks line the banks of the canal from the railroad station to the city park. On the extreme north and south sides of the avenue between the curbs and the lot frontages, ten foot concrete sidewalks are to be laid. The roadways on either side of the canal are to be macadamized2


    1Chandler Arizonan, June 6, 1912, p. 3.
    2Chandler Arizonan, June 21, 1912, p. 4.



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