02. Arizona Avenue

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    Arizona Avenue 1915.jpgArizona Avenue runs through the heart of downtown Chandler. Farther north and south it turns into Highway 87, and in Mesa it is known as Country Club.

    The Planning and Development office for the city of Chandler indicate A.J. Chandler named it around 1912. “Throughout the old town, roads going east and west were named after well-known cities, and streets running north and south were named after familiar states.” said Hank Pluster.

    Numerous important buildings are on Arizona Avenue in downtown Chandler. Chandler’s first City Hall (Chicago St and Arizona Avenue), was built in 1923. It consisted of the city’s council chamber, town clerk, town court, and police station. The Chandler History Museum and library are just off of Arizona Avenue. Originally, Arizona Avenue went around the downtown park.

    Commercial development of the town was designed so that the downtown park was the center of attention; this was called the “parks beautiful movement.” “A.J. Chandler designed the city so that the wealthy were on the north side while the workers lived on the south side. This design is still apparent in today’s society.” (Pluster, 4-13-05)Arizona Avenue 1925.jpg

    In 1941 city officials decided to cut the park in half and re-route Arizona Avenue through the middle, since it was now part of Route 93 (later Highway 87).

    The growth of the city of Chandler was so extensive that the original planning for Arizona Avenue proved to be insufficient. Since the road curved around the park, sometimes people wouldn’t notice this change and consequently ended up driving through the park.

    Today the Avenue is well maintained and well traveled. Downtown continues to grow. There is a yearly parade in Chandler that goes down the heart of Arizona Avenue. Also Downtown Chandler proudly upholds the tradition of the yearly Ostrich Festival.

    By Aliza Wheeler & Anna Houston

    Arizona Avenue 1965.jpg

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