Madison Square Garden and Downtown Phoenix
[directory listing of pictures]

I have lived in the Valley of the Sun since 1985, but only recently did I learn that Phoenix has a Madison Square Garden. The Garden is going to be re-developed so we went to Phoenix to get pictures before it is demolished. We left Tempe at 1:30pm and returned home around 3:30pm. The round-trip drive totalled 34 miles and we spent 75 minutes wandering downtown Phoenix in 109° heat.

On 22 June 2005--by a 4 to 3 vote--the Phoenix City Council voted "Yes" to destroy Madison Square Garden located at 7th Avenue and Adams in downtown Phoenix. {Lariat Cowboy statue}

   "Opened in 1929, the arena was once touted as the top venue for 
    wrestling and prize fighting west of the Mississippi.  It's 
    considered a landmark by the Valley's Chicano community, which 
    flocked to the Garden during Arizona's wrestling heyday in the 
    1950s and 1960s." [source::Arizona Republic]

Madison Square Garden, which closed in 1979, will be replaced by a four-story office building. { another MSG view}

After getting pictures of MSG, we decided to wander the west-side of downtown Phoenix.

Located around the block west of MSG is the Grace Court School. The old school, which opened in 1911 and closed in 1977, is being re-developed into an office building,

On Monroe Street, just east of the old MSG, is the Historic First Church. HFC has been serving Phoenix since 1879.

Further east on Monroe Street is another old church that is in need of repair. {view} {view} {view}

We walked up to the top of a six-story parking garage to get a picture of the old MSG to the west. From this vantage point, we were able to get a picture looking to the northeast. In the near distance you can see lots of air conditioners on roof tops, slightly beyond that you can see the Westward Ho, further to the northeast is Camelback Mountain and in the far distance you can see the smoke from the Cave Creek Complex fire.

While walking toward the Westward Ho we passed an ocotillo garden and the Central Station bus depot. {trolley 4607} {bus 507} The Westward Ho opened in 1928. In 1981, the hotel was converted into subsidized housing and it currently has approximately 300 residents. {view} {view} {view}

Just south of the Westward Ho you can stop at King's for cocktails (even though it looks like it is closed). {side view}

While walking back to the car, we saw the roof top of the Security Building located across from Bank One. We also wandered past the Maricopa County Court House (which is not Phoenix City Hall).

Phoenix doesn't have lots of murals, but we did see the following: cool mural, Barrow's Furniture, Copper Square, another Copper Square, and colorful sky.

Our 75 minute walk around the west-side of downtown Phoenix ended at our car parked near Union Station. [The Valley of the Sun stopped having passenger train service in 1996.]


Author: Gerald D. Thurman [gdt@deru.com]
Created: 24 June 2005