Both railways were treacherous impediments for the 10,000 autos that typically passed into south Phoenix on Central Avenue in the mid-1930s. Accidents were common. Reg Manning, the cartoonist for the Arizona Republic, regularly satirized the crossing, drawing cars rearing and plunging like bucking broncos over the multi-track traffic hazard.
First proposed in 1928, construction on the four-lane underpass began 11 years later, after the city secured the right-of-way. Despite a labor strike, the underpass opened in 1940 with fanfare – speeches, a parade, and a street dance. Boy Scouts distributed commemorative windshield decals to the first 5,000 vehicles driving through. The streamlined structure featured cast concrete winged motifs and “Central Avenue” rendered in aluminum letters on corbelled pylons. Built with $250,000 in federal funds, the underpass was a safe and speedy pathway that facilitated development of the warehouse district and south Phoenix.
Thirty years before Woodstock made his maiden landing on Snoopy’s belly, a cat named Krazy was dodging bricks in a pioneering newspaper comic strip. ...
The Lincoln Legacy
North Phoenix owes two of its hospitals, a street name, a resort, and much of its community spirit to one visionary man. ...
As Tempe celebrates its musical legacy, friends remember the troubled life of late Gin Blossoms guitarist Doug Hopkins. Local musician Lawrence Zubia tells a story about Doug Hopkins, in which Hopkins hops a slow-moving freight train at Mill Avenue,...
Over the Hump
Fifty years ago this month, conservationists including Barry Goldwater came together to save Camelback Mountain from development. The tram would rise from the base of Camelback Mountain to an “oasis” at the summit, the black-and-white sk...
Fifty-two years ago, Valley TV personality Sherri Finkbine terminated a tragic pregnancy –and unwittingly gave birth to a controversial legacy that lives on today. It was the biggest medical story in Arizona history. And more than a half centu...