Design PHX

Completed in 1928, the Historic City Hall (not to be confused with the amazing, futuristic, starburst-adorned new City Hall on West Washington Street) combines Moderne, Art Deco, Spanish Colonial Revival, and Renaissance influences in a stunning edifice of terra cotta, ceramic tile, and cast iron. This magnificent piece of our past now houses county court and city facilities. 125 W. Washington St., www.phoenix.gov

A gorgeous example of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, the Orpheum Theatre underwent a $14 million restoration in the mid-1990s. Phoenix's largest original theater, the Orpheum was built in 1929 by Henry Nace, a circus acrobat who wanted audiences seated in a garden surrounded by murals of mountains and forests, under a deep blue "sky" of giant white clouds.203 W. Adams St., 602-262-7272; www.phoenix.gov/STAGES

Rather than let the city tear down these old neighborhood bungalows, business owners converted several off Roosevelt Row into chic boutiques. There's Bunky Boutique, which sells men's and women's apparel by local and national designers; MADE, a shop with a small but sweet selection of books, jewelry, and accessories; and Conspire, a collective featuring handmade fashions and a coffee bar.Bunky Boutique: 918 N. 6th St., 602-252-1323; bunkyboutique.com; MADE: 922 N. 5th St., 602-256-6233; madephx.com; Conspire: 901 N. 5th St., 602-237-5446; www.conspirephoenix.com

Home to several hot new galleries, artist's studios, and performance spaces, La Melgosa is a historic Italianate resembling a giant, spider-webbed wedding cake. In fact, it houses La Melgosa, a company devoted to rescuing some of downtown's oldest buildings. 1023 Grand Ave.

Built in 1928, the Security Building is a stately example of Renaissance Revival design, now home to ASU's Phoenix Urban Research Laboratory, but its lobby once housed dozens of banking and title companies. The Security Building is one of the most distinguished structures of the mid- and late-'20s "building boom" here, and one of the last to be completed before the Great Depression stalled downtown construction for decades. 234 N. Central Ave.; www.design.asu.edu/purl/

Hanny's was built in 1947 by the shop's namesake, Vic Hanny. This former upscale clothery brought the International/Moderate Style influence to Phoenix and sparked a major facelift in the downtown area. Boarded-up for the past 25 years, the gorgeous derelict is being renovated by restaurateur Karl Knopp, the guy behind Scottsdale's AZ88. 44 N. 1st St.

Some old-timers may miss the musty old basement locale of what became downtown's Burton Barr Library (1221 N. Central), but the reworked former Phoenix Public Library made room for new expansions to the Phoenix Art Museum and Phoenix Theatre, not to mention lots of room for cool public art like Bob Adams' "wall of mirrors" in PT's entryway. 100 E. McDowell Ave., 602-257-1222; www.phxart.org

One of the last remaining examples of Streamline Moderne architecture in downtown Phoenix, Bragg's Pie Factory opened in the late 1940s. Today, the dramatic rounded-corner edifice of the onetime state-of-the-art bakery is home not to mincemeat but to smaller retail shops and local artists who show their work on First Fridays and beyond. A breakfast spot is in the works. 1301 Grand Ave.

The converted warehouse courtyard entryway and colossal abstract sculptures of Bentley Projects scream "SoHo!" to downtown arts fans. An offshoot of the well-known Bentley Gallery in Scottsdale, this smaller, more-urban version offers regular shows to serious collectors and may well attract more high-end galleries to downtown Phoenix. Sustenance is served in high but casual style at the adjacent City Bakery. 215 E. Grant St., 602-340-9200; www.bentleyprojects.com

 
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