Much of what once made it bustling and lovely to look at is gone, but the shadow of downtown Phoenix casts a long memory. Its a dark shadow filled with pretty sites: The San Carlos Hotel on Central Avenue, with its street-front portico and its swoopy neon sign; the Henry Nace-designed Orpheum Theatre at Second Avenue and Washington Street, its marquees still proudly announcing live entertainment and the occasional silent film. The streets are wider than they were when, a hundred years or so ago, downtown was a lively retail and entertainment district dignified by architectural grandeur and majestic residences.
Through the summer, one can get a glimpse of our old-time downtown in Iris Budinoffs Early Phoenix: A Photographic Exhibit of Historic Downtown Phoenix, a celebration of the citys former splendor in black-and-white images. The collection will exhibit at one of the few remaining beauties, the Rosson House Museum, a 2,800 square foot Eastlake-style Victorian in downtowns Heritage Square.