These days, downtown Phoenixs historic buildings are the domain of pawnshops, flophouses and Pizzeria Bianco. But less than a century ago, when trolley bells yet echoed off the two- and three-story brick buildings lining Washington Street, they were homes, inns, and stores bustling with commerce. One brief decade of post-war suburbanization was enough to end the areas century-long regional retail and manufacturing dominance; entire neighborhoods hit the skids, later to be bulldozed in the name of revitalization.
Today, the Fox Theater, Clark Churchill House, Kon Tiki Hotel and Fleming Building are the stuff of memory -- yellowing photographs and the sort of books to be discussed at Vanishing Phoenix, part of the Lunch Bunch Series discussions. Author Robert Melikian, whose family owns the historic Hotel San Carlos, will chat about his books, Vanishing Phoenix and Hotel San Carlos, and the historic landmarks of Arizona.