Best-Hidden Super-Secret Museum Phoenix 2010 - Phoenix Union High memorabilia
We discovered this historic gem when we attended a vocal recital in the Virginia G. Piper Auditorium (which is neither the Virginia G. Piper Theater at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, the Virginia G. Piper Repertory Theater at Mesa Arts Center, nor the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at ASU Tempe) at the University of Arizona — but not in Tucson. The 1912-vintage auditorium, originally built for the first Phoenix Union High School, has been preserved and spruced up, along with its two lovely siblings from the old campus, as part of the UA College of Medicine, Phoenix. Part of the facelift (okay, more of a lipo) installed a breathtaking collection of Phoenix Union "stuff" in dignified glass cases downstairs in what is, yes, the restroom corridor — but it's way cool. Fascinating old trophies, photos, athletic equipment, uniforms, yearbooks, and other treasures going all the way back to those early 20th-century school days will make you forget what you actually came downtown for. During docent hours (call to check), you can even page through some of the annuals and pick the brain of a cheerful volunteer.