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Best Vintage Dorm Phoenix 2013 - Manzanita Hall

Manzanita Hall

100 E. University Drive

Tempe, AZ 85281

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Sometimes, we drive by Gammage Auditorium, beautifully perched on the southwestern tip of ASU's Tempe campus, and wonder how long it will be till someone notices that the iconic theater has fallen into pale pink disrepair and tries to tear it down.

That won't be easy, given that Gammage was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, but you know Phoenix — someday someone will try. That's why we were pleasantly surprised a couple of years back to learn that Manzanita Hall was being spared the wrecking ball.

Considering none of the reports on the hall's recent remodel list an architect — let alone a super-famous one — it's amazing the 1967 structure made it. But it did, and we're pleased, because after Gammage, it's ASU Tempe's most notable structure. It looks like it was built of Tinker Toys by a triangle-happy toddler, and by the time the remodel took place, residents were complaining that the place was stinky and rundown. No more. Late this summer, hundreds of lucky students moved into new swanky, LEED-certified digs. A good lesson in preservation.

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