Points of Pride

Much of what once made it bustling and lovely to look at is gone, but the shadow of downtown Phoenix casts a long memory. It’s 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 Budinoff’s “Early Phoenix: A Photographic Exhibit of Historic Downtown Phoenix,” a celebration of the city’s 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 downtown’s Heritage Square.

Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: June 6. Continues through Sept. 28, 2008
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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela