Whether you're a visual learner, a bit of a history buff, or simply someone who wants to share old memories, you should be following Dave Driscoll's blog, Vintage Phoenix. Driscoll curates the crowd-sourced site with user-submitted historic photos of the Valley of the Sun, revealing what the metropolis once was. A quick scan of the page reveals shots of such iconic places as Turf Paradise and Mill Avenue, along with developing city streets and now-demolished hotels.

Fans are encouraged to add to the online collection by scanning their own original, unique images that are at least 25 years old and e-mailing them Driscoll's way with any available details. The sharing extends to the blog's comment section, where followers share experiences and recollections. Take a look. Chances are good you'll learn something about this ever-changing oasis' past.

The Diving Lady is the last of her kind. The famed neon sign was erected in 1960 to draw traveling folks to the Starlite Motel and its pool with a woman shown diving, in three animated stages, into a pool. In 2010, her continual high dives came to a halt (though the pool had been filled in long before) when a storm took down the three 10-foot ladies. With efforts from the Mesa Preservation Foundation and donations from the community that totaled more than $100,000, she was restored and took to the water again in April 2013. Take a drive through Mesa's main drag and check her out. She's the only operating animated neon sign in the Valley.

Hotel Valley Ho

The hotel scene in Scottsdale thrives today, for sure, but we have fond memories of bygone days. Remember the Safari Resort? Or Paradise Valley's Mountain Shadows? There's one vintage Scottsdale hotel that has more than stood the test of time — Hotel Valley Ho. Built in 1956 and revamped in the 2000s, it's a delightful mix of old and new, with enough of the vintage qualities preserved to make you feel like you just might see Zsa Zsa Gabor or Bing Crosby at the bar. The concierge can arrange a tour for just $19.56 (get it?) and while the Trader Vic's reboot didn't work out so well, the hotel restaurant, Café ZuZu, is definitely worth a stop.

He designed more than a thousand structures, many of them right here in Arizona. Frank Lloyd Wright is an international institution (in 1991, the American Institute of Architects dubbed him "the greatest architect of all time"), but he's also, in many ways, our own. The world-renowned architect, interior designer, educator and author left behind a dozen distinct buildings here, among them the Arizona Biltmore, Grady Gammage Auditorium, and that crazy concrete-and-stone First Christian Church over on Seventh Avenue. And, of course, there's Scottsdale's Taliesin West, Wright's former "architectural lab" built in 1937 and currently an esteemed school of architecture, where the designers of tomorrow continue Wright's legacy.

The Heard Museum. The Desert Botanical Garden. The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. And our own New Times Building. If you've seen them, you've seen the notable design and renovation work of architect John Douglas. Eighty-five national and local design awards attest to his success with creating buildings both beautiful and unusual (like the North Mountain Visitors Center, with its stunning angles of glass and chrome). Douglas' shtick is designing buildings that are both forward-thinking and yet make reference to our architectural history. His work, in short, makes us all look better.

A nearly two-mile stretch on Old Litchfield Road, between Indian School Road and Bird Lane in the West Valley, is guarded by palm and citrus trees standing like attentive soldiers on a carpet of grass. It's a slow-moving street of elegant brick homes with deep setbacks, shrouded with trees. Many of the homes with red-tile rooftops share a common backyard — a golf course and lake. It's worth a drive during a stay-cation at the Wigwam or just during an exploration drive into the wild West. Old Litchfield takes you past upscale shops, sushi restaurants, the Wigwam Resort, and a spa, but makes room for the stuff of life — an elementary school, a library and community swimming pool, and several churches.

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