Phoenix’s Street of Dreams: The Visual Extravaganza that was Van Buren

The Modern Phoenix website has a great article about the history of Van Buren Street, "the former glory of Phoenix’s brightest thoroughfare that served as the 'Eastern Gateway' to the city." I liked the many washed-out old photos of hotels and other long-gone businesses in the article.

Phoenix billed itself as the "Motel Capital of the World" by the early 1940s, largely based on the density of overnight accommodations along Van Buren. In the span of a just few blocks, travelers could spend the night in motels with neon recreations of Old Faithful, the Statue of Liberty, and the Alamo on their signs. Other roadside lodges featured attractions such as water wheels, putt-putt golf, a 500-bird aviary or posh restaurants. “I remember my family having Thanksgiving dinner in 1963 at the restaurant located at the Rose Bowl Motor Hotel,” Phoenix historian John Jacquemart reminisced, “It was a swank place!”

Phoenix’s Street of Dreams: The Visual Extravaganza that was Van Buren

(Via Derrick Bostrom)

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