Parks and Recreation
Libraries and Museums
Holidays and Festivals
For Further Study
Founded: 1864; Incorporated: 1881
Location: The Salt River Valley, south-central Arizona, United States, North America
Motto: Ditat Deus ("God enriches," state motto).
Flag: Design adopted in 1990 features stylized symbol of the mythical bird, the phoenix, on a dark purple field.
Flower: Blossom of the saguaro cactus (state flower)
Time Zone: 5 am Mountain Standard Time (MST) = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: White, 91.2%; Black, 5.2%; American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, 1.9%; Asian and Pacific Islander,1.7%; Hispanic origin (may be of any race), 20%.
Elevation: 332 m (1,090 ft) above sea level. Phoenix is located on flat desert land.
Latitude and Longitude: 33°44'N, 112°07'W
Climate : Desert climate with warm temperatures and low rainfall and humidity; very little wind except for storms in July and August. Hot summers and mild winters, with an average of 211 days of sunshine annually, one of the nation's sunniest cities.
Annual Mean Temperature: 22°C (72°F); January 11°C (51°F); August 32°C (89°F)
Seasonal Average Snowfall: None
Average Annual Precipitation: 19.5 cm (7.66 in)
Government: Council-manager government
Weights and Measures: Standard U.S.
Monetary Units: Standard U.S.
Telephone area codes: 602
Postal codes: 85001-85086
When Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, was founded, its first settlers named it after a mythical beast that rises from the ashes, reflecting their hopes for the city that they rescued from decay by rebuilding a network of abandoned irrigation canals. People have always been drawn to the city by its year-round warm weather, sunny climate, and natural beauty, and in the twentieth century the development of air conditioning and the construction of major irrigation projects added to Phoenix's appeal. Long regarded as a magnet for retirees, Phoenix now attracts new residents of all ages and has been a major beneficiary of the wave of migration to the Sun Belt in recent decades. Its population today is 1.2 million and growing. It has become a leading commercial center of the Southwest, with a city government recognized as one of the nation's most effective.
Phoenix, the city between southern Texas and California, is located in the Salt River Valley in south-central Arizona. The Superstition Mountains and a series of lakes form the city's eastern boundary, and the Phoenix Mountain Preserve encircles the city.
The major interstate highways running through Phoenix are I-10 (the Papago Freeway) and I-17 (the Black Canyon Freeway), which intersect in the city to form the Maricopa Freeway. (South of the city it becomes the Pima Freeway). State Route 89 (the Grand Avenue Expressway) enters the city from the northwest.
Bus and Railroad Service
Two Amtrak trains are available daily, and bus service is provided at the Greyhound/Trailways bus station on East Buckeye Road.
Phoenix has three airports, of which the major one is Sky Harbor International Airport, located five kilometers (three miles) southeast of downtown. The airport's ongoing series of art exhibits, arranged by the Phoenix Art Commission, has been copied by other airports around the country. More than 23 airlines operate flights into and out of the city. Nearly 28 million people annually arrive at and depart from Phoenix by air.
Phoenix benefits from its central location in relation to markets in Colorado, Utah, Texas, southern California, and Mexico, to which it is connected by a network of interstate highways. The city is served by more than 50 trucking companies, which provide commercial freight service to these and other locations. Two transcontinental rail lines provide rail freight service, and two airlines—American and American West—provide wide-body air cargo service.
Phoenix Population Profile
Area: 1,225 sq km (473 sq mi)
Ethnic composition: 20% Hispanic, 5.2% Black, 1.9%; American Indian, 1.7% Asian (minorities represented)
Nicknames: Valley of the Sun
Description: Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona
Area: 37,747 sq km (14,574 sq mi)
World population rank 1: 119
Percentage of national population 2: 0.94%
Average yearly growth rate: 2.1% Ethnic composition: 91.4% white; 4% black; 2.2% Asian; approximately 20% Hispanic (may be of any race)
- The Phoenix metropolitan area's rank among the world's urban areas.
- The percent of the United States' total population living in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
The streets in the central part of the city are laid out in a grid plan, with numbered streets and avenues running north-south, and east-west streets named after presidents of the United States (including Washington, Adams, and Jefferson). The core of the downtown area can be found between Glendale Avenue and Maricopa Freeway. The Squaw Peak Freeway, a 16-kilometer (ten-mile) artery that connects downtown Phoenix with its northern suburbs, is lined with giant sculpted versions of Indian utensils in a public arts project that has drawn mixed reactions from Phoenix residents.
Bus and Commuter Rail Service
The Phoenix Transit System operates a fleet of 380 buses six days a week in the metropolitan area, and on weekdays only in Tempe and Mesa. The base fare is $1.25, and the average daily ridership is 112,400. The Reserve-a-Ride transportation program has served 196,000 elderly and disabled residents.
In addition to the major attractions in the city itself, sightseers can take day trips by bus or charter plane to the Grand Canyon and other regional attractions.
|City Fact Comparison|
|Population of urban area1||2,607,000||10,772,000||2,688,000||12,033,000|
|Date the city was founded||1864||AD 969||753 BC||723 BC|
|Daily costs to visit the city2|
|Hotel (single occupancy)||$82||$193||$172||$129|
|Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)||$40||$56||$59||$62|
|Incidentals (laundry, dry cleaning, etc.)||$2||$14||$15||$16|
|Total daily costs||$124||$173||$246||$207|
|Number of newspapers serving the city||1||13||20||11|
|Largest newspaper||The Arizona Republic||Akhbar El Yom/Al Akhbar||La Repubblica||Renmin Ribao|
|Circulation of largest newspaper||435,330||1,159,450||754,930||3,000,000|
|Date largest newspaper was established||1890||1944||1976||1948|
|1United Nations population estimates for the year 2000.|
|2The maximum amount the U.S. Government reimburses its employees for business travel. The lodging portion of the allowance is based on the cost for a single room at a moderately-priced hotel. The meal portion is based on the costs of an average breakfast, lunch, and dinner including taxes, service charges, and customary tips. Incidental travel expenses include such things as laundry and dry cleaning.|
|3David Maddux, ed. Editor&Publisher International Year Book. New York: The Editor&Publisher Company, 1999.|
In the decades following World War II (1939–45), Phoenix, together with other areas of the Southwest, enjoyed a dramatic population increase as residents of northern cities moved westward. Phoenix itself has a population of 1,246,712, up from 983,403 (487,589 males and 495,814 females) in 1990; its rank has risen from ninth-to sixth-largest city in the nation. The population of the Phoenix-Mesa Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was 2,238,498 in 1990, and an estimated 2,839,539 in 1997—an increase of over 25 percent—making it the fifteenth-largest MSA in the United States.
In 1990, minorities represented in Phoenix's population were Hispanics (20 percent), blacks (5.2 percent), American Indians (1.9 percent), and Asians (1.7 percent). As of 1996, the Phoenix-Mesa MSA was 91.4 percent white, four percent black, and 2.2 percent Asian. Hispanics (an ethnic category that crosses racial lines) make up about 20 percent of Phoenix's population. Because of its large Hispanic presence, Phoenix has traditionally been a heavily Catholic city. Catholics still make up between one-fourth and one-third of the population, although this percentage has been declining. The next largest denominations are the Church of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormons (Phoenix has the nation's third-highest Mormon population), Southern Baptists, and United Methodists.
Phoenix and its suburbs form a 2,072-square-kilometer (800-square-mile) grid of north-south and east-west streets and avenues, surrounded by mountains and desert. Downtown Phoenix, the historic center of the city, is home to Arizona's capitol building, the Phoenix Civic Center, Heritage Square, and other important sites. A newer neighborhood, called "midtown" serves as an extension of the downtown, housing the city's main library, its art museum, and other museums, as well as office buildings.
Phoenix is the hub of a rapidly growing metropolitan area that includes 23 satellite towns, all located along the Salt River Valley. Relatively low housing costs contribute to the popularity of Phoenix. In 1990 the average value of a single home was $77,100, well below the national average. In addition, Phoenix's property taxes have been rated the ninth lowest in the nation by Money magazine.
A number of government and private groups oversee urban redevelopment, including the Central Phoenix Redevelopment Agency, Phoenix Community and Economic Development Administration, and Metro Phoenix Economic Development Consortium. Since the late 1980s, the city has carried out a $1.1 billion redevelopment program that has included construction of the Arizona Center and Mercado shopping complexes and the 18,000-seat America West Arena, home of the Phoenix Suns. The city has 7,364 federally assisted housing units.
Native Americans occupied the site of present-day Phoenix hundreds of years ago, building a thriving community between 700 and 1400, establishing an agriculture-based civilization in the dry land of the region by developing an irrigation system that included over 161 kilometers (100 miles) of canals. By the middle of the fifteenth century, this civilization had vanished, possibly decimated by an extended period of drought. Their Native American successors called them the Hohokam ("the people who have gone").
By the sixteenth century, Hispanic conquistadors had arrived in Arizona, introducing new agricultural techniques, as well as horses and cows. Over the following centuries, Europeans began settling in the region, drawn by mining and trading opportunities. The modern city of Phoenix had its beginnings in the late 1860s when a small group of settlers formed a colony in the area and began building canals on the site of the former Hohokam irrigation system. Because the new settlement was rising from the ashes of a former civilization, the name "Phoenix" was chosen for it in 1868. In 1881, its local government was changed from a village trustee system to one consisting of a mayor and a city council, and the city was incorporated. Its population was 2,500 at the time. Phoenix progressed rapidly. Within a decade it had a horse-drawn streetcar line and one of the earliest electric plants in the West, and the Southern Pacific railroad had arrived, promoting the economy of the growing city.
The completion of the Theodore Roosevelt Dam in 1911 was a milestone in Phoenix's history. The largest masonry dam in the world, it was also the first dam constructed to supply both water and electricity. The following year, Arizona became a state, and Phoenix became its capital. In the first two decades of the twentieth century, the city's population grew from approximately 5,000 to 29,000 as Phoenix began to make the transition to a modern city. In addition to the railroad and the Roosevelt Dam, a third technological advance—the development of air conditioning—played an important role in the city's continued growth. World War II (1939–45) brought large numbers of men to military bases in the area and contributed to the growth of industry, which rapidly replaced agriculture as the most important sector in the city's economy.
In the postwar decades, Phoenix prospered, growing more rapidly than ever. Since 1950, the city's population has risen from 106,000 to 1.2 million, the seventh largest in the nation, and Phoenix has become the leading southwestern center for business and industry. In the 1990s, it experienced yet another in a series of population booms, as a number of Californians moved to the area. Although Phoenix has inevitably experienced some of the disadvantages of rapid growth, including urban sprawl and air pollution, its city government has been recognized as one of the most effective in the nation and is committed to maintaining the quality of life for its residents as the city's growth continues into the twenty-first century.
Phoenix government is structured as a council-manager system, with eight council members who are elected to four-year terms. The mayor is also elected to a four-year term. Phoenix's municipal government has been widely recognized for its effective city management. In 1993 the city shared the Carl Bertelsmann Prize, an international prize for well-run local government, with Christchurch, New Zealand.
Phoenix has 2,320 sworn police officers and 1,138 sworn firefighters. The city is divided into six police precincts. In 1997 a total of 124,884 crimes were reported to police, down from 131,628 the previous year. Violent crimes accounted for 11,386 calls, and property crimes 103,306. Numbers for individual types of crime included arson, 116; homicide, 229; sexual assault, 825; robbery, 3,806; and burglary, 39,905.
With continuous population growth and an abundance of land and water, Phoenix has a thriving economy. In the decades since World War II, agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism have all played a major role in Phoenix's economy, creating jobs to keep pace with the city's growing population. Industries include agricultural chemicals, aircraft parts, electronic equipment, radios, air-conditioning equipment, leather goods, and Native American crafts.
Most recently, the high-technology and service sectors have also moved to the forefront—retail trade and services account for close to half of all employment in the city. More than 40 companies have corporate headquarters in Phoenix. Service-sector companies with headquarters in the city include Ramada, Best Western, Greyhound, and U-Haul. Financial services companies with a corporate presence in the city include Wells Fargo Bank, Chase Bank, American Express, Discover Card Services, and Bank of America.
Phoenix has experienced some of the problems associated with urban growth, including air pollution. In 1995 Phoenix was among the cities failing to meet national ambient air quality standards for carbon monoxide and ozone for at least a few days of the year.
The city of Phoenix collects 514,382 metric tons (567,000 tons) of solid waste annually and handles 395,887 metric tons (436,383 tons) as part of recycling programs in which 100,000 households participate. The city operates five water treatment plants, treating 270 billion liters (71.3 billion gallons) of wastewater annually.
In addition to the standard department stores and specialty shops, Phoenix offers stores specializing in regional items, including Western-style clothing, copper products, Native American crafts, and leather crafts. The Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix has some 500 shops and restaurants on two levels, as well as a one-hectare (three-acre) garden area; live entertainment also performs in the evenings. Also downtown, the Town and Country Shopping Center (Arizona's first open-air mall) has about 70 shops, eateries, and service providers spread throughout an attractive setting with fountains and red brick sidewalks. The exclusive Biltmore Fashion Park features such nationwide chains as Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's, and Ann Taylor, as well as a variety of smaller clothing, jewelry, and specialty shops. Other downtown shopping centers include the Tower Plaza Mall and the award-winning Colonade Mall.
A unique shopping experience is provided by the Mercado, a two-block-long complex of commercial buildings adjacent to the Phoenix Civic Plaza that is modeled on a traditional Mexican village. The colorful buildings and courtyards of this Mexican-theme mall and cultural center house shops featuring Mexican arts, crafts, and clothing, as well as Mexican restaurants. A variety of specialty items can be found at the gift shops of the Phoenix Art Museum and the Desert Botanical Garden. Once a week farmers from the region come to sell their produce at the farmers' market in the courtyard of Heritage Square, and American Park 'N Swap—the largest outdoor flea market in the Southwest—is open for business all weekend and two days a week.
Phoenix has over 20 public school districts, with individual superintendents and school boards; altogether they operate more than 400 schools. The city's largest school district, the Phoenix Union High School District, had 15 schools in the 1995–96 school year, with a total enrollment of 21,083 students. The Phoenix-Mesa metropolitan statistical area had a public school enrollment of 443,053 in 1994–95, up 12.6 percent from 1991–92. The region has a large magnet school program that offers intensive study in a variety of fields. There are 63 Head Start classroom sites in Phoenix, with 126 classrooms.
Institutions of higher education in Phoenix include Grand Canyon University, a campus of Arizona State University, Phoenix College, DeVry Institute of Technology, Maricopa Community Colleges, Phoenix Institute of Technology, and South Mountain College. Maricopa Community Colleges is the country's second-largest community college system.
13. Health Care
Health care plays an important part in Phoenix's economy, employing over 33,000 people in the greater metropolitan region. The Phoenix-Mesa metropolitan statistical area had 3,927 office-based physicians in 1995. Phoenix's largest hospital is St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, with 629 beds. Other facilities include the world-renowned Barrow Neurological Institute, Arizona State Hospital, Good Samaritan Medical Center, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Maricopa Medical Center, Phoenix Indian Medical Center, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center.3
Phoenix has two major daily newspapers: The Arizona Republic (morning) and The Phoenix Gazette (evening), as well as about 50 other daily and weekly publications. Also published in Phoenix are the Phoenix Magazine and Arizona Highways. The city has eight commercial television stations, one public television station, and several cable outlets, as well as 27 am and FM radio stations, some of which broadcast in Spanish.
Phoenix is home to the National Basketball Association's Phoenix Suns, who play at the America West Arena; the National Football League's Phoenix Cardinals; the National Hockey League's Phoenix Coyotes; and the International Hockey Leagues' Phoenix Roadrunners, as well as baseball's Triple-A Firebirds. An expansion baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, was launched in 1998. In addition, Arizona State University fields Sun Devils teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Other spectator sports include auto racing at the Phoenix International Race-way and the Manzanita Speedway, horse racing at Turf Paradise, and greyhound racing at Phoenix Greyhound Park.
Phoenix is also the site of the following annual sporting events: five golf tournaments, including the Phoenix Open and the LPGA Turquoise Classic; the Formula One Grand Prix auto race; and the Phoenix Jaycees' Rodeo of Rodeos.
Almost ten major league baseball teams hold spring training in Phoenix and play exhibition games in March and early April.
Phoenix's parks, including Mountains Preserve, are comprised of 12,319 hectares (30,441 acres). Reportedly the nation's largest city park at 6,475 hectares (16,000 acres), South Mountain Park provides a scenic view of the city and offers hiking trails and horseback riding. There is a boat lagoon at Encanto Park, which is located at 15th Avenue and Encanto Boulevard. The Margaret T. Hance Deck Park, part of the ongoing improvements to the downtown area, is a 12-hectare (29-acre) strip of land between Third Street and Third Avenue with fountains, wooded areas, and a Japanese garden (a gesture toward Phoenix's sister city of Hemeji, Japan). Other parks in the Phoenix area include Papago Park, Squaw Peak Recreation Area, Estrella Mountain Regional Park, and White Tank Mountain Regional Park.
Phoenix has 663 kilometers (412 miles) of bicycle paths, 141 municipal tennis courts, 27 municipal swimming pools, and five municipal golf courses. Together, Phoenix and the surrounding Salt River Valley area have over 140 golf courses and more than 1,000 tennis and racquetball courts. Water sports are played at a variety of natural and artificial lakes in the region. Other outdoor activities enjoyed year round in the Phoenix area include hiking, mountain climbing, camping, and horseback riding.
The Phoenix Zoo, situated on a hilly site covering 51 hectares (125 acres), houses over 1,300 animals, representing 300 different species both from the region and throughout the world, and including 150 animals classified as endangered. The animals are maintained in open settings that are as close as possible to their natural habitats, including facsimiles of mountains, rain forests, grasslands, and deserts. There is also a petting zoo for children.
The Desert Botanical Garden displays over 2,000 species of desert plants, situated along a 2.4-kilometer (1.5-mile) trail.
17. Performing Arts
The performing arts are well represented in Phoenix and enhanced by the completion in 1989 of the downtown Herberger Theater Center, next door to the Phoenix Civic Plaza Convention Center. The complex houses the 820-seat Center Stage and the 330-seat Stage West. The Phoenix Symphony performs both classical and pops concerts at Symphony Hall, which seats 1,400. The Phoenix Little Theatre, the city's oldest theater company, was founded in 1920 and has operated continuously since that time. Theater groups that perform in the new theaters of the Herberger complex include the Arizona Theatre Company, Black Theater Troupe, Actors Theatre of Phoenix, Aurora Mime Theatre, and Musical Theater of Arizona. Phoenix is also home to the Centre Dance Ensemble and Opera Musical Theatre. The Arizona Opera also performs regularly in Phoenix, and a variety of touring artists appear at the Phoenix Desert Sky Pavilion, Celebrity Theatre, and Grammage Auditorium. The newly restored 1929 Spanish baroque-revival Orpheum Theatre is a showcase for the performing arts as well as civic events.
Phoenix's first library, housed in two rooms of a building, was launched at the turn of the century, thanks to the efforts of the Phoenix Library Association, formed in 1899. Today the Phoenix Public Library has a collection totaling 1.8 million book volumes, as well as publications and other media. It has a main building downtown, and 11 neighborhood branches throughout the city. Altogether, Phoenix has more than 50 libraries of all types, including university libraries and research centers.
The Phoenix Art Museum displays artworks by American, European, and Asian artists. Its permanent collection consists of some 18,000 objects, and it is noted particularly for its collections of Asian and Latin American art, and eighteenth-century French painting. The museum of the Arizona Historical Society offers interactive exhibits focusing on the history of central Arizona and includes life-size re-creations of stores and other buildings from the city's early days. The Heard Museum of Anthropology and Primitive Art features an outstanding collection focusing on regional Native American cultures. Displayed are artifacts ranging from prehistory to the present, including tools, clothing, weapons, and Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni crafts.
The Phoenix Hall of Flame is a fire-fighting museum with one of the world's most extensive collections of fire-fighting gear, gathered from all over the world and ranging from horse-drawn equipment to state-of-the-art computerized dispatch systems. Other museums in the Phoenix area include the Phoenix Museum of History; the Arizona Museum of Science and Technology, an interactive museum geared primarily toward children; Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum; Cave Creek Museum; Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum; Arizona Military Museum; the Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Park, which focuses on archaeology and the history of the Hohokam Indians, the first known inhabitants of present-day Phoenix; and the Plotkin Judaica Museum. The Arizona Hall of Fame, located in downtown Phoenix, honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to the state.
Historic artifacts are on view in four turn-of-the-century homes located in Heritage Square: the Arizona Doll and Toy Museum, the Silva House, the Stevens-Haustgen House (home of the Pueblo Grande Museum described above), and the Rosson House, which features an exceptional collection of period furniture.
Visitors from many areas have long been drawn to Phoenix's dry, sunny climate and its year-round warm weather, making tourism one of the city's top sources of income and the state's second-largest source of employment. Phoenix receives almost ten million visitors a year from the United States and Canada. Visits by Japanese tourists were boosted with the introduction of direct flights to and from Tokyo in 1991, and European tourism was increased when direct flights to and from London were started in 1996. The city has 83 hotels and resorts, with a total of 21,272 rooms. Phoenix has become an increasingly popular convention site in the past two decades, with convention attendees accounting for almost 40 percent of all visitors to the city. With a total seating capacity of more than 29,000, the 31,586-square-meter (340,00-square-foot) Civic Plaza and Convention Center is Phoenix's major convention facility. Other convention venues include Veterans Memorial Coliseum at Arizona State University.
Arizona Stock Show & Rodeo
Copper World Classic Auto Racing
Phoenix Open Golf Tournament
ARR Desert Classic Marathon
Fountain Hills Festival of Arts & Crafts
Fountain Hills Great Fair
Lost Dutchman Days
Arizona's Cactus League Spring Training
Chandler Ostrich Festival
Indy Racing League Phoenix 200
Scottsdale Arts Festival
Maricopa County Fair
Music by Moonlight Concert Series
Southwest Salsa Challenge
Cinco de Mayo Festival
Queen Creek Potato Festival
July Fourth Festivities
Coors Light World Finals Drag Boat Racing
Cowboy Artists of America Exhibition
French Week in Arizona
Holiday Out West Arts & Crafts Festival
Hot Air Balloon Race & Thunderbird Balloon Classic
Pueblo Grande Indian Market
Tumbleweed Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
21. Famous Citizens
Joan Ganz Cooney (b. 1929), television producer.
Barry Goldwater (1909–98), U.S. Senator and Republican presidential candidate.
Stevie (Stephanie) Nicks (b. 1948), musician, member of the rock band Fleetwood Mac.
Mare Winningham (b. 1959), singer and actress.
DigitalCity WebGuide Phoenix. [Online] Available http://www.webguide.digitalcity.com/phoenix. (accessed October 14, 1999).
The Links.com. "Phoenix." [Online] Available http://www.phoenix.thelinks.com (accessed October 14, 1999).
Phoenix City Hall. [Online] Available http://www.ci.phoenix.az.us. (accessed October 14, 1999).
Phoenix City Net. [Online] Available http://www.city.net/countries/united_states/arizona/phoenix. (accessed October 14, 1999).
Phoenix Guide. [Online] Available http://www.phoenixaz.com. (accessed October 14, 1999).
Phoenix Online. [Online] Available http://www.phoenixonline.com. (accessed October 14, 1999).
Phoenix & Valley of the Sun Convention & Visitors Bureau. [Online] Available http://www.arizonaguide.com-phxcvb. (accessed October 14, 1999).
200 W. Washington St., 11th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Phoenix City Hall
200 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Phoenix Community & Economic Development
200 W. Washington St., 11th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Tourist and Convention Bureaus
Phoenix Civic Plaza Convention Center
225 E. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phoenix and Valley of the Sun Convention & Visitors Bureau
400 E. Van Buren
1 Arizona Center, Suite 600
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Arizona Business Guide
P.O. Box 194
Phoenix, AZ 85001
P.O. Box 1950
Phoenix, AZ 85001
5555 N. 7th Ave., Suite B200
Phoenix, AZ 85013
Arizona Atlas and Gazetteer. Freeport, ME: De Lorme Mapping, 1993.
Atchison, Sterwart, and Bruce Grubbs. The Hiker's Guide to Arizona. Helena, MT: Falcon Press Publishing, 1991.
Dolainski, Stephen. Hidden Arizona. Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press, 1997.
Freeman, Roger, and Ethel Freeman. Day Hikes and Trail Rides In and Around Phoenix. Phoenix, AZ: 1991.
Johnson, G. Wesley. Phoenix, Valley of the Sun. Tulsa, OK: Continental Heritage Press, 1982.
Johnson, G. Wesley, ed. Phoenix in the Twentieth Century: Essays in Community History. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993.
Luckingham, Bradford. Phoenix: The History of a Southwestern Metropolis. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1989.
Trimble, Marshall. Roadside History of Arizona. Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Publishing Co., 1996.
A Tour of Phoenix and the State of Arizona. [video-recording] Memphis, TN: City Productions Home Video, 1996.
"Phoenix." Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cities. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix
"Phoenix." Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cities. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix
A visitor to the Phoenix metropolitan area will find many sights and attractions, some of them related to frontier history and the natural beauty of Salt River Valley. A principal attraction in Phoenix since 1939 is the Desert Botanical Garden on 50 acres of Papago Park, containing 10,000 desert plants that represent half of the 1,800 existing species of cactus. Also located in Papago Park is the Phoenix Zoo, a privately funded, non-profit zoo, where 1,200 animals are exhibited.
Historic Heritage Square near downtown is a city block of restored Victorian houses preserved as replicas of homes in the late 1800s and converted into museums, shops, and restaurants; a highlight is the elegant Rosson House. Also downtown is the National Native American Cooperative, which features dancers, foods and crafts, and a monthly Indian market October through May. In neighboring Scottsdale is Taliesin West, a national historic landmark built as the desert home of architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Scottsdale is also the site of Rawhide, a replica of a 1880s western town that offers a variety of activities, including stagecoach and burro rides, a petting zoo, and stunt shows. Located in nearby Tempe is Big Surf, "Arizona's ocean."
Old West-style entertainment, such as stagecoach rides, covered wagon campfire circles, and simulated gunfighter shoot-outs, is available to groups by reservation through various commercial enterprises in the area. Scenic day trips to the Grand Canyon and other sights near metropolitan Phoenix are provided by several bus and airplane charter services. Encanto Park is the home of the Enchanted Island Amusement Park with a variety of rides geared for the younger set.
Arts and Culture
Phoenix has a vital performing arts community, which was enriched with the 1989 opening of the Herberger Theatre Center. Located downtown next to the Phoenix Civic Plaza Convention Center and Symphony Hall, the complex is designed to augment existing cultural facilities. The Herberger Theater is used primarily for music, dance, and dramatic performances and includes an art gallery.
The Phoenix Center Youth Theatre, CityJazz, Dance Phoenix, and the Phoenix Children's Chorus call the Phoenix Center for the Arts their home. A variety of theater and drama, including amateur, professional, children/family-oriented, and experimental productions, is offered by companies in the Phoenix area. Founded in 1920, the Phoenix Theatre Little Theater is one of the oldest continuously running companies in the country. The Arizona Theatre Company, based in Phoenix, is in residence at the Herberger Theater Center and offers about 25 weeks of performances. Other local troupes include Childsplay, Actors Theatre of Phoenix, and Centre Dance Ensemble.
Housed in Symphony Hall, the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra performs an extensive classical repertoire and presents pops concerts with well-known guest artists. Phoenix hosts the state's professional ballet company and other international dance companies. The Arizona Opera also gives regular performances for Phoenix area audiences. Touring artists perform at the America West Arena, Celebrity Theatre, Gammage Auditorium, and the Cricket Pavilion.
More than 40 museums and 150 art galleries in the Phoenix area offer a range of educational and cultural experiences. The Arizona Hall of Fame Museum, opened in 1902, honors people who have contributed to Arizona heritage. Featuring the history of central Arizona, the Arizona Historical Society Museum includes replications of old-time shops and stores. The family-oriented Shemer Art Center and Museum presents primarily local and state artists. The Arizona Science Center provides interactive exhibits for children and adults in such areas as energy, life science, and health. The Hall of Flame Fire Fighting Museum houses the world's most extensive collection of fire-fighting apparatus, equipment, and memorabilia. Anthropological exhibits, fine arts, and historic arts of Native American cultures of the Southwest are specialties at the Heard Museum, which boasts 18,000 works of art and artifacts. The Phoenix Art Museum contains a permanent collection of 17,000 objects focusing on European, American, Western American, Latin American, and Asian arts and costume design. Owned and operated by artisan members, the Craftsmen's Cooperative Gallery at Heritage Square features handmade arts and crafts.
Festivals and Holidays
Highlights from the Phoenix special events calendar include the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Football Classic, which opens the year with a game between two of the country's best collegiate teams on New Year's Day at Sun Devil Stadium. Also held in January are the Arizona National Livestock Show (since 1948) and the Parada del Sol Parade and Rodeo.
The Heard Museum Guild Annual Indian Fair and Market takes place in March, featuring Native American culture. Also in March is the St. Patrick's Day Parade and Irish Family Fare. The Desert Botanical Garden's Annual Cactus and Succulent Show and Sale is offered in April. In May the Cinco de Mayo festival celebrates the 1862 Mexican victory over the French with various activities throughout the Phoenix area. The Arizona State Fair, billed as one of the most successful in the nation, takes place in October and November. The fall also brings the Way Out West Oktoberfest. The year ends with the APS Fiesta of Light Parade and Victorian Holiday Celebration, two December celebrations of the holiday season in downtown Phoenix. During the final week of the month the Fiesta Bowl events precede the New Year's Day Fiesta Bowl game with the Pageant of Bands, the Fiesta Bowl Parade, and sports and cultural events.
Sports for the Spectator
Phoenix fields teams in all major league sports. The city is home to two professional basketball teams, the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association, and the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association, both of which play their games at the America West Arena. Professional football is represented by the National Football League's Arizona Cardinals and the Arena Football League's Rattlers while professional hockey is represented by the National Hockey League's Phoenix Coyotes and the East Coast Hockey League's Phoenix Roadrunners. In 1998 the major league baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, were formed and began play at Bank One Ball Park, built especially for them. In 2001 the expansion team defeated the powerhouse New York Yankees to capture their first World Series crown.
From March through early April, exhibition baseball games are held nearly every day by the 12 major league baseball teams that hold spring training in Phoenix at the Cactus League games. Other popular sporting events are polo matches and greyhound, horse, and auto racing. The Phoenix Greyhound Park features greyhound races year round, and Turf Paradise schedules thoroughbred racing from September through May. The Phoenix International Raceway, built in 1964, boasts the world's fastest one-mile oval paved track for auto racing, and the Manzanita Speedway holds Sprint, midget, and stockcar races.
Annual sporting events in the Phoenix area include professional golf tournaments, such as the FBR Open, with about 500,000 attendees, and the LPGA Safeway International at the Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club; the Formula One Grand Prix auto race in April; and World Championship Tennis.
Sports for the Participant
Phoenix's consistently warm climate permits such year-round outdoor activities as camping, backpacking, hiking, horseback riding, mountain climbing, swimming, boating, fishing, water skiing, skating, tennis, and golf. In metropolitan Phoenix and the surrounding valley area, there are more than 1,100 tennis and racquetball courts, more than 190 championship golf courses (many designed by golfing legends Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus), and many natural and man-made lakes and waterways with facilities for a variety of water sports. Contained within the city limits is South Mountain Regional Park, said to be the largest municipal park in the world, which offers horseback riding, hiking trails, and a view of the city. Three snow skiing resorts are within traveling distance of the city.
Shopping and Dining
Retail establishments in Phoenix range from large malls and shopping centers—including several downtown—that feature nationally known department stores to small specialty shops offering products made by local artists and craftsmen. Located downtown the Arizona Center is a uniquely landscaped mall on three acres of land. Close to the center city is Biltmore Fashion Park, a collection of exclusive and stores anchored by Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue. Nearby is Town & Country Shopping Center, considered Arizona's original open-air mall; two blocks away is Tower Plaza Mall. Located in the northeast sector of the city is Colonnade Mall, winner of the International Council of Shopping Centers "Beauty of Design" award. A variety of shops in metropolitan Phoenix specialize in such items as native American arts and crafts, products made from Arizona copper, leather crafts, and Western apparel.
Restaurants in Phoenix have become more sophisticated with the city's growth and prosperity. They offer a variety of cuisines, including traditional American, Italian, Continental, Oriental, and French. Specialties are Southwestern and Mexican dishes with an emphasis on regional foods such as chilies, jicama, local game, and citrus. A popular attraction is Rustler's Roost, a landmark and one of the busiest dining establishments west of the Mississippi. With a scenic mountaintop view of the surrounding area, the restaurant features a mineshaft entrance and walls decorated with the brands of local cattle ranches. Selected by Food and Wine magazine as Distinguished Restaurants of North America were Different Point of View, Le Orangerie, and Vincent Guerithault on Camelback.
Visitor Information: Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau, 400 E. Van Buren St., Ste. 600, Phoenix, AZ 85004; telephone (602)254-6500; fax (602)253-4415; email firstname.lastname@example.org
"Phoenix: Recreation." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-recreation
"Phoenix: Recreation." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-recreation
Major Industries and Commercial Activity
Manufacturing and tourism, traditionally the base of the city's economy, continue to be important to Phoenix. Major industrial products manufactured by companies located in the metropolitan area include aircraft parts, electronic equipment, agricultural chemicals, radios, air-conditioning equipment, leather goods, and native American crafts.
Tourism is an especially vital part of the economy. With more than 10 million visitors from the throughout the United States and Canada annually visiting for the warm weather and sunshine in the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix continues to be an important resort center. Flights from Phoenix travel to 89 locations within the United States and 17 cities internationally including destinations in Norway, Sweden, Greenland, Mexico, India, and Canada. The airport is constantly seeking to improve its facilities as is demonstrated by the nearly 80 ongoing slated projects costing an upwards of $600 million.
As the result of the population boom, the economy of Phoenix has taken on new dimensions in recent decades by moving into technology and service industries. Tourism and business services in particular now account for nearly 77 percent of the area's total employment. Another sector of growth has been financial services and banking as several significant processing and/or regional headquarters operations call Phoenix home: American Express, Chase Bank, Bank of America, Discover Card Services, and Wells Fargo Bank. High technology and aerospace firms hold a considerable share of the manufacturing jobs throughout the state (56 percent).
Population and economic growth have made Phoenix the center of the state's economy. More than a third of the state's entire labor force works in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Further, many Fortune 500 companies operate within the area such as Boeing, Bank of America, Time Warner Telecom, IBM, and Intel.
Items and goods produced: aircraft and aircraft parts, electronic equipment, steel castings and fabrications, flour, boxes, agricultural chemicals, aluminum products, radios, mobile homes, air conditioning machinery, creamery products, beer, liquor, saddles and leather goods, apparel, native American and Mexican novelties
Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies
Funding and assistance for business development in Phoenix are available through the Business Development Finance Corporation, Southwestern Business Financing Corp., the Phoenix Industrial Development Authority (PIDA), the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR), and the Arizona Commerce and Economic Development Commission.
Employers locating facilities in the 100-square-mile City of Phoenix Enterprise Zone (COPEZ), as designated by the Arizona Department of Commerce, can earn state corporate income tax credit for each net new job created in the zone. Tax credits can total up to $3,000 per hire (with a maximum of 200 annually) over a three-year period. The city of Phoenix is the administrator of Foreign Trade Zone #75, which allows companies to reduce or defer payment of customs duties on imported products; companies operating in the zone can benefit from an 80 percent reduction in real and personal property tax. EXPAND (Expansion Assistance and Development Program) was formed to facilitate a growing company's need for funds to acquire capital.
Arizona has a favorable tax structure for businesses, collecting no corporate franchise tax; in addition, business inventories are exempt from property taxes. The State of Arizona has adopted a four-year accelerated depreciation schedule for certain personal property devoted to any commercial or industrial use. There are weight-distance tax exemptions and transaction privilege tax re-funds for the motion picture industry, and exemptions from taxation for secured and unsecured personal property relating to construction work in progress. Qualified employers that provide technical training for their employees are eligible for the Technology Training Tax Credit.
Job training programs
The Arizona Legislature has allocated $7 million for the administration of the Arizona Work Force Development and Job Training program, targeted at new and existing businesses. Funds are available on a grant basis and range from $2,000 to $5,000 per job. In addition, Arizona State University and the Maricopa Community College district work with area employers to maintain continuing education programs for local workers.
A rapidly growing young city, Phoenix has required more recent construction activities than more mature cities. The first phase of a $600-million construction project for the Phoenix Civic Plaza will, once all three phases are complete, boost the plaza's national rank from 67th to the top 25 by tripling its size. One new research institute (Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGEN) was built in the downtown area for $46 million while another large facility opened in late 2004 on the campus of Arizona State University.
Economic Development Information: City of Phoenix Community and Economic Development Office, 200 W. Washington St., 20th Fl., Phoenix AZ 85003; telephone (602)262-5040; fax (602)495-5097
Phoenix is located at the center of market areas stretching along interstate highways from southern California to western Texas, Colorado, Utah, and Mexico. More than 50 companies provide motor freight service. Rail service is available from two transcontinental rail lines. The Phoenix metropolitan area economy benefits from air cargo service through Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, where American Airlines and American West provide wide-body freight service.
Labor Force and Employment Outlook
The local labor force is described as young, plentiful, and well-educated. Arizona consistently ranks in the top five growth states, and workers are attracted by the quality of life to be enjoyed. A right-to-work state, Arizona has union membership of 3.6 percent in the private sector.
In March 2005 Manpower, Inc.'s employment outlook survey indicated that 36 percent of employers in the greater Phoenix area intend to expand their workforce in nearly all major categories including construction, durable goods manufacturing, transportation, trade, and finance. This exceeds the national average of 30 percent. In fact, the Arizona Department of Economic Security reported the area's labor force growth as 7.2 percent in 2003–2004 (with 1.8 million workers in 2004) while the national level was 0.6 percent. Growth is expected to top 550,000 jobs by 2012 with significant gains in the professional, service, and technical fields.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metropolitan area non-agricultural labor force, 2004 annual averages.
Size of non-agricultural labor force: 1,674,800
Number of workers employed in . . .
natural resources and mining: 2,000
trade, transportation, and utilities: 339,600
financial activities: 137,400
professional and business services: 270,900
educational and health services: 172,600
leisure and hospitality: 160,500
other services: 64,200
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $13.84
Unemployment rate: 4.0% (January 2005)
|Largest employers||Number of employees|
|State of Arizona||50,363|
|Banner Health Systems||13,756|
|City of Phoenix||13,095|
|Honeywell International Inc.||12,000|
|U.S. Postal Service||11,406|
|Wells Fargo Company||11,000|
|Arizona State University||10,005|
Cost of Living
The cost of living for the area is below that of the national average according to the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. Phoenix boasts affordable new and existing housing, with median-range homes at costs below the national average as reported by the Arizona State University Real Estate Center in April 2004.
The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Phoenix area.
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $254,751
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 99.2 (U.S. average = 100.0)
State income tax rate: Ranges from 2.87% to 5.04%
State sales tax rate: 5.6% (food and prescription drugs are exempt)
Local income tax rate: None
Local sales tax rate: 1.4% plus 0.7% county rate
Property tax rate: Varies by school district. The 2004 average was $16.95 per $100 of assessed valuation
Economic Information: Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Two N. Central Ave., Ste. 2500, Phoenix, AZ 85004; telephone (602)256-7700 or (800)421-4732; fax (602)256-7744; email email@example.com
"Phoenix: Economy." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-economy
"Phoenix: Economy." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-economy
Phoenix: Education and Research
Phoenix: Education and Research
Elementary and Secondary Schools
A total of 58 separate school districts serve the entire Maricopa County. The city of Phoenix is served by 16 separate public school districts, each with its own school board and superintendent. The Greater Phoenix area has an extensive magnet school program with an emphasis on specialized course work in career fields such as aeronautics and aerospace, agri-business, and computer studies, among others.
The following is a summary of data regarding school districts in the Phoenix area as of the 2003–2004 school year.
Total enrollment: 626,461
Number of facilities
elementary schools: 95
middle schools: 32
senior high schools: 67
Student/teacher ratio: ranges from 16.4:1 to 22:1, depending on school district
Funding per pupil: ranges from $4,980 to $8,304, depending on school district
More than 80 private elementary and high schools are also located in Phoenix, providing alternative educational services.
Public Schools Information: Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools, 301 W. Jefferson St., Ste. 660, Phoenix, AZ 85003; telephone (602)506-3866
Colleges and Universities
Phoenix has 79 private technical and business colleges, including the University of Phoenix and Maricopa Community Colleges, the second-largest public community college system in the United States. The University of Phoenix has garnered the spot as the nation's top private university via its innovative online degree program and 163 campuses throughout North America. Both offer undergraduate degrees in a wide range of disciplines and graduate degrees in such fields as business and management and education. Other colleges in Phoenix include Grand Canyon University and a campus of the Arizona State University (ASU), the largest university in the Rocky Mountain area with an enrollment of about 58,000 students and 2,165 full-time faculty, based in nearby Tempe. ASU boasts a strong science orientation; the Phoenix campus (named West Campus) focuses on upper division and graduate courses.
Libraries and Research Centers
The Phoenix Public Library system consists of the main branch downtown and 13 branches located throughout the city. Located in 280,000 square feet, the central library's collection numbers nearly one million volumes as well as magazines, newspapers, tapes, films, slides, and art reproductions. Special collections include the Arizona Room that features a variety of resources related to Arizona's rich history. The Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records also focuses on the state's history and includes law, government, and genealogy holdings. More than 50 special libraries and research centers are located in Phoenix; most are affiliated with colleges, medical centers, and government agencies and specialize in such fields as medicine, business, and technology. Arizona State University's Engineering Center focuses on microelectronics, CAD/CAM, telecommunications, and computer science.
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGEN) held its grand opening in March 2005 with a 170,000 square foot facility. The first of several facilities to be constructed, the $46 million center will employ 450 people. The Arizona Biodesign Institute on the campus of Arizona State University is contributing to Phoenix's growth by luring scientists and biotechnological companies to the area. Four modules are set for completion by 2007; the first opened with 250,000 square feet in the fall of 2004.
Public Library Information: Phoenix Public Library, 1221N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004; telephone (602)262-4636
"Phoenix: Education and Research." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-education-and-research
"Phoenix: Education and Research." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-education-and-research
Native Americans Removed to Make Way for White Settlers
The city of Phoenix stands on the site of a prehistoric settlement built by Native Americans, the Hohokam tribe, who had established a thriving culture but who vanished without a trace around 1450 A.D. Thought to be the ancestors of the Pima—"Hohokam" means "those who have gone" in Pima—the Hohokam had constructed a sophisticated system of irrigation canals, many of which are still in use today, that remain as evidence of their existence.
Permanent resettlement of the Hohokam site did not come until the late 1860s; in the interim the area shared the history of the rest of the state. Hispanic conquistadors invaded Arizona in the 1500s in search of the Seven Cities of Cibola, bringing with them cattle, horses, and new agricultural methods. They were followed by miners, traders, and farmers whose presence was tolerated by the Native Americans until the 1850s, when it became apparent that the white settlers were encroaching on their land. Battles between the settlers and the tribes brought intervention by the U.S. military and the tribes were eventually confined to reservations.
City Thrives as Trade Center; Irrigation Aids Farms, Industry
In 1864 a U.S. Army post, a supply camp for nearby Camp McDowell, was set up on the ruins of the Hohokam settlement. Then in 1867 the Hohokam's irrigation canals were rebuilt by two settlers, one of whom called the place "Phoenix." He predicted that, like the mythical phoenix bird rising from its own ashes, a great city would emerge from the ruins. Incorporated in 1881, Phoenix rapidly developed into a major trading center with the building of the railroad in 1887 and became the capital of the Arizona territory in 1889; it was named the capital of the state of Arizona in 1912.
Phoenix gained a reputation as a rowdy frontier town because of its saloons, gambling palaces, and general outlaw atmosphere. Law and order were restored by the turn of the century, however, and Phoenix entered a new phase. The railroad, bringing settlers from throughout the country, established an immigration pattern that has continued steadily without interruption; during the three decades following World War II, for instance, the population of Phoenix increased from roughly 107,000 to nearly 790,000 people.
Major technological advances during the first half of the twentieth century—the Roosevelt Dam on the Salt River, the Southern Pacific Railroad, the advent of air conditioning, and the Central Arizona Project aqueduct system—brought about agricultural and industrial development that also fueled tremendous growth. In the 1990s Phoenix went through its third major growth boom in four decades, partly a result of a large influx of people from California. The city has begun to experience the effects of urban sprawl, including serious air pollution. Entering the twenty-first century, Phoenix's landscape consists of Hispanic colonial and Indian pueblo architecture interspersed with gleaming high-rise office buildings. The economic success of the area has spurred a continuing population growth and nearly all business indicators present positive gains. The City Council has allotted $1 billion in public and private projects to enhance and maintain the community. This foresight, in conjunction with the natural appeal of the environment, prepares the city for boundless prosperity.
Historical Information: Phoenix Museum of History, 105N. 5th St., Phoenix, AZ 85004-4404; telephone (602)253-2734; email firstname.lastname@example.org
"Phoenix: History." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-history
"Phoenix: History." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-history
PHOENIX. In 1867, pioneers entered the Salt River valley in central Arizona and admired the remains of the ancient canal system of the Hohokam, a people who had lived in the area prior to 1400. Homesteading the land, clearing out old irrigation ditches, planting crops, and negotiating supply contracts with nearby military posts and mining camps, the pioneers created an economic base for their community. Realizing that they were revitalizing the land of an ancient people, the settlers in 1870 named the town site Phoenix, a fitting symbol of life rising anew from the remains of the past. Growth was slow but steady, and by 1900, the valley center contained a population of 5,444 and offered an impressive array of urban goods, services, and amenities. By then it was a railroad hub, the seat of Maricopa County, and the territorial capital.
Phoenix leaders, taking advantage of the National Reclamation Act of 1902, supported the federal government in the construction of Roosevelt Dam, completed in 1911. Water management projects brought vital stability to the area, allowed irrigation control, and assured agricultural prosperity. Local promoters also encouraged campaigns to attract new residents and visitors to the Valley of the Sun, emphasizing the opportunities and the amenities available, especially the mild winter climate. By 1930, the city had become a regional urban center of 48,118. The Great Depression retarded progress, but the central Arizona oasis recorded a population of 65,414 in 1940.
During the 1930s, the federal government helped to alleviate distress in the city and the valley through New Deal programs, and during and after World War II, the relationship between Washington and the Phoenix area grew stronger as the Arizona capital became a major military and manufacturing center. By 1955, manufacturing had become the city's number-one source of income, with farming and tourism in second and third places. Major firms in the 1950s included Motorola, General Electric,
Goodyear Aircraft, Kaiser Aircraft and Electronics, Ai-Research, and Sperry Rand.
Business initiative, sunny days, and modern technology prevailed in the popular desert hub. Especially appealing were new attractions such as air conditioning. As in other Sun Belt cities, the mass production of air conditioners in the 1950s and the consequent age of refrigeration attracted not only manufacturers but also more residents and tourists. Throughout the years, the winning combination of opportunities and amenities continued to attract newcomers; occasional downturns occurred, but overall, Phoenix boomed. Economic enterprise and the Phoenix life style drew more people to the area. By 2000, more than a million people lived in Phoenix, and it had become the sixth largest city in the nation.
Luckingham, Bradford. The Urban Southwest: A Profile History of Albuquerque, El Paso, Phoenix, and Tucson. El Paso: Texas Western, 1982.
———. Phoenix: The History of a Southwestern Metropolis. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1989.
———. Minorities in Phoenix: A Profile of Mexican American, Chinese American, and African American Communities, 1860–1992. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994.
"Phoenix." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/phoenix
"Phoenix." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/phoenix
Phoenix (city, United States)
Phoenix, city (1990 pop. 983,403), state capital and seat of Maricopa co., S Ariz., on the Salt River; inc. 1881. It is the largest city in Arizona, the hub of the rich agricultural region of the Salt River valley, and an important center for research and development, electronics, telecommunications, semiconductors, and the aerospace industry. Food processing and the production of aircraft parts, electrical appliances, agricultural chemicals, machinery, tools, plastic and wood products, cosmetics, and leather goods remains central to its manufacturing base. Greater Phoenix is a popular resort area, and tourism is also important to the economy.
The city was founded on the site of ancient Native American canals; hence its name, signifying a new town which had risen from the ruins of an old civilization. In 1868, pioneers developed what remained of the Native Americans' irrigation system; water was diverted from the Salt River, and farming began, supplemented by mining and ranching in the surrounding desert and mountains. The completion (1911) of the Roosevelt Dam on the Salt River brought power and abundant water to the community, and opened a new era of farming in the valley.
Phoenix grew as an important trade and distribution center. It boomed during World War II, when three airfields were opened. The phenomenal growth continued after the war; veterans who had been stationed in Phoenix returned to stay, and manufacturing concerns moved there to utilize the large labor supply. The expanding metropolitan area includes the suburbs of Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Glendale, Chandler, and Peoria, all of which are among the fastest-growing cities in the United States.
Among the area's many outstanding parks are the Desert Botanical Gardens, Camelback Mountain, and the nearby South Mountain Park, which has an active gold mine. Also in the area are a number of Native American communities and reservations, national monuments, and state parks. Among its museums are the Heard Museum, with Native American art of the Southwest; the Phoenix Art Museum; the Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum, with pioneer relics; the Pueblo Grande Museum, containing excavations of Native American ruins c.800 years old; and the Arizona Capitol Museum. Other attractions are the Phoenix Zoo, the Arizona Science Center, and the Mystery Castle, built of native rock.
Phoenix is the seat of the Univ. of Phoenix, Arizona State Univ. West, Grand Canyon Univ., and Southwestern College. It has a symphony orchestra, as well as opera and ballet companies. The Phoenix Suns play in the National Basketball Association and the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League (baseball). The Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League play in adjacent Glendale, as do the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League. Several major-league baseball teams have spring-training camps in the area.
See J. E. Buchanan, Phoenix: A Chronological and Documentary History, 1865–1976 (1978); G. W. Johnson Jr., Phoenix (1982); B. Luckingham, Phoenix: The History of a Southwestern Metropolis (1989).
"Phoenix (city, United States)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-city-united-states
"Phoenix (city, United States)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-city-united-states
Phoenix: Population Profile
Phoenix: Population Profile
Metropolitan Area Residents
Percent change, 1990–2000: 45.3%
U.S. rank in 1980: 24th
U.S. rank in 1990: 20th
U.S. rank in 2000: 14th
2003 estimate: 1,388,416
Percent change, 1990–2000: 34.4%
U.S. rank in 1980: 9th
U.S. rank in 1990: 9th
U.S. rank in 2000: 10th (State rank: 1st)
Density: 2,781.9 people per square mile (2000)
Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)
Black or African American: 67,416
American Indian and Alaska Native: 26,696
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 1,766
Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 449,972
Percent of residents born in state: 34.6% (2000)
Age characteristics (2000)
Population under 5 years old: 114,516
Population 5 to 9 years old: 111,367
Population 10 to 14 years old: 99,471
Population 15 to 19 years old: 97,425
Population 20 to 24 years old: 103,873
Population 25 to 34 years old: 227,481
Population 35 to 44 years old: 211,442
Population 45 to 54 years old: 157,615
Population 55 to 59 years old: 52,623
Population 60 to 64 years old: 38,437
Population 65 to 74 years old: 58,309
Population 75 to 84 years old: 36,879
Population 85 years and over: 11,607
Median age: 30.7 years
Total number: 25,749
Total number: 7,902 (of which, 174 were infants under the age of 1 year)
Money income (1999)
Per capita income: $19,833
Median household income: $41,207
Total households: 466,114
Number of households with income of . . .
less than $10,000: 37,689
$10,000 to $14,999: 27,862
$15,000 to $24,999: 63,160
$25,000 to $34,999: 65,783
$35,000 to $49,999: 82,180
$50,000 to $74,999: 89,831
$75,000 to $99,999: 45,918
$100,000 to $149,999: 33,461
$150,000 to $199,999: 9,674
$200,000 or more: 10,556
Percent of families below poverty level: 11.5% (41.3% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 109,916
"Phoenix: Population Profile." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-population-profile
"Phoenix: Population Profile." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-population-profile
Newspapers and Magazines
Phoenix's major daily newspaper is the morning The Arizona Republic. The smaller-circulation The Phoenix Gazette is published in the evenings on Monday through Saturday. Among the many other daily and weekly periodicals published in Phoenix are the Arizona Business Gazette, Arizona Informant, Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, and New Times (which features arts, entertainment, and restaurants). Magazines published in Phoenix include Phoenix Magazine and Arizona Highways.
Television and Radio
Phoenix is served by seven television stations and by two cable television companies. Twenty-six AM and FM radio stations, including Hispanic-language radio, also broadcast in Phoenix.
Media Information: The Arizona Republic, Phoenix Newspapers Inc., 200 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85004; telephone (602)444-8000; toll-free (800)331-9303
The Arizona Republic. Available www.azcentral.com/ arizona republic
Arizona School Report Cards. Available www.ade.state.az.us/srcs
City of Phoenix Home Page. Available www.ci.phoenix.az.us
Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau. Available www.phoenixcvb.com
Greater Phoenix Economic Council. Available www.gpec.org
Phoenix Museum of History. Available www.pmoh.org
Phoenix Public Library. Available www.ci.phoenix.az.us/LIBRARY/pplidx.html
Bartlett, Michael H., and Thomas M. Kolaz, Archaeology in the City: A Hohokam Village in Phoenix, Arizona (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1986)
Hait, Pam, Shifra Stein's Day Trips from Greater Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff (Charlotte, NC: East Woods Press, 1986)
"Phoenix: Communications." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-communications
"Phoenix: Communications." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-communications
Approaching the City
Located near downtown, the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is serviced by 23 airlines with direct flights from most cities in the United States and several locations abroad. More than 108,000 passengers are served on a daily basis, which is comparable to the Miami and San Francisco airports. Its importance to the area is highlighted by an estimated $72 million daily economic impact.
Interstate routes into the city are Interstate 10 (the Papago Freeway), entering from the west, and Interstate 17 (the Black Canyon Freeway), entering from the north. These highways join at Van Buren Street and 27th Avenue, becoming the Maricopa Freeway and then forming the Pima Freeway southeast of the city. State Route 89 (Grand Avenue Expressway) enters diagonally from the northwest, joins State Route 60 at Van Buren Street downtown then intersects the city laterally to the east, becoming the Superstition Freeway. A 20-year "Regional Transportation Plan" was passed by voters in November 2004 to alleviate excessive traffic congestion by building new or renovating existing freeways; 2007 is the earliest projected start date.
Traveling in the City
Phoenix made the top ten list in 2003 for most improved transit systems by the trade journal, Metro Magazine. Travel in the city is facilitated by the simple grid layout. The Phoenix Transit System provides daily bus service in the metropolitan area.
"Phoenix: Transportation." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-transportation
"Phoenix: Transportation." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-transportation
Phoenix: Geography and Climate
Phoenix: Population Profile
Phoenix: Municipal Government
Phoenix: Education and Research
Phoenix: Health Care
Phoenix: Convention Facilities
The City in Brief
Founded: 1864 (incorporated, 1881)
Head Official: Mayor Phil Gordon (since 2003)
2003 estimate: 1,388,416
Percent change, 1990–2000: 34.4%
U.S. rank in 1980: 9th
U.S. rank in 1990: 9th U.S. rank in 2000: 10th (State rank: 1st)
Metropolitan Area Population
Percent change, 1990–2000: 45.3%
U.S. rank in 1980: 24th
U.S. rank in 1990: 20th
U.S. rank in 2000: 14th
Area: 475.09 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 1,058 feet above sea level
Average Annual Temperature: 72.6° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 8.3 inches
Major Economic Sectors: Services, government, manufacturing
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (January 2005)
Per Capita Income: $19,833 (1999)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 109,916
Major Colleges and Universities: University of Phoenix, Arizona State University, Maricopa Community Colleges
Daily Newspapers: The Arizona Republic, The Phoenix Gazette
"Phoenix." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-0
"Phoenix." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-0
Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, is a study in contrasts. As the center of "the Valley of the Sun," the city has traditionally been associated with Old West myths, tourist resorts, and Sun Belt retirement communities. While it retains strong links with this image—frontier history permeates the city's culture and architecture, tourism continues to thrive, and people still spend their golden years here—Phoenix is also emerging as one of the "newest" cities in the nation. It is among the country's fastest expanding metropolitan areas, and with children under the age of 14 comprising a significant percentage of its inhabitants, Phoenix is adding a youthful contrast to its traditions as a frontier desert town and a place "where the old-timers go to retire." With a growing labor force and population, friendly business environment, affordable housing, and low cost of living, the area is ideal for businesses and residents alike. In 2004 the Milken Institute bestowed upon Phoenix a third place ranking on its annual "Best Performing Cities: Where America's Jobs are Created and Sustained" list.
"Phoenix: Introduction." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-introduction
"Phoenix: Introduction." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-introduction
Phoenix: Health Care
Phoenix: Health Care
Along with population growth in Phoenix has come an increased demand for health care services; meeting this need, the Phoenix medical community has become a major industry in the metropolitan area. More than 33,000 medical personnel are employed in the region. Forty-two licensed hospitals, providing in excess of 8,000 beds, serve the Phoenix metropolitan area; more than 2,000 physicians, dentists, psychiatrists, chiropractors, osteopaths, and ophthalmologists attend to health care needs.
The largest health care facilities in Phoenix are the Maricopa Integrated Health System with 621 beds; St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, housing 520 beds; the 600-bed Banner Desert Medical Center; the Barrow Neurological Institute, known internationally for the treatment of neurological disorders; and Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, with 619 beds. In 2000 a bone marrow transplant program for children was launched after Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation supplied a grant to underwrite the salary costs for a physician who specializes in pediatric bone marrow transplants.
"Phoenix: Health Care." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-health-care
"Phoenix: Health Care." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-health-care
Phoenix: Convention Facilities
Phoenix: Convention Facilities
Phoenix is a popular gathering place for large and small groups that wish to conduct business in a pleasurable environment. Known for its resorts, Phoenix offers plentiful hotel space (about 10,000 rooms in the central city alone), a year-round warm climate, and a variety of leisure activities. These factors have contributed to an increase in group business in metropolitan Phoenix since 1980. Nearly 40 percent of visitors to the Valley come to attend a convention.
The Phoenix Civic Plaza and Convention Center, with 300,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space in 43 breakout meeting rooms providing a total seating capacity for more than 29,000 people, has been the city's primary convention facility since 1972. A $600-million expansion is planned that will by 2008 increase the space to 900,000 square feet. Meeting space is also available at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, at Arizona State University, and at area hotels.
Convention Information: Phoenix Civic Plaza and Convention Center, 111 N. 3rd St., Phoenix, AZ 85004; telephone (800)AT-CIVIC
"Phoenix: Convention Facilities." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-convention-facilities
"Phoenix: Convention Facilities." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-convention-facilities
Phoenix: Municipal Government
Phoenix: Municipal Government
The capital of Arizona and the Maricopa County seat, Phoenix has a council-manager form of government. The eight council members serve staggered four-year terms, representing districts of the city, while the mayor is elected at large to a four-year term and also serves as a member of the council. Phoenix has won international recognition and many awards for the quality of management of the city.
Head Official: Mayor Phil Gordon (since 2003; current term expires 2007)
Total Number of City Employees: 13,095 (2004)
City Information: City of Phoenix, 200 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85003; telephone (602)262-6011
"Phoenix: Municipal Government." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-municipal-government
"Phoenix: Municipal Government." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-municipal-government
Phoenix: Geography and Climate
Phoenix: Geography and Climate
Located in the Salt River Valley in the south central part of the state, Phoenix is situated on flat desert terrain, bordered by lakes and the Superstition Mountains to the east and surrounded by the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. The climate is warm, with low humidity. The most remarkable weather feature is sunshine approximately 325 days per year, making Phoenix one of the sunniest cities in the country.
Area: 475.09 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 1,058 feet above sea level
Average Temperatures: January, 67° F; July, 106.0° F; annual average, 72.6° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 8.3 inches
"Phoenix: Geography and Climate." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-geography-and-climate
"Phoenix: Geography and Climate." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix-geography-and-climate
"Phoenix." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix
"Phoenix." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phoenix
"phoenix." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/phoenix-0
"phoenix." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/phoenix-0