Roosevelt Historic District

(added 1983 – Maricopa County – #83003490)
Also known as See Also:Goldspot Marketing Center (Phoenix Commercial MRA)
Roughly bounded by Portland and Fillmore Sts., Central and 7th Aves., Phoenix
(480 acres, 92 buildings)

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Historic Significance:
Architect, builder, or engineer:
Architectural Style:
Area of Significance:
Significant Years:
Period of Significance:
Historic Function:
Historic Sub-function:
Current Function:
Current Sub-function:
Event, Architecture/Engineering, Person
Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Bungalow/Craftsman, Other
Community Planning And Development, Architecture
1897, 1937
1875-1899, 1900-1924, 1925-1949
Multiple Dwelling, Single Dwelling
Commerce/Trade, Domestic, Landscape, Religion
Multiple Dwelling, Park, Single Dwelling

As was typical of a “streetcar” I suburb, most of Roosevelt’s lots are narrow and deep, minimizing the distance residents must walk to reach transportation. In contrast to the monotony of modern tract neighborhoods, the diversity of housing styles in Phoenix historic districts gives each a distinctive flavor. Architecturally, the Roosevelt Neighborhood has some of the finest examples of early twentieth century residential architecture in Phoenix. The most common building type in the area is the California Bungalow, which dominates most of the district’s streetscape. Among these relatively plain homes also are found many finely detailed Craftsman Bungalows and Period Revival houses. A Bungalow is typically a one-story house with a simple, functional floor plan and one or more broadly pitched roof gables with deep overhangs. Broad front porches with massive square porch columns are an essential feature. Bungalows are the most common type of Craftsman influenced architecture. The Craftsman movement, a popular building philosophy of the early twentieth century, used natural and rustic materials. It stressed comfort, utility and convenience as well as high quality workmanship in design and construction. So-called Craftsman Bungalows were usually covered with natural wood shingles and had foundations, porch columns and chimneys of stone, rough-faced brick or textured concrete.

Roosevelt Historical Neighborhood also includes outstanding examples of public buildings: The Trinity Cathedral, Kenilworth School, and the Westward Ho Hotel. To serve the winter visitors, developers built the Gold Spot Marketing Center, one of the first shopping centers in Phoenix built for a specific residential area. The construction marked the beginning of a trend toward small neighborhood centers away from the original central Phoenix commercial district.

As with the other Phoenix historic districts in the City, the development of the Roosevelt Neighborhood provides physical expression of the early growth of Phoenix. Within it are buildings, which are both historically and architecturally important because they represent many important milestones in the evolution of our present community. From its rise as an affluent “streetcar suburb,” to its development associated with early tourism, to its designation as the first historic district in Phoenix, the Roosevelt Neighborhood continues to play a significant role in the history of Phoenix. As an intact collection of early twentieth century architecture, it contributes to the visual diversity and character of the historic heart of our community.

Information courtesy of Historic Preservation Office, City of Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department

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