Villa Verde Historic District
Bounded by 19th and 20th avenues, the alley north of Monte Vista Road and the alley south of Granada Road.
Historically Recognized: January 1999
(Period of Significance: 1928-1940)
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Villa Verde Historic District’s significance is based on its association with historic residential subdivision development in Phoenix between 1912 and 1960. Although Villa Verde is noted for its unique architectural expressions and for its variety within the district, the development follows predominant trends and patterns of subdivision growth in Phoenix during this period. The district takes its architectural cues from Period Revival motifs popular in the late 1920s and early 1930s and from Early/Transitional Ranch styles that emerged in the late 1930s and grew to prominence in the postwar era.
Frank B. Wallace was entirely responsible for Villa Verde’s vision, design, and execution. Villa Verde is unique in that the original developer designed, built, and sold every house in the district. It was Wallace’s project from start to finish. Wallace was not an architect nor a realtor but, rather, an engineer who held degrees from Syracuse University. This may be why his houses were not simply replicas of popular styles but variations on Bungalow, Ranch, and Revival themes of the period. In his own words, Wallace endeavored to build attractive and interesting houses for homebuyers of modest means. He claimed that his specialty was “artistic small homes” that were not just unique in appearance, but also affordable. To achieve the variety he sought in his development, Wallace ensured that no two houses were alike in design and style. He further differentiated his houses by using bright paint colors inside and out.
Today, Villa Verde remains a modest but intriguing district of single-family homes. Its appeal is largely due to its varied and sometimes whimsical architectural fabric and the fact that few houses have been altered significantly from the historic period. They retain their original character and design to a significant degree.
Information courtesy of Historic Preservation Office, City of Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department
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