Willow Historic District Home Tour 2015

I got to spend the afternoon in one of my favorite places in Phoenix. The annual Willow District Home Tour brings people from all over the valley to view the beautiful homes and history of the area between McDowell Road and Thomas Road, 1st Avenue to 7th Avenue. This area was settled and initially developed between the early 1920’s and the early 1950’s and the diversity of influence is reflected in the unique look of each home. You will find no stucco here in the Tudor, Greek, Spanish Colonial, American Colonial and Pueblo styles that line the shady streets of Willow.

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Divided up into 22 subdivisions by developers and entrepreneurs, over the years the Willow area has coalesced to create what in 1980 became a historic district now commonly referred to as the Willow Historic District. The 2008 addition of the light rail running along Central Avenue only blocks from Willow has made the area increasingly livable, providing access to all of the downtown attractions and easy transport to east valley cities. Within walking distance or a few quick stops on the light rail, you find the Phoenix Art Museum, the Heard Museum, America West Arena and Chase Field, the Phoenix Opera, the Orpheum and Dodge Theaters, and a growing repertoire of restaurants from the trendy to authentic ethnic eateries.

But it’s the homes I love the best. Particularly those who have been lovingly updated without losing the historic flavor and vintage features that elicit a feeling of taking a comfortable trip back through time. In one home I saw a newly raised and vaulted ceiling in the living room, and much of the original crown molding and 1940’s features such as a telephone nook and two front doors for increased efficiency in cooling the home naturally during the warm summer months. Amazing things have been done by the owners current and past, of these homes and you can feel the love, respect and reverence for a time gone by.

Phoenix, like many other cities, is becoming a collection of interesting neighborhoods: Coronado, Encanto, Garfield, Alvarado, Pierson Place, Melrose-Woodley, etc. Each one has it’s own unique history, look and feel. If you ever get a chance to visit one of these neighborhoods, don’t miss it. And if living the lifestyle of a historic home owner is something you see as fitting for you, call me and let’s go looking.

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