Pierson Place Historic District boundaries are roughly: Camelback Road and the Grand Canal, Central and Seventh avenues
The original mix of single family homes with small duplexes, triplexes, and quads gives Pierson Place Historic District a unique personality that feels more city-like than most of our historic districts. To that original mix, sprinkle in some multi-unit rentals built during the 50s and 60s, and the very first high rise living in the city at the 17-story Landmark Towers on Central. Got that? Okay, now curl the light rail line around two sides of the neighborhood on Central and Camelback and then add in the businesses, old and new, that are found there. What you have in today’s Pierson Place neighborhood is an active urban mix.
The historic district boundaries end short of the commercial properties that border Pierson Place along 7th Avenue, Camelback and Central, but those borders are an integral part of the neighborhood experience here. Neighbors can walk to restaurants or a record store, groceries or dog groomers. Brophy Preparatory Academy, one of the best schools in the city, is right there on Central. The light rail connects Pierson Place to the Phoenix Symphony or a Suns game downtown, to Mill Avenue in Tempe, or to the Goodwill (1726 W Camelback) when a new retro outfit is on the shopping list. Whatever your need, you can pretty much leave your car at home to find it.
There is nothing “typical” about Pierson Place Historic District. A house may be made of brick or block or wood frame or adobe. (There are 7 cozy adobe homes on Mariposa and Pierson Streets). Home may be a single family ranch, a mid-century modern loft-style townhome at Pierson West, one side of an historic duplex, or an apartment. Whatever ‘home’ is, if you live in Pierson Place you have the 7th Avenue merchants to shop at any day of the week, the Melrose on 7th annual street fair and First Friday happenings each month. If you’re hungry, there are choices: Maizie’s Café & Bistro at the foot of the Landmark Towers, Hula’s Modern Tiki a bit south on Central, and St Francis—a gorgeous restaurant adapted from an early-’50s office building just east on Camelback—to name only three. Need coffee? Try Lola’s Coffee on Central, or AJ’s Coffeebar, or maybe Dutch Brothers. Shouldn’t we all have so many choices so close to home?
Pierson Place is quite possibly the most urban historic district that Phoenix has and it is certainly one of our most connected/walkable central neighborhoods. But history doesn’t stop. Today’s urban mix is bound to get mixed up again when high density, transit-oriented development projects get underway outside the district boundary near Central and Camelback. It’s anyone’s guess when that might happen, but the odds are good it will. And when it does, Pierson Place will definitely be the most urban of our historic districts with even more choices than it already has today.
The Pierson Place Neighborhood Association
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