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Neighborhood Historic Districts Context

Scottsdale has a large and varied collection of intact post World War II residential housing in the Valley. This type of construction represents a distinct period in the growth of the city and the entire Southwest region. During World War II the federal government located several military installations in the Phoenix area to take advantage of the region's optimal year-round flying conditions to train military flyers, which in turn attracted several military contractors to the region. The new bases and the relocation of several large manufactures created a dramatic growth of the population in Arizona, which until this time had been quite small. Between 1940 and 1950 the state's population increased by almost 25,000 a year. In the 1950s this doubled to 55,000 new residents each year.

The establishment of a Motorola transistor fabrication and research facility in 1957 on McDowell Road at Granite Reef Road further contributed to the growth and diversification of Scottsdale's economy. By the mid 1950s, resort, commercial, residential and industrial development began to alter the original character of the farming community. The subdivisions constructed by production homebuilders were a hallmark of postwar building in Scottsdale and other communities throughout the country. The typical Arizona postwar home was a single-level Ranch-style house, with masonry block walls, concrete floors, and a low-pitched asphalt-shingle roof. Despite its modest appearance, Ranch house represented a distinct change in building practices. During this period, builders adapted the principles of speed and efficiency, honed in assembly-line plant manufacturing, to develop mass-production construction techniques with sequential assembly-line construction of the house's component parts and the use of pre-assembled features such as roof trusses, kitchen cabinets and window units.

By the 1950s, the initial pent up demand for housing created by war years was satisfied. As a consequence, homebuilders began to vary the design and style of their homes to remain competitive. Slight changes to the houses were made, usually enlarging the basic Ranch form and giving it a new personality. The California Ranch style was perhaps the most popular choice. Characterized by a rambling, single story plan and different materials to decorate the front faade - most commonly board and batten wood siding over brick - this style was a manifestation of the romanticized Western lifestyle. Also popular, the Contemporary style house was offered as a more progressive alternative to the basic Ranch. Contemporary Styles were characterized by a low profile, flat or shallow-pitched gable roof, and extensive use of glass uniting inside and outside.

For more information about this homes and neighborhoods which developed during this period of Scottsdale's history, please see: Postwar Modern Housing and a Geographic Information System Study of Scottsdale Subdivisions (pdf/5.7 MB/115 pp), by Elizabeth Wilson. Further information concerning the city's ongoing research and designation efforts may be found at the Current Work page.

Buildings/Photos

If you are a resident of either the Town and Country Scottsdale or Village Grove 1-6 neighborhoods, you may be interested in applying for matching funds for exterior repairs under the Historic Residential Exterior Rehabilitation program or for a Certificate of No Effect or Appropriateness so that you may obtain a building permit for a future home improvement project.



1950s Single-Family Neighborhoods:

Town and Country  (pdf/92kb/2pp)
Historic District Map for Town and Country Scottsdale
(pdf/135kb/1p)

Location: Bounded by the alley to the west of 72nd Place, 74th Street to the east, Oak Street to the north and the alley to the south of Monte Vista Road. Date of Construction 1959-1960 Date Placed on Register: June 7, 2005 by Ordinance No. 3619

Bounded by the alley to the west of 72nd Place, 74th Street to the east, Oak Street to the north and the alley to the south of Monte Vista Road. Date of Construction 1959-1960 Date Placed on Register: June 7, 2005 by Ordinance No. 3619 Subdivided in 1958, Town and Country Scottsdale was planned and constructed by Fred E. "Woody" Woodworth. "Woody" was a local builder who specialized in small and medium sized developments that were distinctive for their Contemporary styling. The sixty-two Woodworth homes built in Town and Country are two, three, and four bedroom homes. Ralph Haver, a prominent Valley architect known for his prolific and architecturally distinctive body of work, designed the homes. Haver's trademark Contemporary style homes are characterized by a very low-pitch front-facing gable roof and the use of clerestories (floor to ceiling windows) and window walls (rows of large side-by-side windows). Buyers in Town and Country Scottsdale could customize their homes with a choice of exterior concrete block, brick, and wood trim patterns across the front facades. Homeowners could also select options such as an all-electric kitchen or birch kitchen cabinets. Town and Country Scottsdale is significant for its representation of post-World War II single-family subdivision practices in Scottsdale in a medium-sized development, as an example of the unique practice of a prominent architect and local builder working together, and because of its unique Contemporary-style homes.

Village Grove 1-6 (pdf/110kb/2pp)
Historic District Map for Village Grove 1-6 (pdf/222kb/1p)

Location: Bounded by the canal at 66th Place to the west, 69th Street to the east, Oak Street to the north, and the alley to the south of Almeria Road Date of Construction 1957-1959 Date Placed on Register: June 7, 2005 by Ordinance No. 3620

Bounded by the canal at 66th Place to the west, 69th Street to the east, Oak Street to the north, and the alley to the south of Almeria Road Date of Construction 1957-1959 Date Placed on Register: June 7, 2005 by Ordinance No. 3620 Allied Construction designed, and constructed this neighborhood of 255 homes. Allied was one of the largest production homebuilders in the metropolitan area in the 1950s. The company gained national repute for its extensive and concerted advertising campaigns to sell its subdivisions. The homes were specifically marketed to families complete with decorated bedrooms specifically for children and teenagers. Allied touted the "outstanding features" of their Village Grove homes including 1,800 square feet of living space with a large family room, three bedrooms, and 1 baths; attached double carport; and decorative features such as a brick banding and natural finished wood doors and cabinets. The neighborhood is an excellent example of typical post World War II single-family subdivision practices in Scottsdale, and illustrates the planning and marketing philosophies guiding successful neighborhood developments in the late 1950s. It is also significant for its design characteristics, including its use of mass-produced products and its Simple and California Ranch architectural styles.