Like the mythical bird, downtown Phoenix is rising from its ashes. Once a place that many feared to tread at night; once crowed by destitute homeless and frightening figures; the downtown Phoenix area has been undergoing a cultural revival that is hitting full stride.
Representing the “new wave” of the renaissance, Copper Square is a business center embodying over 90 restaurants, bars and markets, and consisting of 90 square blocks of safe streets.
During the day, visitors and residents of the downtown area mingle with Phoenix’s high-powered attorneys, government officials, and business elite. After dark, crowds from across the valley congregate for good food, festive parties, and alluring atmosphere.
Sports Centers and Venues
US Airways Center, formerly known as America West Arena, is home to the Phoenix Sun during basketball season. But, when balls aren’t bouncing down the courts, the arena is host to such nationally recognized music acts as Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, and Green Day, not to mention family oriented entertainment such as the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, and even business events that bring in a fortune, like motivational speaker Zig Ziggler.
Home of the 2001 World Series Champions, Chase Field (formerly Bank One Ballpark) brings hundreds of fans not only to watch the D-Backs play, but also to many new and recently established stores and eateries in many of downtown’s shopping districts, most notably the Arizona center – one of the first anchors for business revitalization.
Chicago the Musical, Dave Attell, Barney the Dinosaur, Nickelback, these are just a few of the diverse types of acts that grace the stage of the Dodge Theatre, a dynamic and welcoming auditorium.
The Phoenix Orpheum, featuring classic architecture and red velvet seating was home to Democratic President Primary Debates in 2003, and serves the role of movie theater, opera house, and more. Not to be forgotten in the midst of the larger venues, the Herberger Theater may be small, but it’s the best place in the valley to spend a day at an off-Broadway show.
Schools and Museums
Arizona State University chose the downtown area to build an expansion to its campus.
ASU’s mission can be summarized in three words – quality, access and impact,” ASU President Michael Crow said at the opening ceremony. “Our downtown campus provides high-quality education and greater access to students who are either just graduating from high school or working adults achieving their educational goals. Additionally, the new campus helps ASU accommodate the state’s burgeoning college-age population and demand for higher education.”
Situated next door is the kid-friendly Arizona Science Center, featuring interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and world renowned traveling displays, such as Body Worlds. Not alone, the Phoenix Art Museum and Museum of History are also nearby.
Government and History
The seat of power for both the City of Phoenix (fifth largest city) and Maricopa County (fourth largest county), are situated downtown. Recent mass construction projects, such as the Downtown Justice Center on Jackson Street proves the government’s dedication to the surrounding area.
The Rossen House, situated in Historic Heritage Square, is the first brick building constructed in Phoenix. Not far away is the State Capitol, where visitors can learn about the settlement and establishment of statehood that state underwent.