From the Arizona Room is a weekly column examining the historic, reuse and infill structures in Downtown Phoenix. The inspiration for this column stems from the ever-expanding resources in Burton Barr Central Library’s Arizona Room (located on the second floor). For further information on this and other historic structures in the area, visit the Arizona Room during normal library hours.
10-30 N. 3rd Ave. (light rail at Central/Washington westbound or 1st Ave/Jefferson eastbound)
Sticklers is a popular lunchtime joint for both city and county employees, yet the building’s Neo-Classical architecture, seemingly not fit for sandwiches and salads, always commands a glance. It has been on the northwest corner of 3rd Avenue and Washington Street since 1920, housing various businesses through multiple alterations.
When it was built, it was known simply as the J.M. Walker Building. Noted architect Lee Fitzhugh was called onto the project, and he created what is still today Phoenix’s best Neo-Classical example. Though it stands at just two stories, original plans called for a six-story building. Despite being scaled back before construction began, original tenant J.C. Penney still occupied the space until 1926.
A fairly extensive remodel in ’26 paved the way for Central Arizona Light and Power to take over the building. Following a 1950s merger, this company became Arizona Public Services Company, simply known as APS today.
Even now, the building’s original charming qualities are still evident. Stately Corinthian pilasters greet the traffic of Washington Street, framed by intricate cornice brackets with carefully carved dentils — details so precise in Neo-Colonial-style buildings. The heavy eaves seem to reach out toward the street corner, as if greeting visitors.
Time and time again, the building has seen alterations to suit its tenants, but the fact remains that the J.M. Walker Building is one of the city’s most beautiful commercial buildings. Next time you stop in for a bite at Sticklers, take a moment to marvel at the details. Your visit will be just another page in the history of this storied structure.
Note: The building’s original address upon construction was 10 N. 3rd Ave. It has since been changed to 30 N. 3rd Ave.
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Source: City of Phoenix Historical/Architectural Survey of City-Owned Properties, August 1986
Is there a historic property in Downtown Phoenix you’d like to see in From the Arizona Room? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the address and a brief description.
Conventional Wisdom | Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists and Best Western North American Convention
It’s a beautiful time of year, and the Phoenix Convention Center will delight out-of-state visitors. DPJ extends its own form of hospitality by providing a little Conventional Wisdom, some insight into what can be found/viewed/sipped or snacked on while visiting Downtown Phoenix.
Let DPJ be the first to welcome you all to the neighborhood! Looking over your itinerary, we can’t help but notice you’re going to have some free time to explore the heart of our city.
Average high: 89°
Average low: 63º
If you find yourself on your own for lunch, Downtown Phoenix is a veritable mecca of eateries. Sink your teeth into a sub sandwich from Sticklers, where you can rub elbows with some of Phoenix’s finest, or grab a gyro from Crazy Jim’s — both are only a few blocks from the Convention Center at 3rd Avenue and Washington Street. Give them a try when you have a short break. If you have some time to sit and relax for a bit, savor our perfect patio weather and head over to Local Breeze on Fillmore Street and 4th Avenue for some lavosh with a side of ambiance.
Phoenix dinner options span across many regions and continents, and local homegrown dinner options are on the rise in Downtown Phoenix, with even more options if you hop on the METRO light rail. Moira Sushi Bar & Kitchen is a short hop from most Downtown hotels, and here you can find a creative spin on traditional sushi in a casual, urban environment. PastaBAR is just around the corner, dishing out housemade pasta late into the night — until midnight on weekdays, and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Check out our Eats & Drinks tab for even more options.
While you are in the area, take some time to soak in the local culture at the Phoenix Art Museum‘s current exhibit “Locals Only,” which is showcasing some of the Valley’s most talented resident artists. From here you can meander to the world famous Heard Museum, just up the street, or head back down to city center to explore some of our smaller galleries, such as Red Dog Gallery. Head a few blocks over for some wearable art at Made Art Boutique.
After taking in what our Downtown galleries have to offer, make a pit stop on your way back to the hotel in the Evans-Churchill neighborhood, where some of Phoenix’s historic homes have been renovated into low-key hangouts. The Lost Leaf offers a small local art gallery, beer and wine by the bottle and live music, while The Roosevelt touts its own house brewski and unique bar snacks, including grilled cheese sandwiches and soft pretzels with an array of mustards.
Check out RailLife.com for more light rail information.
These suggestions are merely a grain of sand in the desert oasis of Downtown Phoenix. Our calendar will help you find events and happenings that best suit you. Remember, we Downtown dwellers are kindly folk. When you are out and about, ask us where to go; a friendly Phoenician will point the way.