Find Your Next Home on One of These Historic Phoenix Neighborhood Tours

Find Your Next Home on One of These Historic Phoenix Neighborhood Tours

Photo by Robert Gundran

By Robert Gundran

September 26, 2023

Phoenix has 36 residential historic neighborhoods within its borders. Neighborhoods like Garfield, North Garfield, Oakland, Roosevelt, and Woodland were established way back in the late 19th century.

The city of Phoenix made an effort to give these neighborhoods a historic preservation zoning designation, which means the city will protect buildings in city limits that are important to its past.

Many of these neighborhoods offer tours of houses or buildings within their borders, some annually and some biennially.

Here are five neighborhood tours happening in late 2023 and early 2024:

Grand Avenue Festival ‘Under the Vintage Roof’ Historic Building Tour

Nov. 4: 11 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Location 1614 W. Roosevelt St.
Cost: Free
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This free tour is run by the Arizona Preservation Foundation and Phoenix Rising Tours.

Three buildings will be on the tour. The first stop is the Armory, which was converted into art studios, a workshop, and a creative space. It has exposed brick, polished cement floors, and exposed trusses. Vaults that used to hold ammunition are now office spaces.

The second stop is Phoenix Four Square Church, where participants can tour the adobe church that was built in 1939.

Third, and last, on the tour are some Shaughnessy buildings on Grand Ave.

The Shaughnessy buildings were constructed at the site of an early tourist court, with commercial storefronts built in the 1920s. Today the buildings house a dive bar, record store, and a cafe.

After the tour, stick around for the Grand Ave Festival with its art displays, live music, and food.

Midtown Urban Living Tour

Nov. 11: 10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Location: 3121 N. Third Ave.
Cost: $25 online, $30 in-person
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Photo by Robert Gundran

The Midtown Neighborhood Association started in 2008 as a way for neighbors in Midtown Phoenix to get to know each other.

Their tour offers a look at residences at Executive Towers, One Lexington, 500 West Clarendon, Edison Midtown, Centra, and Aspire.

“Midtown is proud to have the opportunity to welcome community members from across the valley for this beloved, annual event,” the association said on their website. We cannot wait to see you there!”

A trolley is available to take people on the tour from building to building. The tour will also feature information on the history of Park Central and vendors in the area.

Buy tickets here.

Willo Historic Home Tour & Street Fair

Feb. 17-18, 2024: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Third Avenue and W. Monte Vista Road
Cost: $20
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Photo by Robert Gundran

The Willo Historic District features a variety of home styles like Tudor, Spanish Revival, bungalow, and ranch.

It’s one of the largest historic neighborhoods, stretching from Thomas Road to McDowell Road, and Seventh Ave. to Central Ave. It was established in the 1920s.

The Willo Historic Home Tour & Street Fair will kick off 2024 with a two-day home tour and street fair for people to get outside in the cool weather while enjoying history.

“Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, or simply looking for a fun day out, this event has something for everyone,” the neighborhood association states on its website. “Don’t miss your chance to experience the magic of Willo and create lasting memories with friends and family.”

The street fair will have local vendors selling crafts, antiques, and food.

Get your tickets here.

Coronado Historically Modern Home Tour

Feb. 25, 2024: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
1717 N. 12th St.
Cost: $15
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The Coronado Historic District was designated as a historic place in 1986. Many homes there were built between the 1920s and 1940s. Coronado Park was developed by the city and has been a part of the neighborhood for almost 90 years.

In 2024, the neighborhood association plans to have a street fair with food trucks alongside its typical walking tour of neighborhood houses.

The exact number of homes available to tour hasn’t been made available yet, but the 2023 tour had nine homes for people to walk through alongside a community garden and mural alley.

Check back on the neighborhood tour’s website for updates.

Windsor Square Historic District

March 10, 2024: Time TBD
Location TBD
Cost: TBD
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Photo by Robert Gundran

Look north while between Central and Seventh avenues on Camelback Road and you’ll see Windsor Square Historic District, a community of 260 properties.

The neighborhood was placed on the Phoenix Historic Property Register in 1996, and the National Register of Historic Places in 2000, both listings noting its historic significance from 1920 to 1950, a period where the US exited World War I, then entered and exited World War II.

“Most of the remaining vacant lots in the district were developed in the late 1940s,” according to a brochure on the neighborhood. “This was the period of greatest building activity in the district, reflecting the construction boom that occurred throughout the Valley after World War II.”

Get to know the post-war neighborhood at Windsor Square Historic District’s 2024 Home Tour next year as the seasons shift from winter to spring.

Details on the time and cost of the tours aren’t yet available, but keep an eye on this article for future information on this neighborhood tour, as well as any additional neighborhood tours that pop up in late 2023 or early 2024.

FQ Story

Delayed to 2024
Dec 7: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Dec 8: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
11th Avenue and Willetta Street
Cost: $25
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Francis Quarles Story, originally a Boston wool merchant and later a resident of California, bought the land now known as the FQ Story Historic District in 1887.

According to the FQ Story Historic District’s website, Story never lived in Phoenix, but he was heavily involved in development around Grand Avenue.

The neighborhood’s next tour was delayed to Dec. 7 and 8 in 2024.

“Our tour has had its own supply chain issues this year, from a shortage of volunteers to a delay in lining up enough homes to offer a tour that meets our standards,” the home tour committee said in an update.

The tour is self-guided, and neighborhood officials said the holiday home tour typically attracts a couple thousand people across the two days.

All homes are within five blocks of each other, and food vendors will be in the area.

Check this page for information on when tickets are available.

READ MORE: 10 Cheap (or Free) Walking Tours, Scavenger Hunts, and Sightseeing Adventures in Phoenix

Author

  • Robert Gundran

    Robert Gundran grew up in the Southwest, spending equal time in the Valley and Southern California throughout his life. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in 2018 and wrote for The Arizona Republic and The Orange County Register.

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