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 fourth floor). For further information on this and other historic structures in the area, visit the Arizona Room during normal library hours.

100 W. Roosevelt St. in Roosevelt

The Phoenix Chorale performs inside Trinity Cathedral. Photo courtesy of Phoenix Chorale.

Just a block west of the Central and Roosevelt light rail station sits one of the Valley’s most striking church campuses. Trinity Cathedral, which has been on the corner of 1st Avenue and Roosevelt Street since the mid-1910s, is a towering Mission Revival sanctuary that serves as a gorgeous welcoming into the Roosevelt Historic District.

The church itself, which has two wings centered around a three-sided courtyard facing Roosevelt Street, was conceptualized by Boston architectural firm Shelpey, Rutan and Coolidge. The design for the structure began in 1910, but various factors kept the church from breaking ground until 1915. Shelpey, Rutan and Coolidge began the several-year project, but Coolidge later finished it with his subsequent firm, Coolidge and Shattuck.

The two-story stone structures you see today, red-tiled roofs and all, are true to the original design and build of the church. Any additions or fixes to the buildings, noted as “sensitive additions” by the Phoenix Historic Building Survey, were done with the utmost care. The iron and stained glass doors have been added, but they are in line with the historical feel. The structures themselves are virtually unaltered, except for small touches like new windows and tile repairs.

Source: Phoenix Historic Building Survey, Charles Hall Page and Associates, Inc., Sept. 1979.

Is there a historic property in Downtown Phoenix you’d like to see in From the Arizona Room? Email me at si@downtownphoenixjournal.com with the address and a brief description.


  • Great article about the Cathedral. Little of what you see in the nave and chancel of the Cathedral itself is original. There was a massive fire on 9 October 2002 that gutted the Cathedral. To see some pre- and post-fire pictures, check out the Cathedral’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/azcathedral.

    • Thanks, Edward. I remember that. I’m thankful the fire didn’t do more damage. Truly one of Downtown’s great buildings!