Wire* — The free, family-friendly Grand Avenue Festival, scheduled for Saturday, November 11 from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., with After Hours from 8 – 10 p.m., is a non-traditional “walking” festival produced by Grand Avenue Arts & Preservation (GAP).
The event will coincide with Veteran’s Day this year, so several events will highlight the history of the Luke-Greenway American Legion Post 1 in the Historic Grand Avenue district. The core of Legion Post 1, located at 364 N. 7th Avenue, dates to 1919 with various additions completed over the years, many historic in their own right. The historic building houses a classic retro bar (with “retro prices”), Frank’s Kitchen, with regular daily hours, and historic collections of photos, maps and other interesting memorabilia.
“Under the Vintage Roof” tours leave from Milum Textiles, 333 N. 7th Avenue, at 11 a.m., noon, and 1 p.m. (park on Grand or streets west of 7th Avenue). Knowledgeable tour guides, including Jill Johnson of Phoenix Rising Tours and Jim McPherson of the Arizona Preservation Foundation, will share the history of Grand Avenue and introduce you to people associated with each building, who will tell their own stories.
Stops include Milum Textile Services (circa 1935); American Legion Post #1 (circa 1919, plus later additions); Paper Heart Gallery (circa 1955, currently vacant, but originally Quebedeaux Chevrolet); Tuft & Needle (circa 1917, originally O.S. Stapley Hardware); and Unexpected Gallery (circa 1930, Miller Store Fixtures for many years). For more HP information, visit their Facebook page.
For those wanting more history about the Legion, “Grand History Mania”, 1114 Grand Avenue, will feature a talk at 2 p.m., “The History of American Legion Post #1”, presented by local architect Bob Graham of Motley Design Group, who has compiled extensive research into a request for historic designation for the Legion site.
Other talks on the agenda include “The Future of the Phoenix Trolley Museum” at 2:30 p.m., also by Mr. Graham, and a presentation at 3 p.m. by local neighborhood activist and preservationist, GG George, on the “History of the Arizona State Fair”, based on her recent book filled with over 210 historic photos.
Grand Avenue was the other “Mother Road,” US Route 60, and entered downtown Phoenix from points west. Updating its past as a major transportation corridor, it is now lined with mid-century motels converted to artist space; mechanics’ shops that house hybrid chopper and hot rod fabricators; a former bakery that is home to galleries, a cafe, and art studios; a guitar-making school in an old tire warehouse. Semi-trucks share the road with bicyclists, artistic planters and whimsical street art.
GAP advocates for the arts, and preservation of Historic Grand Avenue, connecting like-minded individuals and organizations. The Grand Avenue Festival has numerous Sponsors including: Marisol Federal Credit Union, Downtown Phoenix Inc., Walter Productions, Bragg’s Pie Factory, New Times, Arizona Pedal Cab Company, Tuft & Needle, Dunlap and Magee, and more.
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All photos courtesy of Grand Avenue Arts & Preservation.