Wire*— After a treasure trove of microfilm reels, news clippings, antique signage and old photos from Park Central Mall’s early days in Phoenix were recovered in the structure’s basement, ASU researchers and librarians signed on to help protect and preserve the mall’s history thought the creation of the “Park Central Mall Collection.”

Now, they’re asking community members to share their Park Central Mall stories at a collection day event on Saturday, April 7 at Phoenix Public Library.

Park Central News Clipping

Front page of Park Central News Bulletin, December 1955. Caption: “Left to right: Ralph Burgbacher of Park Central Development Company; Robert Goldwater, president of the firm bearing that name; Mrs. J. W. Goldwater, mother of Robert and U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater; A.J. Burgbacher, Albert Behrstock and Albert Kleinbaum, all partners in Park Central.” Image courtesy of Park Central Mall.

“It’s important that as we take Park Central Mall into the future, we recognize what the community enjoyed and appreciated about this iconic space when it was first built,” said Plaza Companies president and CEO Sharon Harper. “Honoring its history by sharing the stories of our community and preserving these recovered relics is a critical piece of that.”

The project will be completed over the next several months and will include photos, videos, news clippings and interviews by community members who have memories of the original Park Central Mall. Interviews have already been conducted with the grandchildren of the original builders as well as owners of some of the mall’s original shops.

Vintage Park Central Mall

Image courtesy of Park Central Mall.

“We’re looking forward to sharing the history of this fascinating property,” said Matthew Delmont, a director and professor at ASU’s School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. “Park Central is a large component of Phoenix’s rich history and we’re honored to be preserving its story.”

If you go

Date: Saturday, April 7

Time: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: Phoenix Public Library @ Park Central, 3110 N. 3rd Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85012

*DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from trusted sources without translation.