Thursday, September 21, 2006

A walk down memory avenue in Tempe

[Source: Nicole Fuggs, Arizona State University State Press Magazine] -- Mill Avenue isn't just a spot for shoppers or a nightlife nexus. It's a little slice of Arizona's history. So sit back and let SPM school you on this blast from the past. Urban Outfitters, Starbucks and Hippie Gipsy by day. Hooters, the Library and the Big Bang by night. These are several of the iconic locations that draw students to Mill Avenue. But contrary to popular belief, it wasn't always the brew that brought visitors to this mecca of activity.

While some people might assume that Tempe is devoid of a rich culture and history, it turns out that Mill Avenue has been a hot spot of activity for decades -- dating back all the way to the late 1870s. In fact, Mill Avenue was established as a main gathering place for Tempe residents long before ASU became a university. By taking a look at Mill Avenue's history, it's possible to get an idea of just how much Tempe's culture has evolved over the years. This is the history of Mill Avenue. And no, this lesson will not be followed by a pop quiz.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo of what was once a saddle shop is now home to Rula Bula, Tempe’s resident Irish pub; photo source Tempe Historical Museum.]