Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sunnyslope, Sweet Sunnyslope

I grew up in Sunnyslope, a neighborhood area here in Phoenix. I went to 8 years of grade school at Desert View Elementary and then 4 years of High School at Sunnyslope High School. This past year I helped put together a reunion of my grade school classmates. Since that reconnection, I have had more contact with some friends from that time and made new friends with folks I didn't know as well. It has rekindled a lot of memories as we share memories. SO...when I saw in the newspaper that the Sunnyslope Historical Society was having a home tour this weekend, I decided I had to go. I didn't even know Sunnyslope had a historical society.

I had the best time. First of all, the folks at the Historical Society, were really nice. They have a museum with several displays. They have a display with things from the high school, old photos showing businesses in the area that were there when I grew up and an Ariel photo of Sunnyslope. They were very excited to here that I had grown up there and are very eager to add to their collection of things. They especially want photos of Sunnyslope that would show landmarks and things that people would recognize. I'm going to bring in my scrapbooks. I have almost all of the little newspapers from my high school, ribbons and things from football games etc. I'm not sure what they would want, but I would love to give that stuff a good home, because I'm not sure what else I would do with it. I told them I would spread the word to my former classmates and maybe they would have stuff to donate too. They said the next time we have an event to let them know, that they would like to have us there for a reception. They could have a display up from our school and we could visit and look at the displays. Very kind of them! Their phone number is on the brochure in the photo if anyone wants to call them!

Then we went on the home tour. They put us in vans that held about 12 people and drove us to the 5 homes. The first home was a block or two from my friend Bonnie's house, near Northern and 12Th St. It was a ranch style home that was built in 1958 for around 17,000. In recent years the guy who bought it updated it and modernized it. He put an I beam across the front of the carport, sided the storage area in rusted metal and sandblasted the paint off the house so it was exposed block. Inside there are stone and concrete floors, gas fireplace, Ikea cabinets, frosted glass doors, etc. It was very nice. It's for sale for 348,000$. That's it's economic downturn price. It was over 400,000. The next house was on the Northeast corner of Northern and 7Th st. I remember this house from when I was growing up. It was built in 1928 and used to be surrounded by a citrus orchard. The couple who owned it, designed it while on their honeymoon. The husband was an electrical engineer (back then!) and his wife was an art teacher. The lady who owns it now, was a student of the wife. It was built of adobe bricks made from the dirt excavated from the cellar. Yes it has a cellar! It still has original oak floors, metal light fixtures, stair railing and doors. The doors are really cool. They somehow got a design put on the wood and protected that part of the door. Then sandblasted around the design. They are really cool, sort of Moorish looking. It was cool to see this house after going by it all the time when I was a kid. It now has an apartment complex built around it where the orchard was. When the family sold the property they made a stipulation that the house couldn't be torn down. And it's classified as historical, so very few things can be changed.
The next house was just down the street, 300 E. Northern. I remember this grand house from my childhood too. It also used to have orchards behind it. It now has town homes. It was also built in 1928. The current owners have done some changing and updating. It is a large and gracious home.

I like the tile they put around the stairs. The risers are still wood.

Amazing master bath! They have a chandelier over the claw foot tub. The chandelier used to be downstairs over the dining table.

Then our next house was on the lower slopes of the "S" mountain. I had toured this house before, shortly after it was built on the AIA home tour. It was built by architect Christine Woolsey. Her clients wanted a modern home that took advantage of the views from the lot, but that was built within a pretty tight budget. The entire front facade of the house is glass. It is one open box that steps up the side of the hill. Inside are "boxes" that help define the space. It's really a pretty cool house.

You can see up and through the back of the house.

The final home was also a contemporary home. It's at the end of Central, through the tunnel, into the gated community there. It is just across the street from another home I have previously toured on an AIA tour. I really liked the livability of this house. It is very indoor/outdoor. It has a fabulous front courtyard/pool/fireplace area. And a minimalist kitchen that looked right at the side of the cliff.

Amazing organized closet in the master suite too.

What a totally fun day!


Peter Fallow said...

If you want a free, objective way to check the reception in your area BEFORE you lock yourself with a specific carrier, you should really check out "Got Reception?" (

Anonymous said...

Cool! Who would have known! What a fun thing to do and be apart of! I think it would be great for another one of your reunions!

Janet Stricko said...

Well I really enjoyed your blog. My memories of Sunnyslope are from a three year younger vantage point and, I admit, I am not able to recall all the detail you can. I remember all the orange groves, the "mystic" of the old homes, and the "small town atmosphere" we grew up in. You were probably 4 when we moved there and 17 when you left. I was 18 months going in and 18 when I left. I remember catching horned toads in the alley that opened up in front of the house we grew up in. I remember sitting on our covered front porch watching incredible monsoon storms. I remember the convenience and cheap access we had to fruit with an orange, tangerine, lemon, and grapefruit trees all on our lot. Sunnyslope was a good place to grow up...I often miss it. Alas, what I miss is gone forever...Love you-Janet

Bandanamom said...

I would have loved to have gone to this! It seems like it would be really cool, and I'm not even from Sunnyslope.