Opened in 1957, Park Central Mall was the first shopping mall in Phoenix and was a hub that connected generations of Phoenicians. Built on a former dairy farm north of downtown Phoenix, Park Central flourished as business offices expanded along Central Avenue and residential developments transformed the Valley of the Sun from a small town to a booming metropolitan area. Park Central was part of the lives of millions of people over several decades, and the mall offers a unique window to understanding everyday life in Phoenix.
This website is part of a collaboration between Arizona State University and Plaza Companies to preserve, collect, share, and celebrate the history of Park Central Mall. This project originated in 2017 when the revitalization of Park Central, led by Plaza Companies and Holualoa Companies, uncovered a trove of scrapbooks, photographs, and blueprints related to the history of the mall. Researchers at ASU examined these materials and digitized over two-hundred of the items. ASU staff also conducted over a dozen oral history interviews and hosted two community collection events in Spring 2018 to gather stories and artifacts about the history of Park Central Mall. These collections will be archived at ASU Libraries for future scholars and community members. This website highlights the most interesting newspaper clippings, images, and stories from the history of Park Central Mall.
To start exploring this website, please click on any of the links below: