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Why is Willo an important Historic District?
Willo is one of the largest historic districts in downtown Phoenix. Getting its name from the combination of the two voting districts of Wilshire and Los Olivos. It was developed over the course of twenty years from approximately 1920 through 1940, and includes over 1,000 homes. Its charm was recognized in 2006 when Cottage Magazine named the historic district as one of the “Top 10 Cottage Communities in America.” Criteria for this included the architecture, parks and recreation, walkability of the neighborhood and proximity to arts and culture. All of these criteria are found in Willo with numerous great amenities including walking distance to light rail, art museums, terrific new restaurants, coffee houses, and of course its proximity to downtown Phoenix.
Architectural styles and development
Willo’s architecture evolved with the changing times. It originally consisted of bungalow style homes that were built in the 1920’s. Through the 1930’s construction styles evolved and we begin to see the addition of homes built in the styles of the Tudor Revival, Greek Revival, American Colonial Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival and Pueblo Revival. The Great Depression brought the boom of the previous construction years to a grinding halt. In the late thirties with the help of the Federal Housing Administration and their assistance programs for buyers, construction took hold again. The FHA mandated minimum construction standards, (along with other government imposed standards) resulting in a more uniform style of building now recognized as the Ranch style house.
Where is Willo located?
The Willo district is roughly bounded on the north by Thomas Road, the south by McDowell Road the east by Central Avenue and the west by 7th Avenue. It consists of at least 22 (some say 24) separate subdivisions with the northern sections boasting some of the newer homes.
The public schools that service the Willo, Phoenix district include Clarendon and Kenilworth elementary, Phoenix Preparatory Academy middle school and Central High School. You should be aware that there are other private and charter options in the area including Brophy College Preparatory and Xavier College Preparatory amongst others.
Every year Willo hosts a historic home tour.
The antique fire truck was on display.
A charming historic home in Willo.
A beautiful brick historic home in Willo.
Charming details are found in these lovely historic homes.
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Copyright 2023, David and Paula Thomas