Hidden Treasures in Down Town Phoenix, AZ – June 9, 2018

One of the things I have been doing, while I am here in Phoenix, is to explore as much as I can and take advantage of all the great things that Phoenix and the surrounding area have to offer. So on this day June 9, 2018, it happened to be a Saturday. I woke up not really having anything planned as the days here in Phoenix have just been getting pretty hot for me and it is really hard to be outside doing much of anything. As the morning wore on I was feeling like I really wanted to get out and do something, so I hopped on my computer and started checking out some ideas, but still not sure what I was going to do. I tossed around checking out a few roadside attractions around Phoenix because I  could hop in and out of my car and still stay cool with an air-conditioned car. I also thought I would check out the museum at the Capitol building because that would be indoors and again could stay cool. So I first ran across a roadside attraction about this wall of road signs on the corner of 7th and Grant in Phoenix AZ. This sounding interesting and intriguing to me so off I went.

Those who drive by the old warehouse in downtown Phoenix might think it’s a hasty repair job thrown onto the side of the structure because the entire surface is covered with highway signs. Signs like “Do Not Pass,” “Reduced Speed Ahead,” and “Keep Right Except to Pass.”  It’s art done by Michael Levine, a Phoenix real estate developer,  who had them attached to the building in honor of Arizona’s centennial celebration in 2012.  Integrated into the signs are the numbers 1912 and 2012, denoting Arizona’s 100 years of statehood. Levine bought the signs from an Arizona state surplus yard more than a decade ago and used them to promote his agency, which specializes in buying and restoring old abandoned warehouses. But in 2011, he decided to use them to pay tribute to Arizona State centennial. He used a computer to layout the design. Then crews using scissor hoists and battery-powered screwdrivers worked for more than 10 days and used 3,000 screws to affix the signs to the warehouse.

Next, I decided to drive over to the Arizona State Capitol and check out the museum, but instead, I saw this park “Wesley Bolin Memorial Park” across the street from the capitol that had all these memorials. This was intriguing to me so I pulled into the parking lot which was practically empty except for just a couple of cars……which of course was because it was so hot.  But me being new to this summer heat decided I was going to brave it and check it out. I don’t even know what the temperature was this particular day, but it was hot. I ended up being at the park for a while because I kept having to go back to my car, turn on the air conditioner to cool off and to cool off my phone……it was so hot and with taking pictures my phone kept overheating, but I was determined to check out all these memorials as I was finding them very interesting and fascinating and I wanted pictures too.

First was the memorial for the “Code Talkers”………I did not know about the code talkers in our history of world war II, so this was really interesting to me.

During World War II, the United States Marines deployed 400 native Navajo speakers in tactical battlefield communication roles from 1942-1945, using their “unknown” language. The unbreakable code allowed Allied troops to coordinate with messages that enemy Japanese defenders never successfully deciphered. The Navajo code talkers’ essential role in actions on islands such as Iwo Jima and Okinawa was only officially acknowledged decades later.

An Arizona landscape architecture company designed the 16-ft tall bronze of a crouching, helmeted soldier code-talking on his field radio. The statue was installed and dedicated in February 2008.

Arizona Peace Officers Memorial was dedicated in May 1988. The statue is an 11-foot peace office paying homage to all Arizona law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. The base displays names of officers killed in the line of duty since 1863 when Arizona became a territory. Police lodges throughout the state are responsible for the upkeep and adding names in a special ceremony each year.


Arizona Law Enforcement Canine Memorial was dedicated in 1965 in honor of Arizona police dogs who gave their lives in the line of duty.

 Vietnam Veterans Memorial “The Fallen Warrior” Sculpture…..portrays young soldiers as wars victims as much as its heroes.

So many great memorials and monuments honoring individuals, organizations, and events……Arizona WWII Memorial Guns to salute the fallen, USS AZ anchor – this anchor is one of the two used on the USS Arizona, USS Arizona Mast, Korean War Memorial, Veterans of WWI, Jewish War Veterans Memorial, American Merchant Seaman Memorial, Arizona Pioneer Women Monument, Bushmaster Memorial, Fire Fighters Memorial, Bill of Rights Monument, Arizona Workers Memorial and many more. If you are ever in Phoenix this should be on your too do list.

I next visited St Mary’s Basilica Church also in Down Town Phoenix……I really love old churches…… their beauty, and architecture. This church is the oldest Roman Catholic parish in Phoenix. The current church replaced an adobe church that was built in 1881, this one began to be built in 1902 and was completed in 1914. This church is also home to Arizona’s largest stained glass window collection and a 26 rank pipe organ.