Historic Downtown Glendale Walking Tour
Download this PDF brochure from the City of Glendale website
Glendale started as a place for farmers in the area to get the goods and services they needed and to ship the fruits, vegetables, and livestock they raised to national markets. First settled in 1892, Glendale attracted farming families with its fertile land, canal-fed water supply, and no alcohol policy. Land developers, led by William J. Murphy, guided the growth of the farming town. With the establishment of a railroad link to Phoenix in 1895, Glendale blossomed into the largest town in the northwest Salt River Valley. Local farms cultivated everything from sugar beets to cotton. Glendale incorporated as a town in 1910. Separated from Phoenix by miles of open space, Glendale developed its own downtown with banks, groceries, theaters, department stores, businesses, and surrounding neighborhoods.
Some of Glendale's past remains visible in the historic buildings that are part of this tour.
1. First Methodist Church, 7102 N. 58th Drive
There has been a Methodist Church on this corner
since 1897. Members included the contractor
J. B. Doner, who built many of Glendale's first
buildings including the Guest House at Sahuaro
Ranch. The congregation used the original wood
frame building until 1920 when they sold and
moved it to build a new church. Noted Phoenix
architect Lee Mason Fitzhugh (brother of
Thornton Fitzhugh, architect for the Glendale
Woman's Club) designed this Gothic-style church.
Started in 1920, financial and construction
problems delayed the completion of the church
until 1928. It is the oldest church building in
2. V. E. Messinger House, 7141 N. 59th Avenue
Victor E. Messinger was Glendale's first town
clerk and helped establish the Glendale library.
He recorded the deed to this property in 1892
and had the house built in 1895. It is a locally
designed example of the Queen Anne Victorian
style. This wood-frame house has a wood-
shingled, high-pitched gable roof with cornice
moulding. The entry porch has ornamental wood
railing typifying the Queen Anne style.
The building was adapted to house The Spicery
Tea Room (closed for rennovations).
3. C.E. Allen House, 7142 N. 58th Drive
This house is another notable example of the
Craftsman Bungalow style in Glendale. Built
between 1924 and 1930, this brick house features
a wood-shingled, gabled roof with clay tile at
the ridge and exposed rafters at the eaves.
The recessed entry porch has brick piers and
ornamental iron railings. A number of tenants
lived here in the 1930s.The house is now home
to The Tole Shop.
4. Christian Church Bungalow, 7154 N. 58th Drive
This church is an unusual and large example of
the Craftsman bungalow style, which is usually
seen in smaller individual houses. Built in 1917,
this is the only bungalow church in Arizona.
The Christian Church organized in Glendale in
1914 and later hired C. B. Woodruff, an architect
from Wilcox, Arizona, to design and build the
church. The ventilation openings underneath the
main roof gable, the gabled porch with truncated
wood posts, and wood railings are typical of
bungalow-style residences. Sandy's Dream Dolls
recently occupied the building but is now closed.
5. Floyd Holmes Sine House, 7163 N. 58th Drive
Holmes, who went by his middle name, was the
first Sine brother of this prominent family to come
to Glendale. He began Glendale's first water
company and was involved with other Glendale
businesses. This large bungalow has a second
floor sleeping porch and is a rare local use of
variegated brick which is marked with different colors in spots. Its flat roof with deep overhangs
is characteristic of the Prairie School style of
architecture. The fastidious Mrs. Sine is said to
have swept the roof and scrubbed the sidewalk.
Maqbool's Boutique now occupies this beautiful
6. Harry H. Madison House, 7157 N. 58th Drive
J. D. Howell, a prominent builder in the 1920s,
built this house for bakery owner Harry H.
Madison. This Craftsman Bungalow is unique
in that its front porch, with its truncated posts,
appears to have been enclosed from the
beginning. Built around 1928, the ornamental
touch on the gable ventilator is typical of
that period. The bungalow is now home to
7. Philip Marshall House, 7153 N. 58th Drive
This 1930s house features a simple bungalow
design, influenced by the popularity of the
Spanish Eclectic style based on a California
prototype. The builders started with a simple
brick house but added clay tile roof and carved
ends of the rafters. Philip Marshall was co-
owner of the Marshall Brothers Barber Shop.
8. Frank Carden House, 7149 N. 58th Drive
Frank Carden operated a men's clothing store
downtown, and he also became a justice of
the peace. Built in 1936, this is a ranch version
of the Minimal Traditional style. The tongue and
groove wood doors with small cast iron poles
are original. The repeated scalloped vertical
boards at the gable head make this a rather
over-decorated version of this simple
architectural style. The Raspberry Cottage
now occupies the building.
9. Robert W. Cole Building, 7005 N. 58th Avenue
The two-story Cole Building was the first on this
block, which expanded Glendale's business
district to the east side of Murphy Park.
Robert W. Cole purchased three lots to build his general store here and completed it in
1919. In the 1940s, the building housed a
popular Sprouse-Reitz 5 & 10 Cent Store.
Later owners covered the original red brick
façade. More recently this was Larry Glazman's
Bootbarn, which attracted customers from as
far away as Europe for its popular boots.
The building is now home to The Tea Shoppe.
10.Sine Building, 5747 W. Glendale Avenue
Floyd Holmes Sine, member of a prominent early Glendale family and builder of the Sine
Brothers Hardware Building on 58th Drive, had this distinctive two-story structure built in 1926.
He opened his Glendale Furniture Company in
the first floor of this building the same year.
The building included a large meeting space on the second floor. Later owners modified
the first floor storefront but left the second
floor intact. The building was the Glendale
Gaslight Inn (currently closed).
11. Gillett Block, 5825 W. Glendale Avenue
This is the oldest building in the downtown
Glendale area and the location of Glendale's first
bank. Longtime local businessman Charles L.
Gillett built and opened the Glendale State Bank
in 1909. Originally people entered the building
through the now-filled corner wall. The upstairs
had meeting and community space, and was
used by the International Order of Odd Fellows,
a local fraternal lodge. In addition to the bank,
the building was the longtime home of Wood's
Pharmacy. Today the Picket Fence Antiques store
occupies the first floor.
12. First National Bank of Glendale
6838 N. 58th Drive
The First National Bank of Glendale, built in
1918, is the only unchanged commercial building
left in downtown Glendale. It is also Glendale's
only example of the Beaux-Arts style, a style
noted for its stone decorative features influenced
by the classical architecture of ancient Greece.
Experienced banker C. H. Tinker moved to
Glendale in 1912 and organized the Security
State Bank in 1916. Two years later he renamed
his business the First National Bank of Glendale
and moved it into this building. The bank building
has changed very little over time and was one of
the first restoration projects in the downtown
area. It is now the law office of Richard Coffinger.
13. Sine Brothers Hardware Building, 6829 N. 58th Drive
This building is connected to Glendale's
longest-running business and is also where
Glendale's municipal water system got its start.
Brothers Floyd Holmes, Tuck, and Van Sine
moved to the Glendale area in 1897. Holmes
bought this site in 1910, which had a community
well and water tower. He expanded the water
system and sold it to the city in 1915. He also
built this Mission-style building in 1912 and his
brothers opened a hardware store, which stayed
in this location until 1991, when the business
moved to its current location. The City of
Glendale restored the building in 1998 and
now uses it for offices.
14. Murphy Park, 58th & Glendale Avenues
Originally known as the town or city park,
Murphy Park has always been the center of
downtown Glendale and has a special
connection to Glendale's founder, W. J.
Murphy. Murphy encouraged settlers to the
area and he donated the park to Glendale in
1909. Glendale residents closely protected
the park, allowing only a public library to be
built here (the first in 1917 and the current one
in 1971). Motivated by patriotism in 1912,
residents installed a 110-foot wooden flagpole
in the park. The tallest flagpole in the state stood
until 1964 and that same year the Glendale City
Council renamed the park for Murphy.