Tempe Arizona History

Tempe, AZ isn’t only known for its hot, dry summers but also its hot, vibrant downtown. The town is so centrally located that it is called the “The Valley of the Sun’s midpoint”. Over 60,000 college students attend the Arizona State University located in Tempe, but the town’s population is about 175,000. (source: http://www.tempe.gov/index.aspx?page=42 )

Tempe’s history

In 1887, a wealthy family from Pennsylvania was searching for an area to build a summer home in. Tempe was being developed and the entire area was booming. But despite the mild, dry climate, temperatures still soared to over 100 degrees, and mud and rocks still remained everywhere in the desert. (source: http://www.tempe.gov/main.asp?type=History ) The Midvale house was the most popular resort in town for around six years, after the church bought it and converted it into a convent. Visitors from all over the country visited the summer house that had a large dining room and billiard parlor and a huge kitchen. Midvale House was the most popular resort in town for around six years.

Tempe’s culture

From hiking to shopping to watching live music, there’s something for everyone in Tempe. This small town embraces its creativity and emphasizes small business and urban planning. Well-traveled travelers are also drawn to Tempe for its lively, diverse nightlife. Visit the top rated bars on Yelp to soak up some Sun Devils football and find out what the locals are drinking on weekend nights. While enjoying a sweet treat at Park Ave Café or taking a bike ride along Mill Avenue’s sidewalks, check out the street art. Many murals showcase the city’s diverse culture. (See picture) Tempe’s biggest attraction is Arizona State University. Some of the most famous people that attended the university include Ari Emanuel, Peter Thiel, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and former Vice President Al Gore.

Tempe’s geography

The two large north-south street of Mill Avenue and Curry Road serve as the heart of Tempe’s downtown. The Mill Avenue Mall is in the downtown and is known for its many shops and restaurants. Along Mill Avenue is also Tempe Marketplace, which is an indoor marketplace which has a diverse range of stores, restaurants, hotels, and more. Tempe Marketplace is actually one of the largest shopping centers in the U.S., with over 270 shops and restaurants. One of its malls is Barnes & Noble which has a bookstore, café, a kids’ section and music stations. For shoppers, the mall is great and offers free WiFi and many different options for merchandise.

Tempe’s demographics

Tempe is fairly diverse, with Hispanic being the biggest ethnic group in Tempe. It’s also known for its proximity to and high population of the Mexican community. The town’s old-fashion charm is supported by an exciting downtown: stores include Old Chicago, Starbucks, and Broadway Tower. While much of the population is younger due to the town’s collegiate nature, the aging senior population needing assistance from an in home care agency is rapidly growing as well.

Tempe’s economic activity

The businesses of Tempe include manufacturing, food processing, utilities, aerospace, and technology. Nearly all of the merchandise produced in Tempe is consumed within the city limits. This is due to the diversity of the local companies. There are many people that travel to Tempe to shop, stay in its hotels, dine in local restaurants, and even spend their days at the parks that are near the Arizona State University. Tempe, AZ is also the home of Arizona State University. This is the largest employer in Tempe and, according to a 2015 survey, is the third largest employer in the state of Arizona. Most Arizona State employees live in the surrounding cities of Chandler, Mesa, and Glendale. 

Tempe’s attractions

Tempe is a popular place for both residents and tourists alike because of its thriving Downtown Tempe area, the Museum District, and Tempe Beach Park. For dining, the Tempe Town Lake is a great place to watch the sunset and enjoy a meal. The park also has a variety of outdoor events and festivals. Downtown Tempe is centered around the Tempe Town Lake, the architectural centerpiece of downtown. The huge open space serves as a link between the hotels and shops lining Mill Avenue and the university. Tourists can also stop by the Mill Avenue shopping district and enjoy the different eateries in the area.

Tempe’s transportation

The beauty of Tempe is that it is connected to so many places and it is easy to get around with a car. While driving across the San Tan Mountain, you will come across the most recognizable landmark in Tempe: a giant roadside sign that says, “Tempe Welcome Center”. On one side, you will see the bustling downtown with plenty of shopping options and more restaurants than you can handle. On the other, you will come to all the colleges in the valley and its nearby countryside. All of this is also accessible through public transportation. From the downtown, you can get to any other major city in the area. The heart of Tempe is its Main Street: a five-block walking mall with a mixture of shops and restaurants.