Historic Phoenix and FQ Story – A Rich History
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A Boston wool merchant named FQ Story was drawn to the western United States by his poor health. Settling in California, he studied the cultivation of citrus, planted orange groves, and is responsible the creation of the national advertising campaign that made Sunkist Orange famous. FQ Story purchase the land that would become the FQ Story historic district of Phoenix Arizona in 1887. Although FQ Story never lived in Phoenix, he was involved in several projects. He was the designer and builder of the 100-foot wide Grand Avenue. He also built the streetcar line along Grand Ave connecting Phoenix with Glendale which was becoming a thriving farm community. In the 1900’s, FQ Story tried to develop the land that he had earlier purchased, but it didn’t go as planned so he sold the land in 1919 to the Phoenix firm of Jordan, Grace and Phelps.
Development began in 1920 for what is now the FQ Story historic district. The population of Phoenix was only 29,000 but was growing rapidly. It was 6 times what it had been at the turn of the century. FQ Story was advertised as a streetcar suburb with the Kenilworth carline on the east and the Grand Avenue carline on the west. Most development in the early years was located on the eastern edge of the subdivision. Advertising was robust and the developers were predicting that the entire development would sell out within 30 days. Despite all the hype, only one house was sold and built in all of 1921. The problem was that the development lay directly in the path of the Cave Creek wash and in 1921, the western edge of the city was flooded and even the capitol had 2 feet of muddy water which was only 1 mile to the south.
The biggest reason for reemergence of the development came in 1923 when the Cave Creek Dam was completed, removing the fear of future flooding. In 1924, FQ Story was reopened. By 1926, 113 homes were built.
The early sections of development had a requirement that buildings have a minimum cost of $5000. As time went on, and the development moved west, the restrictions were relaxed to $3000 to $4000 and then $2200 to $2500. The lower minimums allowed working families to purchase in FQ Story, although further west. FQ Story hit its peak in 1930 with 133 new houses. Construction declined rapidly as the effects of the depression came to Phoenix, but by 1938, FQ Story was approximately 75% built out.
Today, FQ Story is one of the most sought-after historic districts of Phoenix Arizona. For more information about other historic districts or any other valley real estate, fill out the form below.