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Downtown Phoenix’s Central Station will be temporary closed on Dec. 11

Phoenix’s Central Station, Central Avenue and Van Buren Street, will be temporarily closed to bus and light rail service from 5 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010.  Surrounding streets will be closed to pedestrians and traffic while an airlift for a nearby construction project takes place.

Metro trains will not stop at the platforms at Central Station and local city buses will move to temporary stops.

Light rail riders can board and deboard at the Washington/Central and Jefferson/First Avenue platforms. There is also a possibility of short westbound delays.

Bus passengers can pick up buses at one of three temporary stops:

  • Routes 0 northbound, 1 westbound, 7 northbound, 8 northbound, 10 east bound, and 12 northbound at the northeast corner of Van Buren and Fifth Streets (use the RAPID stop).
  • Routes 1 eastbound, 3 eastbound, 7 southbound, and 15 at the southeast corner of Van Buren and Fifth Streets.
  • Routes 0 southbound, 3 westbound, 8 southbound, and 10 westbound at the northwest corner of Washington and Third Streets.

Transit passengers will not have access to the fare vending machines at Central Station during this time so they must purchase transit passes at other light rail platforms or on board buses.

For other transit information, contact the Valley Metro Customer Service representative at 602-253-5000 or go on-line to ValleyMetro.org.

 

North, south improvements set for downtown Phoenix Civic Space Park

Civic Space Park looking north towards historic U.S. Post Office

[Source: Salvador Rodriguez, ASU Downtown Devil] — The city of Phoenix will break ground to expand the Civic Space north toward the U.S. Post Office in late April and will begin to renovate Central Station this summer, the project managers said Tuesday.  Tom Byrne, Civic Space expansion project manager, said the construction will add more trees and green space and will grow the park by nearly a half-acre.

Byrne also said the expansion will give the Civic Space another shade structure and area adjacent with the Federal Post Office’s truck dock that could potentially be used as a second stage.   Byrne said expansion should be complete sometime next fall and said the construction will be of “little impact to anybody using the building and/or the site.”

The city of Phoenix will use stimulus money to make Central Station more sustainable and convenient for passengers, said Mark Melnychenko, principal planner and project manager.   “That’s really the key, especially in our environment, to make (Central Station) a pleasant passenger area,” he said.

Melnychenko said the city will renovate the building at Central Station, use LED fixtures, add shade structures similar to the ones used for light rail stations, and will add a photovoltaic system to the building’s roof to power some of the station with solar energy. Melnychenko said the city chose to renovate Central Station but cause it is key to their public transportation system.  “It’s really a connecting point for transit for the central city,” he said.

The renovated Central Station will no longer include the historic display of past Phoenix buses located at its southwest corner, which will be moved off-site, Melnychenko said.   Also, Melnychenko said Central Station will match the Civic Space by adapting its color scheme and using a lot of similar plant life.  The project is expected to be complete in early 2011, Melnychenko said.  [Note: Read the full article at North, south improvements set for downtown Phoenix Civic Space Park.]

Preserving history in downtown Phoenix

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Downtown Phoenix's Civic Space Park (Photo: Tony Arranaga)

[Source: Tony Arranaga, Light Rail Blogger] — Downtown Phoenix reminds me of a puzzle.  Over the last several weeks, and in various parts of the city, I’ve noticed a new piece being added to the bigger picture of a vibrant urban core.  I told you about the Phoenix Public Market opening soon, and earlier tonight there was a dedication of the A.E. England Building at the Civic Space Park.  Si Robins gave us a preview of the festivities in the Downtown Phoenix Journal.  The building has an interesting past as Seth Anderson, an Arizona native, points out in his blog:

The building was built in 1926 in the Spanish Renaissance Revival style and was used as a Hudson and Essex auto dealership.  The large windows displayed the cars and it became Phoenix’s first “auto row.”  In the 1930s the building was sold to the Electrical Equipment Company.  They sold radios, batteries, and refrigerators up until the 1950s.  It changed hands numerous times and fell into disrepair and abuse until 2005 when it was purchased by the City of Phoenix to be integrated into the new Civic Space Park.

Tonight was the first chance the public had to see the inside of the England building – which has Central Station as its neighbor on the south and ASU’s Cronkite building to the east.  I pass the old brick landmark during my carfree travels on the lightrail, but this is the first time I’ve seen the inside.

The city of Phoenix did a great job restoring the building and making it functional for public use.  A window encased mezzanine wraps around a huge conference hall at the center of the building.  Outside the building there’s the Civic Space Park stage and grass area and of course the public art display “Her Secret is Patience.”  Did I mention the England has a basement which contains the second location for local coffee house Fair Trade Cafe?  I unlocked my bike to go home and noticed all the people enjoying the weather at the park.  Phoenix has a centerpiece and I love it!  [Note: Read more of Tony’s light rail blog entries here.]