Main Street, U.S.A.

Today’s post features 12 different postcards showing the town or city’s Main street.

Click on the image to learn further details.

  1. Anaconda, Montana
Anaconda, Montana

2. Little Rock, Arkansas

Main Street, Looking North - Little Rock, Arkansas

3. Juneau, Alaska

Main Street - Juneau, Alaska

4. Vernal, Utah

Main Street - Vernal, Utah

5. Salt Lake City, Utah

Main Street at Night - Salt Lake City, Utah

6. Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Main Street - Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

7. Montrose, Colorado

8. Dubuque, Iowa

Main Street - Dubuque, Iowa

9. Mesa, Arizona

Main Street - Mesa, Arizona

10. Salmon, Idaho

Main Street - Salmon, Idaho

11. Boise, Idaho

Main Street - Boise, Idaho

12. McCall, Idaho

Main Street - McCall, Idaho

Carpetime Floor Covering Company – Phoenix, Arizona

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Arizona Republic – April 6, 1963

Carpetime Floor Covering Company was opened by Walt Selinger sometime in 1959 at 1240 E. Indian School Road in Phoenix, Arizona.

AZ, Phoenix

Distinctive Home Furnishings
1240 E. Indian School Rd.
Phoenix, Arizona

The store specialized in a large amount of flooring/carpeting/rugs and advertised heavily in newspapers. The advertising worked and the store became a big success.

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Arizona – Republic – December 3, 1960

The store was renovated in 1963 to make it more modern (see postcard above).

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Arizona Republic – September 15, 1963

The success led to the opening of seven other locations in Arizona:
1805 E. Baseline Road – Tempe
4240 W. Bell Rd. Ste. 11 – Glendale
220 W. Main St. – Mesa
9133 NW Grand Ave. – Peoria
6900 E. Thomas – Scottsdale
13637 N. Tatum Blvd. – Paradise Valley
4940 E. Ray Road – Ahwautakee

The original location lost its lease and closed in January 1996.

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Arizona Republic – January 19, 1996

One month later Carpetime merged with Carpetmax and took on the Carpetmax name, thus ending the 37 year history of Carpetime.

Francisco Grande Inn – Casa Grande, Arizona

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Casa Grande Dispatch – February 21, 1962

The genesis of the Francisco Grande Inn dates back to before 1957 when the New York Giants owner Horace Stoneham fell in love with Arizona. The Giants spent many years of Spring Training in Arizona and Stoneham, who had inherited the Giants from his father in 1936, would make the trips with the team and fell in love

In 1957 the Giants announced that due to dwindling attendance, an aging stadium and the siren call of the West, that they would move to San Francisco for the 1958 season.

In October 1957, Stoneham purchased a Phoenix minor league team to strengthen the team’s ties to Arizona. He also wanted new facilities for his major league team’s Spring training. Stoneham would purchase land

Arizona Republic – June 4, 1961

The baseball facility opened in 1959. The team would spend several weeks at the beginning of spring, training at the facilities but staying elsewhere.

Stoneham had dreams of a baseball complex where the players could train and stay with fans and businessman all in the same complex.

Stoneham invested more than $3 million making his dream a reality. He hired hotel industry people, as well as baseball lifers to run the sprawling complex. Rosy Ryan, former manager of the Phoenix Giants AAA team, was hired as executive administrator while he was still the vice-president and general manager of the Tacoma Giants.

Francisco Grande opened June 3, 1961 and featured 80 rooms, a spacious meeting and convention hall, an elaborately decorated dining room, a cocktail lounge, and baseball-themed architecture.

The overhang on the north side of the hotel tower was built to resemble the brim of a baseball cap. The stairwells on the south side of the building were built to resemble those in a stadium at the time of construction. The parking lot was designed to look like a baseball mitt from above.

The most famous aspect of the Inn was the swimming pool is in the shape of a baseball bat, and the hot tub shaped like a baseball.

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The lobby was decorated in the Giants’ colors of black and orange

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The rooms relied a little more heavily on a “Spring in Arizona” motif

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Arizona Republic – June 3, 1982

Stoneham and his partners, which included singer Pat Boone were hoping to make Casa Grande a desert luxury town for the rich and famous. They misjudged. New interstates were being planned nearby. However, Interstate 8 came to be located 4 miles south and Interstate 10 seven miles to the east.

Casa Grande remained a quiet town, save for the six weeks the team would come to town.

The Giants would move all of their Spring Training facilities to Scottsdale, Arizona in 1981. After two decades, the team moved on.

The next year the California Angels signed a 10-year contract to train and play 15 spring games in the area. That pact lasted two years. That would be the last time Francisco Grande would ever host baseball.

The Denver Gold of the USFL trained their for one year before folding. The Arizona Rattlers trained there the year after, and then the USFL cease operations.

No one else moved in.

The Francisco Grande had undergone many changes over the years. Horace Stoneman sold the property in 1976 to the Hanna Mining Co. and Getty Oil after copper was discovered nearby. The property was sold again in 1984 to Gene Lynn, owner of several nursing homes.

When Lynn bought Francisco Grande, all that was left was a dated hotel, baseball fields that hadn’t seen action in several years and a nice golf course.

Almost immediately after purchasing the hotel in November 1984, Lynn closed it.

Late in 1985, the Casa Grande re-opened relying heavily on its golf facilities. It worked. There was an $8 million renovation that occurred in the early 2000s that brought back some of the luster to the old place.

The Francisco Grande Hotel still stands in the desert. The parking lot is still mitt-shaped, the bat-shaped swimming pool remains and other baseball related architecture can be spotted around the complex as a reminder of when the Giants spent their springs calling the inn home.

BONUS:

The following article appeared in The Arizona Republic on February 17, 1963:

Tropics Motor Hotel – Phoenix, Arizona

28950727006_6635cff232_b1902 E. Van Buren
Phoenix, Arizona
East Side of Phoenix on Highways 60-70-80-89.
Close to downtown shopping and entertainment, 50 luxurious rooms, coffee shop, dining room, cocktail lounge, heated pool, TV in Room, hot water heat in winter, refrigeration in summer, reasonable rates.

Tropics Motor Hotel opened for business in December 1957 at 1902 E. Van Buren in Phoenix. The motel was built with 50 deluxe units, heated pool, coffee shop and dining room.

The motel was built by Fred B. Jones and family, who operated the motel. The interior was designed by Alfred Beadle with the “luxurious draperies” designed for the motel by Oscar Leverant’s Drapery Ship at 4306 N. Central Ave.

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Arizona Republic – December 29, 1957

Although the motor hotel had been open a few months, the grand opening ceremony took place on March 1st and 2nd, 1958.

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Arizona Republic – March 1, 1958

Although the motel was quite successful in the beginning, it was the restaurant, cocktail lounge and coffee shop that became a favorite spot for cheap, good food and a nice drink.

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View of the Tropics’ bar – Arizona Republic – March 16, 1958

The property lasted until the 1980s as the Tropics. I can find information on it until 1982 and then nothing. The Tropics, like so many others on E. Van Buren Ave., suffered the fast of being on a highway that was by-passed for a freeway. That move caused business to slow on the highway.

The entire area fell on hard times.The tropics appeared to be no different. In 1981, a man was robbed in his room in the Tropics. However, there is more to the story than just that.

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Arizona Republic – November 19, 1981

I found a brief  then falling on hard times until the property was closed and eventually torn down. It looks like the Tropics was razed in the early 1990s.

 

Desert Sky Hotel – Phoenix, Arizona

The Desert Sky Hotel was located just down the street from the Bagdad Inn at 3541 E. Van Buren Avenue. Van Buren Avenue, also known as Route 60, was the main thoroughfare between Phoenix and Los Angeles before the interstate system was built.

Desert Sky Hotel - Phoenix, Arizona3541 E. Van Buren
Phoenix, Arizona on U.S. Highway 60-70-80-89
Designed with an accent on vacation luxury in the Valley of the Sun. Featuring a beautiful coffee shop – Heated Swimming Pool – Television – 24 hour phone service – Cooled by Refrigeration – Beautifully landscaped patio.

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The Desert Sky Hotel and coffee shop opened at the beginning of 1961 on the site of the old ABC Motor Court.

The coffee shop featured good coffee and $.80 economy luncheons.The Sea food plates would start at $1.35 and all-you-can-eat chicken dinners were priced at $1.40.

I cannot find much about the hotel itself. I have a feeling that it suffered the same fate as many of the other motels along E. Van Buren as the road and the motels became a relic of a different era.

The building is still standing and is a Budget Inn.

Bagdad Inn – Phoenix, Arizona

30222870356_9317535701_b3335 East Van Buren Phoenix, Arizona
100 rooms, all king size beds, TV, phones, swim pool, in the heart of the finer hotel district, on U.S. Highways 60,70,80,89 & 93. AAA Approved. Hilton, Carte Blanche, The Diner’s Club, & American Express accepted.

8746202336_66e14a5f8c_bThe Bagdad Inn was located on the 33000 block of famed E. Van Buren Avenue. The avenue was known for its hotels, motels and lodges. I will post as many as I can find as I go along.

The Bagdad was built in 1961 by the Louis Porter Coporation of Chicago. The motel was decorated with an Ali-Baba/1001 Arabian Nights theme. The sign featured a man on a flying carpet soaring between “Arabian” style lettering. (The back of the postcard shows the detail better than the front of the card).

In June 1963, the property was sold to Arthur J. Moxham and Norman B. Conkler of Western Hotels Corporation, which owned the Caravan Inn located next door at 3323 E. Van Buren. The 80-unit motel was sold for $500,000.

Information after that is spotty. The motel appeared to last until the 1970s (not totally sure) where, like most motel properties built in the 1950s, it faded until it finally closed. The office part of the building is still standing but the motel is gone.