NORTH ENCANTO HISTORIC DISTRICT
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North Encanto Historic District Highlights
North Encanto Historic District illustrates the residential development trends of the 1939 -1956 period. It also contains one of the largest concentrations of intact Transitional/ Early Ranch-style homes in metropolitan Phoenix, perhaps even in all of Arizona. The neighborhood clearly shows the effects that the policies of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) had on tract development and street layout, as well as the interruptions and shortages of World War II, and the subsequent postwar housing boom.
The development of the neighborhood, beginning in 1939 at the corner of 15th Avenue and Thomas Road and progressing north and west, demonstrates the steady evolution of design from the earliest to the latest variations of Ranch-style architecture. The pre-war houses were mostly two bedroom, one bath homes designed by Orville Bell, a prominent Phoenix architect at the time. Bell designed the 1939 addition to the Arizona State Capitol Building, the Arizona National Guard Building in Woodland Park and several estate houses in the North Central corridor. The homes were built by Broman and Chapman Contractors. The houses built after World War II are examples of the early work of contractors and developers who went on to become influential in the overall city growth pattern, such as Andy Womack, J.R. Womack, Alfred Anderson and Buros Brothers Construction.
Even after 1944, when larger homes began to be built in North Encanto, they were still built in the Transitional/Early Ranch style. By about 1950, the style had evolved into what might be called the full Ranch or California Ranch style. Not everyone wanted a Ranch style home, however. There are also several Pueblo Revival and three Art Moderne-style houses in the district. The circular street plan of North Encanto appears to be the result of FHA design principles set forth in the “Recommendations for Successful Housing Development” published by the FHA 1938. The principles suggest a “general return to the village idea” and reflect the FHA’s contention that homes should be built on streets that are residential in character. The circular layout of the 1939 North Encanto Park subdivision was a significant departure from the grid layout typical of earlier developments in Phoenix. Homeowners in the North Encanto neighborhood represented a broad spectrum of the Phoenix population. There were lawyers, physicians, salesmen, teachers, a streetcar conductor, a forester, several policemen and farmers, and a wrestling promoter at the Madison Square Garden of Phoenix. Several early residents worked for the new large industries in Phoenix, such as Goodyear, AiResearch and Reynolds Metals.
Information courtesy of Tom Denny at North Encanto Neighborhood Association
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North Encanto Historic District is bounded by Thomas Road to the south, Osborn Road to the north, and 15th Avenue to 19th Avenue.
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