Downtown Phoenix is the central business district (CBD) of the City of Phoenix, Arizona, United States. It is located in the heart of the Phoenix metropolitan area or Valley of the Sun. As the county seat of Maricopa County and the capital of Phoenix, AZ serves as the center of politics, justice, and government on the local, state, and federal levels. The area is a major employment center for the region, with many financial, legal, and other national and international corporations housed in various skyscrapers. Major arts and cultural institutions also call the area home. Downtown Phoenix is a center of major league sports and live concert events and is an equally prominent center of banking and finance in Arizona. Regional headquarters for several major banks, including JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, US Bank, Bank of America, Compass Bank, and Midfirst Bank, are all located within or in proximity to the area.
The City of Phoenix defines Downtown as the area between 7th Street and 7th Avenue, from McDowell Road on the north to Buckeye Road on the south. However, most downtown development is concentrated in the smaller area surrounding the intersection of Washington Street and Central Avenue (the point of origin of Phoenix Street addresses and numbering).
In 1870, a meeting was held to select a town site for the influx of pioneers coming to the recently recognized town of Phoenix. Three hundred twenty acres were purchased for $50 raised by popular subscription. This original site, the town of Phoenix in that day, encompasses what would presently be the Downtown Core, bordered by Van Buren Street south to Jackson Street and Seventh Street to Seventh Avenue. A1 Bed Bug Exterminator
With the first survey of the new town, streets were laid out in a grid, with Washington Street as the main east-west thoroughfare. The north-south streets originally bore Native American tribal names. Still, they were changed to more easily remembered numbers, with everything east of Center Street (later Central Avenue) named as streets and everything west as avenues. The town continued to grow and was eventually incorporated as a city on February 28, 1881, centered around downtown.
Throughout the 1880s, the newly incorporated city made many strides toward modernization with the construction of one of the first electric plants in the West and the opening of the horse-drawn streetcar line. The Phoenix Street Railway system was eventually electrified and expanded to several lines connecting Downtown Phoenix to other neighborhoods and cities in the Valley. Independence Day of 1887 heralded the arrival first Southern Pacific train. This opened up the economy of the young city, as goods now flowed in and out by train as opposed to the wagon. As Phoenix became the center of commerce in the territory, the capital was moved to Phoenix.
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