This week's Throwback Thursday shows the Pix Theater on Dunlap in 'downtown' Sunnyslope in 1948.
Of all the 518 square miles annexed to create today's City of Phoenix, Sunnyslope was the closest thing to a real town that could have incorporated and become its own municipal entity.
It had (and has) a distinct identity from old Phoenix: desert vs. oasis, foothills vs. alluvial valley, north of the Arizona Canal vs. south of it, and many of the trappings of community. These included a business district, public pool and high school. The proud 'Slopers' on this blog enrich it with their perspective.
Sunnyslope had its origins with "health-seekers" — often suffering from tuberculosis and poor. John C. Lincoln established the Desert Mission clinic there, which grew into the major hospital that bears his name.
But after World War II, Sunnyslope began to attract developers of good housing and the middle class. From 1948 to 1955, voters rejected incorporation four times, swayed by fears of higher taxes.
In 1958, Phoenix Mayor Jack Williams pushed to include Sunnyslope in the city. 'Slope voters were given one last chance to separately incorporate and refused. Phoenix finally annexed Sunnyslope in 1959 as part of a 43-square-mile northern expansion.
Sunnyslope today. (Cal Lash photo)