Post-War Tempe Neighborhoods

In the late 1940s and early 50s, Tempe stood on the precipice of rapid expansion. A small farming community prior to the war, Tempe grew rapidly as GIs who had trained in Arizona returned to the Southwest to live. Developers seized on the influx of home buyers and subdivisions sprouted just off of Apache Boulevard. Early among these neighborhoods were Victory Acres and Borden Homes, both beginning construction in 1946.

The Borden Homes Subdivision was developed by Joseph Farnsworth, who took advantage of the cheap agricultural land abundant in Tempe to construct an affordable suburban housing development. These houses were built in a manner characteristic of suburban ranch tract housing — similarly-styled houses on small, individual lots divided from an initially large plot of land. Farnsworth named his development after the nearby Borden Creamery (today the site of Four Peaks Brewery.)

Victory Acres grew out of the ambitions of Lebanese immigrant George Tibshraeny. After purchasing land from the White family with the intent of opening a dairy farm, he realized the land would be more profitable if subdivided. In 1945, he began selling lots for Victory Acres, a community whose street names were tied to the American war effort. Hispanics homeowners were drawn to the unincorporated community because of its low prices and opportunities for gardening. Unlike Borden Homes, Victory Acres was not mass produced housing. Many of the initial owners, often farm workers, built their own houses with the help of family and friends, often using adobe, scrap lumber and metal. Victory Acres was not incorporated into Tempe until about 1960. As Interstate 101 was built in the 1980s, part of the community was demolished and its western edge was sealed.

Cite this Page:

Jacob Tuskai, “Post-War Tempe Neighborhoods,” Salt River Stories, accessed June 25, 2017, http://www.saltriverstories.org/items/show/272.

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