Tempe Town Lake

Tour curated by: Shannon Maki

This tour looks at locations on and around the Tempe Town Lake that have been in the past or are currently vital to the development of the Tempe Town Lake area.

Locations for Tour

The creation of the Tempe Town Lake began as an exercise by James Elmore, dean of the College of Architecture at Arizona State University, for his students in 1966. He assigned his students to recapture the Salt River Channel. Not only was the dry…

In 1966, Dean James Elmore and his Architecture students at Arizona State University decided that something needed to be done about the large and barren dry bed of the Salt River; which had become somewhat of an eye-sore for the town of Tempe. The…

Tempe Beach Park was been entertaining locals for almost ninety years. Built in 1931, Tempe Beach Park is one of the oldest recreational parks in Tempe. The park established one of Arizona’s first Olympic-sized pools which accommodated many…

The first news of the Lakeside Amusement Park was noted on July 12th, 1949, where the man-made pond, located on the north side of the Salt River and east of the highway bridge, was just being planned to be the beginning of what would become said…

The Tempe Town Lake was completed in the summer of 1999. Water is a scarce resource in Arizona so the water for the Tempe Lake comes from the Colorado River though a chain of canals. Since this is an unnatural, man-made lake in the middle of the…

Groundbreaking for Hayden Ferry Lakeside was on April 18, 2001 in Tempe, Arizona. Hayden Ferry Lakeside is a commercial development project that was constructed along the shore of the Tempe Town Lake. The man-made lake, which was completed in the…

There was an appeal in 1928 to replace the closed down Ash Street Bridge in Tempe, Arizona. The State Highway Commission’s solution was the creation of the Mill Avenue Bridge. The first Mill Avenue Bridge (also referred to as the Old Mill Avenue…

Proposition 400: To fund a Tempe Visual and Performing Arts Center. Many Tempe residents pushed for proposition 400 to be passed because they believed they needed more culture in their city. There was a call for more art, music, theater, painting,…
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