National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program
Weekly Highlight: Borden Homes Historic District
Maricopa County, Arizona

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

 

[photo] of highlighted property

Located one mile east of the Arizona State University main campus, the Borden Homes Historic District is one of the best preserved neighborhoods representative of the early post-World War II era in Temple, Arizona. The 17-acre neighborhood is laid out along three streets-Una Avenue, Butte Avenue, and 12th Street. The Borden Homes Historic District has 69 properties, including 53 houses on Una and Butte Avenues, constructed 1947-1950, 12 houses built along 12th Street, constructed 1951-1956, and four houses on 12th Street built after 1960. The earliest homes reflect an Early/Transitional Ranch Style that was popular in Temple for a brief period in the late 1940s. The classic Ranch Style home came to dominate in the district after 1948, and for a time was the dominant architectural style in the United States, particularly in the west. In contrast to previous Period Revival styles, early Ranch architecture was deeply rooted in the American West. The Ranch style drew its inspiration from the 19th century adobe ranches in California, as well as the Craftsman style and early Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie houses.

Since 1931, the City of Tempe had provided irrigation services for residents within the town limits, and as Tempe expanded after World War II, the municipal water system was significantly upgraded. As a strategy for beautifying the city, the residential irrigation network was a success, as it allowed Tempe’s new neighborhoods to quickly acquire lawns and much needed shade trees. Historically, Borden Homes Historic District represents early post-World War II housing development in a planned neighborhood with simple design to facilitate quick, economic construction. Ranch Style architecture developed in response to the need to build many houses as quickly and inexpensively as possible while still providing the "American Dream" home in a pleasant and familiar form. This was the architecture of the war veteran and the creation of working class tradesmen who constructed housing for millions at a time when the need for new housing was greatest. The Borden Homes Historic District retains sufficient architectural integrity to convey its historic significance and character. The suburban plan and street features, residential architecture, and landscaping still appear essentially as they did during the 1950s. Only four houses were built within the district boundaries after the period of architectural significance.


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