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This month’s FSG Branch Focus takes us to Phoenix, Arizona, a ruggedly beautiful city laid out in precise angles within the wide, flat northern Sonoran Desert. Phoenix is located in the Salt River Valley, and the metropolitan area is referred to as the “Valley of the Sun” by residents and visitors alike.
Almost every day in Phoenix begins with a glorious sunrise, only to be matched by a stunning sunset later that same afternoon. Both events are free to unfold as they naturally will, unmolested by Daylight Savings Time in a state that does not recognize any such constraints on its natural splendor.
The Phoenix metropolitan area is surrounded by various low mountain ranges including the McDowell Mountains to the northeast, the White Tank Mountains to the west, the Superstition Mountains far to the east, and both South Mountain and the Sierra Estrella to the south and southwest.
Phoenix is a sports town, to be sure, with the NFL Cardinals, the NBA Suns, NHL Coyotes, and the MLB Diamondbacks all calling the area home. Several other MLB franchises maintain training facilities in the Phoenix area, with preseason action attracting fans of the Cactus League each spring.
So let’s take a closer look at this desert oasis to see what locals already know and what visitors have come to love.
Much of what we know about the ancient history of Phoenix, Arizona, and its surrounding areas can be attributed to the work of one man.
During the middle years of the 20th century, Emil W. Haury, an emeritus professor of Anthropology at the University of Arizona, famously led many fruitful expeditions to uncover the archaeology of the Hohokam, Mogollon, and Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi) Indians of the southwestern United States.
One excavation in particular, at Ventana Cave located southwest of Phoenix, revealed human and animal remains as well as stone tools that were dated and determined to be 10,000 years old.
Haury’s work helped us understand that as early as 300 BC, the Hohokam people arrived in the region and stayed until the beginning of the 15th century. When the Hohokam culture mysteriously disappeared, the Akimel O’odham, or Pima Indians, took up residence in the area, continuing with the farming practices established by the Hohokam.
With the arrival of Spanish explorers in the 16th century, missions and forts began dotting the landscape along the Santa Cruz River south of modern-day Phoenix, and the first contact between cultures began taking place as the new European arrivals extended their reach into the lands of the Akimel O’odham Indians.
More than 300 years later in 1846, following the outbreak of the Mexican-American War, Mormon volunteers traveled to the region to trade with the local tribes, exchanging goods for produce and grain. When the war was over, many of the visitors returned to establish farms along the Gila and Salt rivers. These Mormons established nearby towns such as Mesa and Florence, and originally gave Phoenix the agriculturally appropriate name Pumpkinville.
The story of how Pumpkinville came to be known as Phoenix involves a Civil War veteran named Jack Swilling, who moved to the newly formed Arizona Territory in 1867 and began improving on the existing canals and earlier farming methods employed by the various native cultures that had lived in the region before.
Swilling dug a large canal that drew water to support his operation (located in proximity to today’s Sky Harbor Airport), and his success with farming inspired other settlers and visitors to travel to the area and see for themselves just how rich the soil really was, and how farming in a frost-free climate really made a difference.
One such visitor, a Frenchman named Lord Darrell Duppa, took one look at the opportunities available in the area and decided to settle there himself. He joined Swilling in building the community, and at some point gently suggested the name Phoenix instead of Pumpkinville.
As a glorious community born from the ruins of a former civilization, the name was apt, and Phoenix was officially off and running.
We’re Not in Pumpkinville Anymore
Modern Phoenix reflects massive growth and cultural expansion since its earliest days back in the late 1800s. While Agriculture is no longer the prime economic driver it once was, broad stretches of irrigated cropland can still be found on the outskirts of town.
Today’s Phoenix is home to Fortune 500 companies and hi-tech manufacturers that have flocked to the city’s wide-open spaces and 300+ days a year of sunshine. Electronics corporations, aerospace companies, national retail chains, and semiconductor developers make their home in Phoenix alongside local business enterprises of every stripe, and the city’s culture reflects a rich diversity of ideas and practices.
But Phoenix is not just a great place to live. Visitors to the city quickly learn that Phoenix is a place to return to again and again.
A Quick Primer on Your Next Trip to Phoenix
Visitors to Phoenix will be faced with many choices about how to spend their time in the metro area. For golf lovers, the answer is clear. With over 200 golf courses located in the area, Phoenix represents a golf lover’s dream vacation.
Tourists flock to Arizona every year to play golf. With impeccably lush green fairways carved through the rugged desert landscape, Arizona is a golf mecca that scratch golfers, as well as weekend duffers, dream of experiencing for themselves.
Desert Architecture on Display
Phoenix is home to an exciting and unique architectural tradition that really took hold when Frank Lloyd Wright built his winter home, Taliesin West, in 1937. Anyone even vaguely interested in modern architecture should make a pilgrimage to Taliesin West.
Built in 1929, the Arizona Biltmore Hotel has been featured on the Travel Channel’s “Great Hotels” series and remains a particular point of pride to Phoenix residents. Any visitor to the Biltmore will want to check out the world-famous Gold Room with its gold leaf ceiling, or the infamous former speakeasy known today as the hotel’s Mystery Room.
The Gammage Memorial Auditorium is located on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, just east of Phoenix. The multipurpose performing arts center remains a popular tourist attraction because of its interesting back story.
Following a roof collapse in 1956, Frank Lloyd Wright himself got involved in a reimagining of the original building that resulted in the iconic design on display today. Wright is said to have modeled the reborn Gammage Memorial Auditorium on a design he originally created for a new opera house in Baghdad, one that was never realized until he took on this project.
Movie buffs might recognize the downtown Luhrs Tower from the famous Alfred Hitchcock movie “Psycho”. The art-deco skyscraper was built in 1929, and until 1971 the penthouse served as the home of the prestigious Arizona Club. For decades, the Luhrs Tower was the tallest building in the American southwest.
Life is Good in Phoenix, Arizona
Modern Phoenix continues to grow and expand, with new citizens arriving every day. Arizona’s state capital is also the most populous city in the state and enjoys the distinction of being the only state capital in the United States with a population in excess of one million people.
Phoenix is the fifth-most populous city in the country, but unlike other places the living is more spread out, giving everybody a little elbow room. That’s important especially in summer when some folks report feeling a little warm.
With an abundance of space and sunshine available, the city boasts an impressive list of outdoor attractions and recreational activities. Any visitor to Phoenix will want to check out the following destinations:
- The Phoenix Zoo – the largest privately owned, non-profit zoo in the U.S.
- The Desert Botanical Garden – opened in 1939, with the largest collection of arid plants in the country
- South Mountain Park – the largest municipal park in the U.S., as well as the highest desert mountain preserve in the world
- Japanese Friendship Garden – an oasis of peace and tranquility in the heart of the city
- Pueblo Grande Museum – an excellent resource for more information about the history of the region
- St. Mary’s Basilica – staffed by Franciscan friars since 1895, St. Mary’s is home to Arizona’s largest stained glass windows collection as well as a 26-rank pipe organ that can really get your attention
FSG – Right at Home in Phoenix
FSG’s Phoenix branch is perfectly situated to support a steadily growing construction market that currently features a renewed focus on transportation infrastructure and warehousing. The FSG team in Phoenix has taken a leading role in supporting EV charging station program rollouts and continues to deliver comprehensive lighting and electrical facility solutions for businesses of all sizes in Phoenix.
Our office is located just east of the city in Mesa, and we routinely provide industry-leading service to businesses and facilities in the following areas:
- Queen Creek
- Sun City
Our completed projects list also includes a number of jobs completed to our customer’s ultimate satisfaction beyond the metro area and across the state.
Closer to home, our work has been featured around town at some of Phoenix’s most notable locations, with projects including:
- Electrical upgrade project for the Westgate Entertainment District – this project includes new rooftop power panels and transformers to supply six new LED display boards at the Phoenix Coyotes Hockey Stadium and the Arizona Cardinals entertainment district.
- Comprehensive lighting retrofit project for Honeywell, to include a total of four area facilities, that will provide immediate energy savings, lower maintenance expense, and improved lighting performance.
- Ongoing lighting and electrical projects at the Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale.
- Numerous projects and service work for the Los Angeles Dodgers at their spring training facilities at Camelback Ranch-Glendale, including new underground fiber and power runs to support their new Trackman performance monitoring system.
With every new project, the FSG team extends roots deeper within a community with a proud history and a future packed with exciting opportunities.
Service is Our Foundational Principle
FSG Phoenix is different from other electrical contractors in the area for one big reason – we offer unrivaled, exceptional customer service.
We take our customer’s satisfaction personally. Our 24-hour service line is always available, and our customers have peace of mind knowing their emergency is our emergency, too.
When we look back on the list of our completed projects, we remember the times we delivered maximum value for our customers, when we truly helped them succeed in meeting their business goals.
Projects like the one we completed for Penske Automotive remind us of what matters most to our organization.
Most importantly, we believe that our mission at FSG is to willingly contribute to the quality of life of our employees, customers, vendors, and the community in which we live.
Every day at FSG Phoenix, we accomplish this mission through the delivery of impeccable service.
For lighting, electrical construction, electrical service, facility disinfection, signage, and technology solutions that allow you to do more, call FSG today at (913) 647-3012 or visit the FSG Phoenix webpage.
Come Join the A-Team in Phoenix!
The midday sunshine is not the only thing that’s hot in Phoenix. So are your future prospects when you join our team! At FSG, we recognize and reward talent, and we’re looking for more right now.
Let your career be more than just a series of jobs. The journeyman electricians, master electricians, and project supervisors who make up FSG’s electrical service and construction teams understand that the projects they complete are among the most technologically advanced and high-profile projects being executed anywhere in the world.
If you like what you’ve learned about FSG and you desire a career in the electrical trade, visit our careers page, contact our recruiting department, and find out how you can get ahead while doing the best work you’ve ever done.