Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Florence, Arizona: Main Street Study

The thing about Florence, Arizona is that it is close enough for a day trip.
To the north-west is a high, extensive plain.  To the south and trending east are the  usual ranges of low, volcanic and granite mountains, while across to the south the eye can discern the far outline of the Picacho Peak.  Hinton, J. Richard, Handbook to Arizona 1877.
Florence has the oldest functioning Arizona State Prison complex.  I bought a birthday card for my nephew at the only place that was open, The Prison Outlet Store full of handmade crafts made from inmates .  If I had a two story white art gallery with a 48 inch white pedestal I would have bought this sadistic, naughty looking clown head sculpture that was no bigger than a bar of soap.  

Chamber of Commerce, 1890 Conrad Brunenkant Building, Florence, Arizona

Why didn't they paint the space between like "...malachite, silver and copper, which sparkle in the sun brighter than emeralds."  Florence is close enough to the "...Silver King mine that was discovered by four farmers Reagan, Copeland, Mason, and Long who were bringing copper ore from the Globe mine which they had previously discovered."  Hinton, J. Richard, Handbook to Arizona 1877.

It was a cool 118 degrees at high noon so I chose to walk on the shady side.

Mauk Building 1925,  Florence, Arizona. Designed by Phoenix Architect and movie house mogul, George Mauk 

I really love this building in so many ways. When air conditioning is king, I can appreciate a good solid marquee, probably because the architect George Mauk from Phoenix, was also a movie house mogul.  The clerestory window is tighter in length than the marquee which helps to bring the eye upward.  I also like how the two mullions that divide it in three segments are thicker than the secondary thin sized mullions. 

Underside of the marquee of Mauk Building 1925,  Florence, Arizona. 

John Nicholas Saloon and Beer Hall 1886, Florence, Arizona

John Nicholas Saloon and Beer Hall 1886, Florence, Arizona

The saloon building works in terms of holding your attention.  The window proportions hit the mark with the height of the building.  The frieze on top is intricate and has a gradual rhythm that brings your eye to the flat arch brick work over the windows.  The relief work of the brick over the windows sends your eye pin balling upwards.  The dusty teal accents against the oldest standing Florence fired brick building is arresting.


  1. LMAO! I want the naughty clown head. Seriously though, you see the beauty and intricacies everywhere. I really love that about you, so special. And, I learned something...Bonus! Great post.

  2. Thank you Trac! The clown had fangs! Such twisted brilliance from the other side! I would have taken a photo of naughty clown but I didn't want to look suspicious in that prison town! It might of broke my iphone too.