Marshall Way: Scottsdale history evolves along this street

Marshall Way: Scottsdale history evolves along this street

By Joan Fudala

Meander along Marshall Way from Scottsdale Fashion Square south to Sixth Street, and you’ll pass some of the most historic sites in Scottsdale.

You’ll also be tempted to stop by today’s many shops, art galleries, design studios, salons, real estate agencies, restaurants, boutique inns and museums. Throughout the year, Marshall Way is a main thoroughfare for Thursday Night Art Walk and the destination every February for the re-enactment of the Hashknife Pony Express mail delivery in front of Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. What a “way!”

Check out these historic bits about Marshall Way:

• Vice President Thomas R. Marshall — who worked under President Woodrow Wilson — and his wife, Lois Kimsey Marshall, began visiting the small farm town of Scottsdale after her parents moved here from Indiana and settled on the north side of Indian School Road, just west of Scottsdale Road. The Marshalls (he, as the governor of Indiana, attended the dedication of Scottsdale Grammar School in February 1910 during a visit to his in-laws) usually stayed at the Ingleside Inn, where he enjoyed playing golf; however, the Marshalls decided to establish a winter home across from the Kimseys’ in 1914.

• From 1914 through the early 1920s, the Marshalls visited their Scottsdale home as often as possible, making the long train journey from Washington, D.C., to Phoenix. During the U.S. involvement in World War I, Vice President Marshall held at least one war bond rally at his home and was a popular speaker at Valleywide civic events. Thomas died in 1925; the town named the north/south street near his home in his honor: Marshall Way.

• The Marshall home on Indian School became The Shutters restaurant in the 1950s and, later, Der Steiner restaurant, which had a major fire in 1961 and was razed. A succession of eateries opened in a new building on the site, such as Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor, Fuddruckers’s, Paradise Bakery and, currently, Panera Bread.

• By the mid-1920s, Scottsdale’s farming and ranching K-8 student population outgrew the 1910 grade school on Main Street, and voters overwhelmingly passed a bond issue to build a larger school. Scottsdale Grammar School No. 2, designed in Spanish Colonial Revival style by local architectural firm Lescher and Mahoney, opened September 17, 1928. Its diverse student body was comprised of Caucasians, Hispanics, Native Americans and Chinese from agricultural families of modest means. To accommodate growth and provide additional student amenities, Scottsdale Grammar School No. 2 was expanded in the mid-1930s, the beneficiary of a Works Progress Administration program. The facility was again expanded in 1940 and 1948, funded by bond issues. The name of the school was changed to Loloma Elementary School in the mid-1950s when the Scottsdale Unified School District No. 48 decided to name new and existing schools with Native American-inspired names. During a post-World War II population and baby boom, many new elementary schools were built throughout the district, and by 1976 the grammar school became the Loloma Skills Center, providing vo-tech education.

• Loloma was closed as a Scottsdale Unified School District facility in 1981 and sold at auction to Scottsdale’s first cable TV provider, which continued the facility’s education use by providing classes to the public in then-new video camera technology. The cable company also provided space for Scottsdale Historical Society exhibits and programs. After the cable company consolidated its operations in another facility, it sold the Loloma School to the city of Scottsdale in 1992. The interior was refurbished by Scottsdale architect and historic preservationist Douglas Sydnor as the new home for the Scottsdale Artists’ School, which moved into the building in 1994 and continues to provide a variety of classes to the public. In May 2000, the Scottsdale City Council voted to put Scottsdale Grammar School No. 2/Loloma School on the newly created Scottsdale Historic Register.

• According to a map in “Recollections of Early Scottsdale” by Bill Kimsey (Thomas’ nephew and son of Mayor Mort Kimsey), during the 1930s, a stroll south along Marshall Way from his grandparents’ house on Indian School to the new grammar school would take him by the homes of Clara Beauchamp, the E.O. Brown family, B. McGoveny, Bill James, Mort/Clarise Kimsey, the Sam McBurney family, the Scottsdale Methodist Church (northwest corner of Marshall and Main), School Superintendent Garland White’s family home, through Doc Bishop’s cotton and alfalfa field and ending at Scottsdale Grammar School No. 2 (now the Scottsdale Artists School).

• During World War II, the federal government provided funds to build an apartment complex on Marshall between First and Second streets. Thunderbird Homes was specifically for war workers and military families. After the war, it was used as rental housing and its recreation building house a temporary public library. Thunderbird Homes was razed for a much-needed city parking lot in 1960. The site has housed Scottsdale’s Museum of the West since 2015.

• After Scottsdale’s incorporation in 1951 and the subsequent population, business and tourism boom, Marshall Way transitioned from a residential area to one of franchise-free shops, galleries and restaurants. A 1963 business directory listed Marshall Way tenants as Dale Anderson’s restaurant; Kiddy Corral kindergarten; Udinotti Gallery; dental offices of Drs. Glass, Jones and Tonner; architects H.H. Benedict and Murray Harris; and in the Republic Plaza Building were Lane and Scott insurance agents, Strand Land Development, South West Management Co. real estate, Republic Properties Inc. real estate, Preferred Investment Inc. real estate, E.V. Roberts manufacturing agent, The Scottsdale Exchange Shop used furniture and Dow & Francis general contractors.

• In 1967, the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce moved its offices and visitors center into what had been the Methodist Church and Fine Art Gallery on the northwest corner of Marshall and Main, and operated there until 1973, when the chamber moved into the refurbished Little Red Schoolhouse.

• In 1997 the city of Scottsdale opened the Loloma Transit Station at Marshall Way and Second Street; the building was repurposed as offices for the Museum of the West in 2015.

• Waxing nostalgic about just some of the restaurants that have graced Marshall Way: Hammond’s Mission Tea Room in the 1950s, Dale Anderson’s (complete with its Charro Room), Rayburn’s (famous for its all-you-can-eat crab legs in the 1970s), Marche Gourmet, Dee Skipton’s Impeccable Pig café and antique shop, Cathy’s Rum Cake, Eddie’s, Picknicken and Bada Boom Pasta Room. Early Southbridge restaurants included Canal, Digestif and Dish Bistro; early Waterfront eateries included Pink Taco and Wild Fish. Frank and Lupe’s Old Mexico has been on Marshall for over two decades, now surrounded by an array of cuisine genres.

• Marshall Way’s north terminus had been Indian School Road; now it extends (with some interruptions) across Camelback Road to Scottsdale Fashion Square. The city of Scottsdale built the Marshall Way pedestrian bridge across the Arizona Canal in the early 2000s to connect Southbridge and Old Town Scottsdale with the expanded Scottsdale Fashion Square’s Nordstrom wing and the Waterfront. This newer section of Marshall became the site of Fiesta Bowl headquarters and museum in 2006, located within the then-new Scottsdale Waterfront development. The Marshall Way Bridge is in the midst of events ranging from Canal Convergence to Sunrise Yoga during June Days. During Super Bowl week 2008 and 2015, ESPN broadcast from a booth on the south end of the Marshall Way bridge.

• Public art adorns Marshall Way, including Herb Mignery’s “Passing the Legend” bronze tribute to the Hashknife Pony Express; the Bob Parks’ Horse Fountain at Marshall and Fifth Avenue; John Randall Nelson’s “One-Eyed Jack” and Michael Maglich’s “Horseshoe Falls” at Marshall and Indian School; and Ed Mell’s “Jackknife” at Marshall and Main Street.

• Marshall Way has been in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale’s Art District since the 1960s. There have been so many great art stops, but just to name a few: Art One, Joy Tash, Lisa Sette, Wilde Meyer, Gallery 10, Bishop, Seeger, Mind’s Eye, Joanne Rapp, Que Pasa, Lovena Ohl, C.G. Rein, Gallery of Fine Art, Udinotti, Elaine Horwitch, Bentley and J.R. Fine Arts.

• Among the long-standing shops on Marshall Way is the Paper Place; many others offer an array of apparel, jewelry and home décor.

• Places to stay on Marshall include the Bespoke Inn, Canopy by Hilton, Extended Stay America Old Town and, for canines, Paws Commons Pet Resort.

• The Arizona School of Real Estate was located on Marshall Way throughout the 1990s and was relocated and razed just a few years ago to make way for the Canopy Hotel.

• Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West — a 50-year dream of dedicated, local art and Western history buffs — opened on Marshall Way in January 2015. Within a year it became an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and annually hosts thousands of residents, visitors and students who enjoy its eclectic exhibits and storytelling events. It has become part of Parada Del Sol weekend when the Hashknife Pony Express delivers mail from Holbrook to Scottsdale to enthusiastic crowds present to witness the historic re-enactment.

What’s next for Marshall Way? The Museum Square development is on the books and will be yet another reason to come enjoy the many amenities — historic and new — along this key thoroughfare in Old Town Scottsdale, Marshall Way. 

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