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Historic District History
find the tract on the west side of Sixteenth Street one
and one-quarter miles north of McDowell Road. Just three
miles north of the post office, in walking distance from
golf links and Country club. There are two model homes
on the tract, awaiting your inspection beautiful homes.
There is an abundance of good water. The lots have a
60-foot frontage and can be bought for easy terms. Watch
for the opening announcement!
"DRIVE OUT TO CHEERY LYNN TODAY"
they did ... In Studebakers, Packard's, and
Nash's. The year was 1928, Hoover won the White House,
Earhart flew across the Atlantic, and Phoenix was in the
midst of a building boom. The Cheery Lynn subdivision
was one of several new neighborhoods brought to market.
Its call to buyers drive out today heralded a new phase
in the physical expansion of the growing city.
generation earlier, in 1867, Phoenix was born as a dusty
supply outpost serving Camp McDowell to the northeast.
Inspired by the traces of ancient Hohokam canals,
speculators sensed the potential for a fertile Salt
River Valley. The canals were reconstructed, irrigation
spawned agriculture, and settlers began to arrive. By
1870, a township had been planned and platted in square
mile grids just north of the Salt River flood plain.
population grew, the lands to the south were devoted to
agriculture, and the town expanded north toward its only
natural boundary, the Cave Creek ash. Selected as the
territorial capital in 1889, the city added the business
of government to its economic mix. By the turn of the
century, Phoenix had developed into a small but
flourishing urban center. The production of cotton and
citrus fueled growth in the commerce of marketing and
distribution. The majority of Phoenix land now was
controlled by a small number of speculators anticipating
agricultural and residential development.
rejuvenated canals brought life giving water to the
Valley, stable growth required more than the seasonal
flows the Salt River could provide. Landowners pressed
for governmental action on water control projects of a
massive scale. Their efforts were rewarded with the
passage of the National Reclamation Act of 1902. The Act
enabled legislation that led to construction of
Roosevelt Dam in 1911, ensuing a stable supply of water
for the Valley.
granting of statehood in 1912, the elements were now in
place for an explosion of growth. The population of
Phoenix doubled during each of the first three decades
of the 20th century. In 1923, construction of the Cave
Creek Dam stemmed persistent floods of water, spawning
new construction along the city's north-west side. The
northward march continued, and growth and technology
soon would couple to change the face of Phoenix
origins in 1887, the Phoenix Street Railway Company was
the main transportation system for the city, early track
lines radiated from downtown north to the Phoenix Indian
School and north west to the State Fairgrounds.
Subsequent lines paralleled Central Avenue north along
second and Fifth avenues, providing transportation to
the emerging "suburbs. "The correlation of streetcar
lines and subdivisions was not a chance occurrence. The
proximity of transportation was key to the promotion of
residential developments. Eager to enhance their
property values, real estate owners and investors
financed the construction of extensions to the major
lines. By the late 20s, however, the automobile was
beginning to influence the location of new
neighborhoods. The dependence on the streetcar was over.
28, 1928, a tract of land described as Lot 1 Beverly
Heights was subdivided under the name of
Bounded by 16th Street on the east and Earl Drive on the
south, the project was three miles from downtown,
somewhat isolated from "in-town" neighborhoods, and a
dramatic departure from development patterns of the
past. Ownership of automobiles was now widespread, and
neighborhoods no longer need be tied to rail lines.
Services, amenities and marketing now determined the
success of residential development. Cheery Lynn was
promoted as ultra modern, progressive, and indicative of
the decline of streetcars, heralded as on the road to
the new Arizona Biltmore. Subdivided by William Fosburg,
the project contained 89 lots, 60 feet wide along
60-foot streets. While early Phoenix developments had
concentrated on the sale of lots, Cheery Lynn
represented the newest trend of packaging completed
homes in a neighborhood stamped with a defined character
Back to the Future
his designer and superintendent of construction, Marion
E. Carr, conceived Cheery Lynn as a neighborhood
of"…English type homes…of the very latest designs."
Responding to the architectural trends of the time, the
homes were of English Tudor and English Cottage Styles.
Compact, with rectangular and L-shaped plans, these
styles are usually single story, brick homes that
feature massive chimneys, half-timbering and gabled
roofs, which vary from the medium pitch of the English
Cottage Style to the very steeply gabled English Tudor.
Fourteen Tudor Revival homes were constructed in
Cheery Lynn in 1928. This early construction, when
teamed with subsequent styles, has left Cheery Lynn with
its most striking feature a dramatic interplay of the
angles and pitches displayed by the roofs of competing
success of Cheery Lynn was a testament to
Fosburg' s keen timing and marketing savvy. He
successfully packaged financing, neighborhood amenities,
and architectural design. The development capitalized on
the popular Period Revival styles and captured the peak
of Phoenix prosperity in the late 20's.
In 1932, in response to the advance of the Depression
into Phoenix, Fosburg engineered a trade of his Cheery
Lynn properties with Peoria cotton ranch owner, H.M.
Strough. A former builder in the Los Angeles area,
Strough appeared enthusiastic about the Phoenix housing
market and put his talent as a builder to work in
While the effects of the Great Depression were slow to
arrive in Phoenix, like the rest of the country, the
Valley eventually succumbed. Though his trade of land
was poorly timed, Strough remained undaunted and began
to fashion his own success in Cheery Lynn through
resourcefulness and ingenuity. Teaming with the O'Malley
Building Materials Company, Strough worked his way
through the Depression one house at a time. Sustained by
advances of materials and money from O'Malley, Strough
would construct a single home, while housing his family
in the structure's garage. After a few months,
construction of another new house would commence. The
Strough family would move its residence to each new
structure as the cycle continued. Using proceeds from
rental and sales to repay O'Malley, Strough eventually
would construct 23 homes within Cheery Lynn until his
death in 1938.
Under Strough' s influence, Cheery Lynn blossomed
with an abundance of parapets, stucco, and red clay
tile. Trips to California kept Strough abreast of the
latest trends in architectural styling. Monterey and
other Spanish Revivals had eclipsed the English styles,
and Stough' s transplant of the Monterey look would
provide Cheery Lynn with its most dominant style.
Constructed primarily of block, a typical home featured
low walls and wing walls, some forming courtyards; vigas
(wood beams)arches; and rooflines highlighted by red
The Imprint of Uncle Sam
Depression persisted, the federal government began to
play a dominant role in the construction of homes
throughout the country. Congress enacted the National
Housing Act of 1934 to stimulate industry, provide
employment, and improve both nationwide housing
standards and conditions with respect to home mortgage
Fueled by the loan insurance programs of the Federal
Housing Administration (FHA), home construction took on
a new vitality. With the loans came regulation and
standards that once again changed the look of
construction. Lavish Period Revivals gave way to more
muted forms. Diversity was replaced by uniformity and
consistency. Floor plans were simplified, material was
standardized, and ornamentation reduced to a minimum.
Period styles gradually evolved into the Transitional
and Early Ranch Styles, simple structures characterized
by an L-shaped pan, low-pitched gable or hip roof, and
columned porch at the entry. While a small number of
these homes were constructed in Cheery Lynn prior to
World War II, the majority of the subdivision's post-War
homes were modest versions of the French Provincial
Ranch Style, which became the quintessential style of
the Post-War West.
Today and Tomorrow
Bearing witness to the past,
Cheery Lynn today reflects and preserves the history of
the city's development. Water, politics, technology, and
ingenuity all combined to create this unique enclave of
homes at the northern edge of the city's surging
residential core. Historic designation of the district
has focused added attention on the value of preserving
such an asset and will ensure the future of
Cheery Lynn Historic
into the new century.
maps and photographs provided courtesy:
Historic Preservation Office of the City of Phoenix
Neighborhood Services Department
200 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85003
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