The town that the state tore down

Started Jun 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
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The town that the state tore down
Jun 17, 2012

Picacho, Arizona, halfway between Phoenix and Tucson, was a farming community alongside the Southern Pacific (now Union Pacific) railroad tracks, and next to a major state highway (now an interstate). In the 2010 census it had 471 residents, and its own post office, which opened in 1881. As I traveled between Phoenix and Tucson, I thought Picacho was looking a little shabby. Then I learned that the state of Arizona had condemned almost the entire town to build a new freeway interchange. I went there early one morning, while bulldozers were already tearing down the buildings, and took a few photos. Now everything is gone. A bit of history here. D300 with 18-200mm and Tokina 12-24mm. Comments welcome.

This old business welcomed its customers for many years.

Picacho means "peak," and the town was named after nearby Picacho Peak.

This big sign invited highway/freeway travels to pull off for a rest, or repair.

Weary travelers came off the freeway and checked into this motel. No more.

Someone put up these concrete blocks, one at a time, and built a little yellow store. Union Pacific RR line in the background.

Worshipers sang and prayed in the tabernacle. The sign in the window says, "Property of the State of Arizona - No Trespassing."

At Eddie's Place you could get a real Philly Cheese teak and a drink. That's the freeway that killed the town, on the left.

The post office building has been torn down. We spoke with the postmaster. He was going to work as a prison guard at the nearby Picacho State Prison.

These bricks will soon be recycled, or more likely, hauled to a landfill.

One of the last businesses open in Picacho was this motel/apartment complex.

Kids used to play in this yard (and watch satellite TV). All the buildings have been stripped of copper wire and pipe. Note the digging in the yard.

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