Woodlea features Transitional Early Ranch style homes, also combined with Tudor Style.
A Brief History of Woodlea Historic District Phoenix AZ:
What would you do if it was 1928 and you owned 47 acres of lettuce farmland in the outskirts of downtown Phoenix AZ? Perhaps you’d keep farming the land. If you were Thomas Mackenzie you might just decide to throw your hat into the building craze that was expanding Phoenix rapidly.
NOTE: It is important to understand the extreme growth rate of the Valley of the Sun in the 1920’s. According to City records, Phoenix’s population grew from 29,053 in 1920 to 48,118 a decade later. Phoenix Title and Trust Company, located where the Orpheum Lofts are today, was platting subdivisions like crazy and home building was a booming business.
Mackenzie subdivided his 47 acres located NW of Indian School and 7th Avenue into 190 home lots. He named the subdivision Woodlea for the abundance of trees that bordered the land. Along with his real estate partner, Lister Realty Company, Mackenzie opened Woodlea to the public early 1929. Sales were brisk and several homes were completed soon after.
There were two big selling points to owning a home in Woodlea. One was the fact it was outside the City limits so taxes were very low and second was its water. The well serving the neighborhood was a deep one, 347 feet, and the water was reputed to be quite tasty.
As mentioned, sales in Woodlea went well until that momentous event, the Great Depression. Woodlea went from one of the fastest growing developments to nil in a matter of months. Only a handful of homes were built in the early 1930’s and Mackenzie was forced into foreclosure on the unsold lots.
Building picked up again in the late 1930’s and 1940’s with new players like Andy Womack, who built eight of Woodlea’s homes.
Side Note: Womack’s name comes up a lot in 1940’s Phoenix real estate including the neighboring Melrose Manor, parts of Willo and Coronado Historic.
Woodlea Historic District was among 11 other neighborhoods that gained historic designation back in June 2011. The historic district includes most of the original Woodlea subdivision and features 159 homes. Most of the homes in Woodlea are of the ranch style, yet a few homes built in the early years are of the revival period with English Tudor, Cottage, Pueblo and Southwestern styles.
Woodlea’s proximity to the very popular Melrose District and Metro Light rail makes this neighborhood quite desirable. Special events like Front Yard Friday give Woodlea a true sense of community.
Walkable is a viable term for the area. You’ll often see people with their dogs or on their bikes in Woodlea Historic District. Copper Star Coffee as well as a bevy of dining and shopping options gives the neighborhood great walkability.