The area’s first plat, Suburban Acres, was recorded in 1924, outside city limits but within a ten- minute drive to downtown. A series of Pierson Place plats followed as the city’s official population continued to expand during the 1920s. In 1926 Pierson Place was platted, followed by Pierson Place Amended and South Pierson Place in 1927, and Stanley Place in 1928. Del Monte Park was the last area within the district to be recorded, just after World War II ended in 1946.
By 1956 the area was mostly built out with single family homes and small scale multifamily buildings that include duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes. Larger-scale multifamily complexes began appearing as infill in the late 1950s. Commercial development occurred outside the edges of the district at 7th Avenue, Camelback Road, and Central Avenue. In 1963, a multistory residential tower was constructed in the neighborhood on Central Avenue. The first plat in the Pierson Place survey area was Suburban Acres, recorded in 1924, west of Central Avenue, and adjacent to the Grand Canal to the south. Lots in the original plat ranged from two-thirds of an acre to a full acre. The one-acre lots were eventually subdivided into quarter acre parcels and sold for single family homes and small multifamily complexes. What remains of these residential buildings were constructed over a thirty year period, beginning in 1924.
In 1926 three couples, Eugene and Lena Pierson, N.C. and Hazyl Pierce and J.P. and Ruth Matz, began subdividing a series of Pierson Place tracts. One of the roads in the new neighborhood was named Pierson Street. The 40-acre tract was initially split into one-acre lots, each anticipated to have at least one house, in a suburban area expected to be among the biggest growing areas in Phoenix. The intent was to allow the large lots to be divided to make the purchase entirely profitable. Lots were deep, with houses set well back from the road, to ensure privacy and leave sufficient room for planting gardens.
Matz and Pierce also became involved in developing part of the subdivision. They owned a forest, from which some of their lumber for the project was cut, and a sash and door mill, which came to supply most of the window and door materials for their development. Early Pierson Place ads boast of “a distinctive class of homes at a moderate cost.” The “modern” subdivision had a number of English and other period revival style homes, constructed for sturdiness with brick and Celotex ceiling insulation. “So confident [was] he of its future”, that Mr. Matz and his wife built their home in the new neighborhood in 1926. E.M. Pierson and his wife lived at 300 W. Mariposa (their home site is now a parking lot).
The next year the three couples also recorded Pierson Place Amended, subdividing the area from their original plat. In the amended plat, Mariposa Street split the 300 foot deep lots, which created one third acre parcels. Two of these larger single family residential parcels still remain; the majority were later split into 8,500 square foot lots. Two of the neighborhood’s adobe houses were built on these larger parcels, including a distinctive Pueblo Revival Style with exposed adobe block at 3rd Avenue and Mariposa Street.
The Southwestern Sash and Door Company, owned by Matz and Pierce, also subdivided South Pierson Place in 1927. Hazlewood Street was named after Hazyl Pierce. Most of the one-half plus acre lots were subsequently split again, though the area was not developed with single family and multifamily complexes until the 1930s and 1940s.
By 1928 a new builder was involved in homebuilding in the northern portion of the neighborhood. E.W. d’Allemand offered fifth acre lots in addition to one acre and half-acre lots, which sold from $395 and up, depending on the location and depth. Streets came fully graded and capped with caliche and gravel, which gave hard surface streets without any paving assessments to pay. Lots were supplied with water from a high pressure, deep water well as well as telephone and electrical service. Homes sold on both a speculative and made-to-order basis, and by October 1928 twenty homes were built and in the amended Pierson Place tract. Restrictions called for houses that cost at least $2,500, exclusive of the lot, to ensure “a happy medium for good development.” Deed restrictions also limited ownership only to Caucasians. The developers specifically marketed to families whose children would be attending Brophy College, a 1500 student college preparatory school just three blocks west of the their neighborhood.
Harry Jones subdivided Stanley Place in 1928. He carried the grid street pattern over from the amended Pierson Place plat immediately west, continuing Camelback Road, Mariposa and Pierson Streets between 3rd to Central Avenues. However, the onset of the Depression slowed development until the late 1930s. A two story Spanish Colonial Revival residence built with adobe was among the first three homes constructed in the new subdivision in 1930.
Development in the neighborhood picked up in the late 1930s with the availability of FHA mortgages. In 1936 the Gold Spot Investment Company built two new homes in Stanley Place. The company worked with designer and builder David Rubenstein, who designed the houses especially for Phoenix to be fire-proof and termite-proof, using concrete joists in a flat roof, with structural steel sashes.
Homes in the neighborhood were constructed with a variety of materials. Brick was the most common structural wall material used, though block and wood frame houses also appeared. Seven adobe homes were constructed in Mariposa and Pierson Streets, further adding to the variety of materials that helped characterize the neighborhood.
Build out in the Pierson Place survey area continued to occur over the first decade after World War II. The Del Monte Park plat was recorded in 1946, and completely built out the following year with modest ranch style homes as well as a small multifamily development of fourplexes. Multifamily infill complexes were built throughout Pierson Place. In the early postwar years, these apartments ranged from collections of one story, single family, duplex, triplex, and fourplex buildings. Larger, multi-unit, two story buildings are associated with the late 1950s and early 1960s.