Rooftop Deck

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This is the rooftop deck of The Clarendon Hotel, a small, funky boutique hotel in midtown Phoenix. These photos aren’t the greatest but they might give you an idea of what Phoenix looks like, if you don’t know. (Click photos for more detail.)

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The State Fair is going on now and is about 5 miles from this deck. The ferris wheel was visible from our perch. The strangely-shaped building to its right is the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which is no longer used for many events as we have much better concert and sports venues now.

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This is the view to the south. Note the hotel parking lot at the lower right~I’ll mention that later.

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This is St. Joseph’s Medical Center with South Mountain to the left. The television and radio stations have their towers there.

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Phoenix isn’t known for giant skyscrapers or a dramatic skyline like other big cities.

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But we do have a lot of palm trees…and blue skies.

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The pollution wasn’t too bad on this day.

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We’re in the “Valley of the Sun” so there are mountains in every direction.

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The “S” is for Sunnyslope, an area of north Phoenix.

The Clarendon Hotel is famous/infamous for something else and they don’t try to hide this dark event in their past…quite the contrary. The hotel (actually the parking lot, which I showed you earlier) was the site where Arizona Republic investigative reporter Don Bolles was mortally wounded in a car bombing on June 2, 1976. He didn’t die for 10 days and endured many surgeries during his last days. He had gone to the hotel to meet an anonymous source who promised information on a land deal involving top state politicians and possibly the mob. While he waited inside, the bomb was planted under his car and exploded when he started it. I had only lived in Phoenix a short time when this all happened and remember it vividly. Although 3 men were convicted of his murder, the whole motive has never been discovered. You can read more about it here.

The Clarendon does not try to keep this a secret. In fact, on the first floor, next to the amazingly delicious restaurant, Gallo Blanco, the hallway is filled with photos of the grisly crime scene and there is even a meeting room named after him. Others are called the “Press Room” and the “Media Room.” Here’s a little sampling:

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The best thing about The Clarendon Hotel is that it’s quite close to our house and the rooftop deck (5 stories high) is open all the time to everyone.

The following 2 photos are from the hotel’s website:

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6 responses to “Rooftop Deck

  1. Wow, Candance, that deck is amazing!

  2. Interesting photos, Candace. Some I remembered, some I had forgotten, some were new. I remember the Don Bolles incident.

  3. A fine series around Phoenix. I haven’t been there so this was very interesting to me. It’s great the hotel is that welcoming in terms of having their roof available.

  4. Wow, those are some perfectly clear shots. They show what living in Phoenix is all about. Blue skies and perfect Winter weather. You picked the absolute perfect day to take those pictures. NOBODY could have done it better.

    I live close to the Clarendon. As a matter of fact, just drove by it today. It’s a GREAT place. Anyone visiting Phoenix should makes sure to book their stay there. I guarantee, they’ll love it.

    Another funny thing. On exactly the opposite side of that “S” on Sunnyslope Mountain is the Maxine Lakin Nature Trail, the trail I’ve personally adopted to upkeep. It’s also the home to North Mountain park. I’m out there about 4 days per week keeping BOTH the trail and the park in pristine (trash wise) condition. It’s another great place to visit, especially since I keep it so clean.

    As a matter of fact, word in the street has it that they actually found a piece of Don Bolles on that trail.

  5. Sorry, I meant “the home to Mountain View Park. North Mountain Park is on the other side of the big mountain in the picture.

  6. Beautiful photos! We love Gallo Blanco. We’ve never had a reason to stay at the hotel since we live barely a mile away, but the pool is beautiful and we’ve spent some time there! I had no idea that this car bombing happened at the hotel. How fascinating! That’s one of my favorite parts about Phoenix – the weird history.

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