Aerial view Capitol Mall area/MRT Design
Andrew Oxford | Arizona Republic
Stand at the corner of 17th Avenue and West Jefferson Street in Phoenix and you will find yourself, at least nominally, in the geographic center of Arizona’s government.
There’s not much to see.
Sure, the grass and palms around the Capitol give it a touch of green. But the copper dome of the old state Capitol is obscured by the Senate’s concrete office building. A parking lot is across the street. Yet another parking lot sits diagonally across the street in Wesley Bolin Plaza. And overlooking the plaza from the south are two very forgettable concrete and glass state office buildings.
You could throw a rock in any direction on almost any weekend afternoon and, while you might make a statement if it smashes into a government building, you probably won’t hit anyone.
“What you see now is sadly an all-time low,” said Kevin DeMenna, a lobbyist who has been around the Capitol since the early 1980s and has turned an old home near the Legislature into his office.
Much of the residential neighborhood that surrounded Arizona’s Capitol was bulldozed during the past 60 years and replaced with government office buildings and parking lots.