Monday, April 11, 2016

Always Have a Backup Plan

AJ, AZ   High 81  Low 60

I have wanted to go to downtown Phoenix and explore Wesley Bolen Plaza and tour the capitol building for several years, so Saturday morning was the time. I figured there wouldn’t be a whole lot of traffic (there’s always a whole lot of traffic – just not as bad as rush hour) and that downtown would be mostly empty. Amazing how wrong I can be.

When we got down to the Plaza we discovered that all the streets were blocked off for some kind of fund raiser and there was no where to park. We drove around and around and finally decided we needed to go with Plan B.

There are some museums I have on my list to visit and I got out the GPS to figure out which ones were where. The only one close to us was the Phoenix Trolley Museum.

DSCN1711In 1887 the first mule-drawn streetcar rolled down Washington Street. At it’s peak in 1920, the system ran on over twenty miles of track on city streets. In 1947 a fire destroyed most of the streetcars and the city shifted to buses which ended the era of the Trolleys.

 

 

This is a photo of the car when it was running.

DSCN1712

Car #116 was one of 18 built at a cost of $13,700 each. It has ten windows on each side and is 39 feet, 11 inches long and 40 reversible seats. Built in St. Louis and was wired for 600 volts DC electric current.

DSCN1705

The volunteers had to restore Car #116 from top to bottom.  What a lot of work and love have gone into their work.

DSCN1698

DSCN1702

This gentlemen was our docent and happens to be the youngest of the volunteers at 63. He was wonderful and had so much passion for his Trolley. He is a carpenter and did all of the woodwork during the restoration. We thoroughly listening to him and learned a lot from him.

DSCN1697

This museum is one of those that is run by volunteers on an almost non-existent budget. They only have two cars of which only one has been restored. They have also been told by the city of Phoenix that they have to relocate the museum by October of 2017 and are desperately trying to figure out what they are going to do.

I’m really glad we were able to visit while we still could.

17 comments:

  1. We haven't seen that one either. I want to do the Flame Museum also. That's on my list for fall.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That must have been something to see. I hope they find another place to move too.

    I won't drive through Phx. any later than 6 am in a Sunday and that is very rare.More like never. I have been to Apache Junction and that is not bad at all.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have a passion for old trolleys and buses as my father work for a local bus and subway company for 30 years me for 13 years.
    That would have been fun.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my gosh...Jim would be a perfect conductor! He could play the part in Hollywood.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Too bad you had to go with plan B after waiting several years for plan A

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great idea to have a backup plan. We missed the museum you visited. Interesting how fire changed the approach to public transportation there. I think our generation has no idea what a threat that was to people back then.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great idea to have a backup plan. We missed the museum you visited. Interesting how fire changed the approach to public transportation there. I think our generation has no idea what a threat that was to people back then.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sounds interesting. We visited the one in Washington, PA and they gave you a ride and showed you how they reserve directions. This place was huge and we didn't think we'd like it but it was amazing. These volunteers have a true passion. Hope they find someplace to relocate.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love interesting places like that. I would love to take the grandchildren there. The street car is just another example of history they need to see before it is gone.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I hope they find a new location and are able to interest some younger folk in their project. We are loosing a lot of valuable goods and knowledge as the generation familiar with these types of things pass on.

    We have a restored streetcar that runs by a lake in Minneapolis. We also have a restored streetcar boat that runs on the much larger Lake Minnetonka--back in the day one token let you transfer between the boat and the streetcar so you could ride across the lake then on into the city.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Always fun to look back at history. Even better to be able to sit in there at the controls....Jim looks ready to go.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Amazing the work so lovingly done by the volunteers!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.