Unlike many of the historic districts to the south and near downtown, North Encanto was born at the dawn of World War II and well into the post war period, between 1939 and 1959. As a result, this is a neighborhood where you will mostly find the types of homes built in a post-depression era, namely the ranch style of home. In fact, it is the neighborhood where you will find the most transitional/early ranch homes built within Phoenix. You can noticeably see the effect that The New Deal and policies like the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) had on housing development of the time.
You can see a clear change in the way homes were built from 1939 to 1959 by starting at the southeastern corner of the neighborhood, near 15th Ave and Thomas Rd and working your way north and the west. Homes in the earliest portion of the period, closer to 1939, were designed by a well known Phoenix architect named Orville Bell, who also designed the new addition to the state capitol around the same time, and these homes were mostly 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom homes.
After the war, larger homes started being built by subsequent contractors still in the style of early/transitional ranch architecture. These larger houses eventually morphed into the full ranch or “California ranch” styles by the later 1950s.
You can also find a few examples of Pueblo Revival and Art Moderne in this neighborhood; however, if you are seeking a home in this neighborhood, it is more than likely going to be one of the smaller or larger ranch style homes.
One unique aspect of the neighborhood that differs from the surrounding neighborhoods are the circular streets. These were a result of the FHA’s guidance on what an American subdivision should look like, a “return to the village idea” standard. One of the only other nearby districts where this circular pattern is found in in Encanto-Palmcroft, but there is not a direct link as to the reason why this type of streetscape was patterned in each. See more about Dwight Heard’s suburban vision in the Encanto-Palmcroft guide.
Early residents of the North Encanto Historic District formed a diverse array of lawyers, doctors, businesspeople, law enforcement, and farmers. Many workers at the new and large manufacturing companies of the time took up residence here in the North Encanto Historic District. If you are familiar with the air conditioning company, Goetl, the original founder was an early resident of North Encanto. The North Encanto Historic District portrays the look of an All-American neighborhood during the mid-century in Phoenix, AZ.