Heard Building

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Heard Building
P-Heard Building-1920.jpg
North of the Heard Building looking southwest down Central
Heard Building is located in Arizona
Heard Building
Location within Arizona
General information
Type Store / Office
Location 112 N. Central Avenue Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Coordinates 33°26′59″N 112°04′24″W / 33.4497°N 112.0733°W / 33.4497; -112.0733Coordinates: 33°26′59″N 112°04′24″W / 33.4497°N 112.0733°W / 33.4497; -112.0733
Construction started September 02, 1919
Opened December 28, 1920
Roof 93' 4 1/2"[1]
Technical details
Floor count 8
Lifts/elevators 3
Heard Building
Architect Llewellyn A. Parker
MPS Phoenix Commercial MRA (AD)
NRHP reference # 85002059[2]
Added to NRHP September 4, 1985

The Heard Building (alternatively the Greater Arizona Savings Building) is a 7-story high-rise building in Phoenix, Arizona, United States, it housed the offices of The Arizona Republic (formerly the Arizona Republican) and the Phoenix Gazette from 1920 to 1948. The building was constructed between 1919 and 1920 and was the first high-rise building to be erected in Phoenix.[3] It held the title of tallest building in Arizona for four years until the completion of the Luhrs Building in 1924.


Construction of the building began on September 2, 1919, and was financed by Dwight B. Heard and the Commonwealth Investment Company as a new home for his investment and publishing ventures.[4][5] The building was designed by Llewellyn Adelbert Parker, an architect formerly associated with Mayberry & Parker, who designed several other structures in the valley including the Central Avenue Bridge, the Goodrich Building, and the Goldberg Building.[6][7]

General contracting was awarded to James William Martin who supervised the buildings construction.[8][9] Contracting for plumbing, heating and ventilation was awarded to D. S. Horrall Company and the plans for heating and ventilation were drawn by Elliott Lee Ellingwood, consultant engineer.[10][11] The building was plastered with cement by Scottish contractor Duncan MacDonald and a crew of eight men. It took them eight months to complete.[12]

In the wake of a devastating 1910 fire that consumed the Adams Hotel, Heard committed to constructing all future projects out of concrete to reduce the chance of fire. The Heard Building is no exception. The entire frame of the building is reinforced concrete and although several minor fires were reported over the years, they were extinguished quickly with minimal damage.[13][14][15]

The Heard building was sold in December 1951, to a group of New York investors for $710,000.[16][17]

Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette[edit]

When the building opened in 1920 offices of the Arizona Republican occupied most of the first floor and portions of the basement for printing press equipment. In 1930 the Arizona Publishing Company, parent company of the Arizona Republic, purchased the Phoenix Gazette and moved its employees into the offices of the Republican of the first floor.

Both newspaper publications were sold in 1946 to Eugene C. Pulliam and in 1948 they were moved to new headquarters.


In December 1937 a reconstruction project was launched to modernize the facade and expand the offices of the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette. The offices of the Dwight B. Heard Investment Company were moved from the first floor to the third floor to make way for the expansion. William Peper Construction Company was awarded the contract. The project was directed by E. W. Larson, general manager of the Commonwealth Investment Company, and William Peper. Architectural plans were drawn by Lescher and Mahoney with reconstruction expected to take 60 days. The buildings original elevators were replaced with modern automatic leveling elevators and the air conditioning system was upgraded the previous year.[18][19]


In November 1929, the Arizona Publishing Company acquired a local radio station KFAD, later renamed to KTAR (Keep Taking Arizona Republic). During 1930, a 1000-watt Western Electric station was installed on the 7th floor and two 180 ft (55 m) towers were installed on the roof to support the antenna. Demand increased, and in 1941 KTAR moved transmitting to a new 5000-watt plant at 36th Street and Thomas Road, operations were still run from atop the Heard Building.[20] The station was purchased by advertiser John J. Louis, Sr. of Chicago, Illinois in 1944, the studio was eventually moved to a new location in the early fifties.[21]


In February 2018, the swiss artists duo NEVERCREW was requested to realize a series of mural paintings on the walls of the building. The three murals are called "El oso plateado and the machine" and are intended as a tribute to the past of the building and to the extinct Mexican grizzly.[22]


Popular culture[edit]

The building can be seen in the opening sequence of the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho. The clip fades in centered on Hotel San Carlos, which is located on the northwest corner of Central and Monroe. You can see the former Arizona Bank Building under-construction just west of Hotel San Carlos; this building was demolished in 2005 to make way for the new 44 Monroe building. Camelback Mountain can be seen in the background. When the camera pans to the right you can see the Heard Building in the foreground with its antenna; behind the Heard Building you can see the Professional Building.[23]

In 1922 Bill Strother, the "Human Spider", climbed the face of the building and sat on top of the flagpole[24]


  1. ^ Phoenix Museum of History - Phoenix City Building Drawings 1919-1991 - Heard Building (4-story); 120 North Central Avenue; 1919 - 1920, 1970s, 1980s. (38 of 73)
  2. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  3. ^ "Towering High Heard Building Soon Completed" Arizona Republican [Phoenix, Arizona] June 23, 1920
  4. ^ "TO START WORK TUESDAY ON NEW HEARD BUILDING AND HOME FOR THE REPUBLICAN" Arizona Republican [Phoenix, Arizona] August 30, 1919
  5. ^ "Metropolitan Office And Newspaper Building To Be Erected On N. Central" Arizona Republican [Phoenix, Arizona] August 6, 1919
  6. ^ "ARCHITECT SAYS HEARD BUILDING IN UNIQUE CLASS" Arizona Republican [Phoenix, Arizona] December 28, 1920
  7. ^ Phoenix Museum of History - Phoenix City Building Drawings 1919-1991 - Heard Building (4-story); 120 North Central Avenue; 1919 - 1920, 1970s, 1980s. (1 of 73)
  8. ^ "James WM. Martin Known Locally As Well As In East" Arizona Republican [Phoenix, Arizona] December 28, 1920
  9. ^ "HEARD BUILDING FILLS IMPERATIVE NEED IN BUSINESS LIFE OF CITY" Arizona Republican [Phoenix, Arizona] December 28, 1920
  10. ^ "New Heard Building Is Monument to Those Who Performed a Part In Its Construction" Arizona Republic [Phoenix, Arizona] December 28, 1920
  11. ^ Phoenix Museum of History - Phoenix City Building Drawings 1919-1991 - Heard Building (4-story); 120 North Central Avenue; 1919 - 1920, 1970s, 1980s. (26 of 73)
  12. ^ "PLASTERING OF HEARD BUILDING WAS BIG TASK, SAYS MACDONALD" Arizona Republic [Phoenix, Arizona] December 28, 1920
  13. ^ Cement Gun Company - Gunite - Repairs To Buildings - Page 50
  14. ^ "Fire Damages Roof Of Heard Building" Yuma Daily Sun [Yuma, Arizona] April 29, 1941
  15. ^ Prescott Evening Courier [Prescott, Arizona] November 9, 1946
  16. ^ "Heard Building Being Sold For $710,000" Arizona Republic [Phoenix, Arizona] December 30, 1951
  17. ^ "Heard Building Sale Under Way" Arizona Republic [Phoenix, Arizona] December 30, 1951
  18. ^ "Heard Company Lets Big Building Contract" Arizona Republic [Phoenix, Arizona] November 20, 1937, (Section Two) Page Three
  19. ^ "Home Of Two Phoenix Newspapers" Arizona Republic [Phoenix, Arizona] November 20, 1938, (Section Two) Page Eleven
  20. ^ "Technicians Are Experts" Arizona Republic [Phoenix, Arizona] February 21, 1941
  21. ^ Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communications and Computation - KFAD - KREP - KTAR - History
  22. ^ Trimble, Lynn (10 February 2018). "Here's the Story Behind Nevercrew's Bear Mural in Downtown Phoenix". Phoenix New Times. 
  23. ^ "Phoenix Then and Now; Authors: Paul Scharbach, John H. Akers; ISBN 978-1-59223-302-1
  24. ^ "'Human Spider' Tonight Is To Climb Face Of Heard Building And Then Ascend The Flag Pole," Arizona Republic, April 19, 1922,3.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Arizona State Capitol
Tallest Building in Phoenix
102 ft (31 m)
Succeeded by
Luhrs Building