Tempe Rio Salado Collection - Design and the Arts Library Collections

Drawings and papers:  1960s-1990s

121 oversize folders and 5 boxes, c. 20 ln. ft.

In 1966, James Elmore, Dean of the Arizona State University College of Architecture, challenged a group of students to come up with a plan to transform the dry Salt River bed running through the city of Tempe.  The students' plan, the Rio Salado Project, called for turning the riverbed into an asset by creating a mixed-use development centered around an urban greenbelt. The project attracted great interest in the riverfront cities of Mesa and Phoenix. The concept was developed over the next two decades, and in 1987 a proposal for funding the project was submitted to the voters of Maricopa County. Although the county-wide referendum did not meet with voter approval, the city of Tempe continued to pursue various aspects of the Rio Salado Project. 

The collection consists primarily of oversize  presentation boards that document planning for the Rio Salado Project from the 1960s through the 1990s.

Click here to view collection finding aid (PDF)