The Beginning

Del Webb Corporation built Chris-Town on eighty acres of farm land east of 19th Ave. and south of Bethany Home Rd. The first indoor air-conditioned mall in Arizona, it measured precisely a thousand feet from end to end.

 Artist's conception of Chris-Town, circa 1960.

Before and after construction, 1959-61.

Early construction aerial looking north, circa 1960.

 

Under construction in May, 1961.

 

 

Chris Harri, the Swiss-born farmer who leased the land for Chris-Town to Del Webb in 1955.
The mall was named in his honor. Chris died in 1971 at the age of 94.

 

 

Kansas City sculptor Jac T Bowen was commissioned to create two unique and popular sculptures for Chris-Town: a charming rendering of Ferdinand the Bull, and a colorful Roadrunner figure standing on a rock adorned with cacti and a gila monster. Ferdinand was originally placed in the Court of Flowers and the Roadrunner in the Court of Birds. The photos below were taken in the artist's workshop just after the project's completion and before the pieces were shipped to the mall.

 

 

 

 

Artist: Jac T Bowen

Photos by Fred C. Stebbins

 

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