In 1928, the fledgeling Cheery Lynn subdivision was considered the outskirts of town.
Today, the Cheery Lynn Historic District is a thriving neighborhood in the heart of central Phoenix near 16th Street and Osborn. In May of 2016, AZ Central named Cheery Lynn the fastest growing neighborhood for home values in the Valley.
Cheery Lynn's story starts nearly 80 years ago, when developers promoted the area as a modern and progressive neighborhood on the road to the new Arizona Biltmore. Developers wanted people to drive out to see the Valley's two new model homes featuring "an abundance of water" and lots with "60 foot frontage."
The Cheery Lynn neighborhood was one of the several new neighborhoods brought to market and one of the first planned communities in Phoenix. Its call to buyers to “drive out today” signaled a new phase in the physical expansion of the growing city. Statehood in 1912 and the rejuvenated canals brought an explosion of growth to Phoenix. The popularity of the streetcar down Central was beginning to wane with the emergence of the car that liberated the development of other neighborhoods.
William Fosburg subdivided the tract of land known as Lot 1, Beverly Heights. The project contained 89 lots, 60 wide lots. While early Phoenix developments had concentrated on the sale of lots, Cheery Lynn represented the newest trend of packaging completed homes in a neighborhood stamped with a defined character and identity.
Fosburg and his designer and superintendent of construction, Marion E. Carr, conceived Cheery Lynn as a neighborhood of ”English type homes of the very latest designs.” The homes are of English Tudor and English Cottage styles. Compact, with rectangular and L-shaped plans, these styles are usually single story, brick homes that feature massive chimneys, half-timbering and gabled roofs.
Fourteen Tudor Revival homes were constructed in Cheery Lynn in 1928. This early construction, when teamed with subsequent styles, has left Cheery Lynn with its most striking feature a dramatic interplay of the angles and pitches displayed by the roofs of competing architectural styles. The development capitalized on the popular Period Revival styles and captured the peak of Phoenix prosperity in the late 20’s.
Although eventually Phoenix succumbed to the Great Depression, Strough remained undaunted and became successful through resourcefulness and ingenuity. Teaming with the O’Malley Building Materials Company, Strough would construct a single home, while housing his family in the structure’s garage. After a few months, construction of another new house would begin. The Strough family would move its residence to each new structure as the cycle continued.
Under Strough’s influence, Cheery Lynn blossomed with an abundance of parapets, stucco and red clay tile. Trips to California kept Strough abreast of the latest trends in architectural styling. Monterey and other Spanish Revivals had eclipsed the English styles creating an exciting variety of home styles within the Cheery Lynn neighborhood.
In 1934 the federal government began to offer loan insurance programs through the Federal Housing Administration and home construction took on a new look. Regulations on the construction of homes came along with the loans and diversity was replaced by uniformity and consistency. Period styles gradually evolved into the Transitional and Early Ranch style characterized by an L shape pan, low-pitched gable or hip roof, and columned porch at the entry. While a small number of these homes were constructed in Cheery Lynn prior to World War ll, the majority of the post War homes were modest versions of the French Provincial Ranch Style, which became the quintessential style of the Post-War West.
The result of Cheery Lynn's history is a neighborhood with charm and character. A drive down our streets is a snapshot of classic Phoenix, old and new.