Sunday, June 3, 2012
Barrio La Victoria...
There were several from the small Copper Mining Communities such as Clifton, Sonora/Ray, Globe, Miami, Superior, Hayden, Mammoth, etc., not to mention the larger Metro regions like Tucson and Yuma. Though Phoenix by far has the largest and oldest of them all. There are old South Side Neighborhoods like Barrio Cuatro Milpas, Barrio Nuestro, Barrio Chula Vista, Barrio Hayden Park, Barrio Golden Gate (as mentioned in my previous blog), from the West Side--Barrios 9th Street, Hollywood, La Sonorita, El Campito, and several more.
Indeed, the Metro Phoenix area is littered with its enclaves of close-nit Hispanic Communities. Few though, think of Barrios when it comes to the East Side. This side of town is traditionally considered more "conservative" or filled with its share of whites (mostly Mormons), and has been overshadowed for the most part by the larger established "Chicano" Neighborhoods in Phoenix.
Mesa has a few Barrio's as well as the East Valley Town of Guadalupe, which is surrounded and landlocked by Chandler, Ahuatukee, and Tempe.
This blog is about 2 distinctly different Barrios in Tempe..., but forever interlinked.
Most from Tempe and throughout Arizona, are familiar with the largest Barrio in the East Valley...Barrio La Victoria. This Barrio, is nestled between University Blvd and Broadway, Price Road and Dobson. Its is small in comparison to Phoenix area Barrios, though it remains the largest of the Barrios, in the East Valley.
While many original residents still live in La Victoria, many younger generation ...'Gente'... have moved elsewhere. If you were to ask a former resident of where they were from within... "The Vic" (Victory Acres for short), they would proudly reminisce about there former stomping grounds. Though, if you were to ask about Barrio San Pablo aka Barrio Los Amigos, many would give you a deer in the headlights--blank stare.
Barrio San Pablo is the "original" Barrio of Tempe. Those who would be aware of this neighborhood are those older generation Gente, and were the ones affected by the "relocation". (This is how La Victoria came to be).
Many are not aware that Barrio San Pablo once stood where the Arizona State University Campus (main), stands now. There is little left as far as landmarks or reminders that a Barrio once stood there. Much of the old neighborhood was razed to make room for the ever expanding youth learning mecca. The only remaining building is the old Catholic Church on the corner of College and University. It was called "Old St. Mary's", and today it has been restored and is used by students and faculty of the ASU Campus.
The original Church used by these residents (before St. Mary's), sits as a foundation footer for Sun Devil Stadium. Nothing else remains save for, the streets on the North side of University, as they remain in the same location for the most part, though intertwined by campus buildings and light rail.
What happened to the residents..?
They were told in no uncertain terms to "get out" or face eminent domain and have their properties condemned just like in Barrio Golden Gate of Phoenix. Only this time, the "power that be" were afraid of reprisal of the community. They knew many residents had served in the Military and were returning Vets from WW2 and Korea. So they compromised and allowed these residents to remain as part of Tempe--rather than send them out to outlying Metro Phoenix Communities.
These residents were relocated to a former farming area near the outskirts of town--once called Victory Acres. They planned and developed this community for the former residents of San Pablo.
Victory Acres or La Victoria ("La Vic" for short) residents, have once again seen urban growth try to muscle them out of their relocated community.
The Loop 202 Freeway, plowed through the center of the Barrio and cut it in half.
Chicano Park, as reminder of what was once the community of Logan.
No murals or even a park, was given to the residents of La Victoria, having to once again be targeted for relocation. In fact little remains, as far as businesses or churches or parks in La Victoria.
I could not find any images of anything of significance from La Victoria, so I took some time to drive around and got a few pics of the neighborhood, to show you what little is left .
I posted some links for those interested in looking into the history further, please feel free to check them out.
I wanted to personally thank, Pete Ruiz a former resident of both Barrios, and fellow Veteran member of American Legion Post-41, for invaluable insight as tot what occurred and to helping contribute to this blog.
*Footnote to image of what appeared to be a Catholic Church in "La Vic" getting ready for a First Holy Communion Ceremony, this church did not appear on any registry by the Catholic Church..? If any one who knows what this church in La Vic is, Please feel free to enlighten us.