Arizona is one of the Southwestern United States and it’s the 6th-largest and 14th-most populous in the country. This is remarkable because of the mountainous and desert landscape that defines the state.
Apart from being the home of multiple large metropolitan areas such as those of Phoenix and Tuscon, Arizona is also home to multiple Indian reservations which include 27 federally recognized Native American tribes. This includes the Navajo Nation, the largest in the United States.
Below you can find a list of the most famous buildings in Arizona, amazing structures that you must see when you visit the state.
1. Phoenix City Hall
Phoenix City Hall is the most important building in the largest and most populous city in Arizona. It’s the seat of the government of Phoenix and can be found in downtown Phoenix.
The structure features 20 floors and can be classified as a skyscraper because it reaches a height of 112 meters (368 feet), a height that also makes it one of the tallest buildings in the city.
It was completed between 1992 and 1994 for $83 million. It replaced the Old City Hall which in turn replaced the now-demolished original city hall of the city in the 1920s.
2. Chase Tower
The city hall in Phoenix is remarkably among the tallest buildings in Arizona, and that’s mainly because there aren’t a lot of high skyscrapers in the state. The Chase Tower in Phoenix is the tallest of them all.
The building features 40 floors and reaches a height of 147 meters (483 feet). This height wouldn’t even make it one of the top 100 skyscrapers in New York City, just to emphasize the relatively low height of the city’s skyline.
The fascinating skyscraper has dominated downtown Phoenix since its completion in 1972 and has a distinctive shape that resembles a 3-leaf clover and its stem.
3. Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam is one of the most iconic dams in the world and is located on the border of the U.S. states of Arizona and Nevada. This immense concrete arch-gravity dam was built between 1931 and 1936, right during the Great Depression.
The dam on the Colorado River was originally known as the “Boulder Dam,” about the nearby Boulder City, which in turn was named after Boulder Canyon. It was renamed in honor of President Herbert Hoover in the year 1947.
Hoover Dam has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region, welcoming well over a million visitors every year. Tours are offered to visitors so you can learn all about the dam’s history and mechanics.
Official website: Hoover Dam
4. Chapel of the Holy Cross
The Chapel of the Holy Cross is not just one of the most remarkable buildings in Arizona, but also one of the most fascinating Roman Catholic chapels in the world.
It was built right in between the so-called buttes of Sedona, a natural rock formation near the city of Sedona in the heart of Arizona. These red sandstone formations are popular tourist attractions and the symbol of this region.
The chapel was built between 1954 and 1956 for $300,000, the equivalent of well over $3 million today. The main feature of the chapel is its iron cross that stands 27.4 meters (90 feet) tall.
5. Montezuma Castle
The Montezuma Castle National Monument is a series of rock-carved residences of the pre-Columbian Sinagua people. These structures were built somewhere between 1100 and 1425 A.D. and have been remarkably well-preserved.
This fascinating structure is located in the town of Camp Verde, Arizona, and the main building consists of 5 stories and about 20 rooms. Building it didn’t happen overnight as it’s estimated that the entire complex took about 3 centuries to complete.
If you want to get a glimpse into life in pre-Columbian America, (it is described as an ancient high-rise apartment complex), then the Montezuma Castle National Monument is the place to go in Arizona.
Official website: Montezuma Castle National Monument
6. Tovrea Castle
Tovrea Castle is a historic structure that was built between 1929 and 1931 to serve as the centerpiece for a resort. This never happened and it ended up becoming a private residence near the city of Phoenix.
The building was constructed using pine wood and stucco and takes on the shape of a traditional wedding cake. That’s why it’s often referred to as “The Wedding Cake.”
Today, the castle is a popular tourist attraction and is operated by a non-profit organization called the Tovrea Carraro Society. It’s also part of the Phoenix parks system and is considered to be one of the Phoenix Points of Pride.
Official website: Tovrea Castle Tours
7. Rosson House
The Rosson House can be described as one of the most fascinating historic buildings in downtown Phoenix. It’s located in Heritage Square, a historic site that was built around the house.
The house was built between 1894 and 1895 by a couple named Dr. Roland Lee Rosson Flora Murray Rosson. The house was named in their honor although it changed ownership multiple times throughout its history.
The city of Phoenix bought the house and the area around it in 1974 and restored the house to its original state. Today, it serves as a house museum which allows you to get a glimpse of life in Phoneix in the late-19th century.
Official website: Rosson House Museum
8. Maricopa County Courthouse and Old City Hall
The Maricopa County Courthouse and Old City Hall is another famous building in Arizona that is located in downtown Phoenix. These are 2 buildings that were built adjoining each other as one featuring the same architectural design.
The large structure was built between 192 and 1929 and covers an area of 0.77 hectares (1.9 acres). Both buildings were constructed to replace the original versions of the courthouse and city hall of Phoenix.
Although the City Hall has been replaced by a modern building, the courthouse still serves its original purpose today. The building features a combination of Mission Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, and Art Deco styles.
9. Gammage Memorial Auditorium
The Gammage Memorial Auditorium is one of the largest performance arts venues in the United States. The auditorium can seat 3;017 people and is used for a wide variety of events.
The construction of the building started in 1957 but was halted due to the collapse of a roof shortly after. The structure has a length of 91 meters (300 feet) and a width of 76 meters (250 feet) and was eventually completed between 1962 and 1964.
The building is located on the main campus of Arizona State University (ASU) in the city of Tempe in the central part of the state. It was named in honor of the ASU President between 1933 and 1959? a man named Grady Gammage (1892-1959).
Official website: ASU Gammage
10. Arizona State Capitol
The Arizona State Capitol is a historic building that served as the seat of the Arizona Territorial government. This was a period in history when Arizona wasn’t a state yet, something that only became official in 1912.
The Neoclassical building was constructed between 1898 and 1901 and expanded twice throughout its history, once in 1918 and another time in 1938. A renovation project that cost $3 million in the 1990s has restored the building to its original design.
A Winged Victory of Samothrace statue tops the building, a sculpture that can be seen through the glass of the rotunda. Today, the building houses the Arizona Capitol Museum, a museum dedicated to the history and culture of the U.S. state.
Official website: Arizona State Capitol