From a Classroom Assignment to a Tempe Icon

In 1966, Dean James Elmore of the College of Architecture at Arizona State University challenged his students to create design concepts that would utilize the dry river bed. Students designed the Rio Salado Project: a series of locks and channels creating an inland seaport in the desert. The concept, which received recognition from several local municipalities, involved a linear green belt with open parks, recreational areas and development along the river.  Flash forward to June of 1999 and water from the Central Arizona Project began flowing into the Tempe Town Lake and on July 14th, 1999, the Tempe Town Lake was officially declared full!

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