Phil Gordon: former mayor of Phoenix honored by rename of downtown ASU dorms

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Recently, the downtown Arizona State University (ASU) dorms known as Taylor Place were renamed Gordon Commons in honor of the former Phoenix mayor who was instrumental in getting a downtown ASU campus built. Phil Gordon discussed this and also what he’s been up to since leaving office. Gordon is currently receiving treatments for multiple myeloma. He was diagnosed last June, and he said he is doing well.

In response to the renaming of the dorms, Gordon states, “First of all, I was very humbled and surprised when they told me they were going to do that. I want to emphasize that it really was a collective effort.”

Gordon said in order for a city to thrive and be great, it needs a strong downtown. And now, downtown is like a heart beating strong.

Many years ago, downtown looked quite different. “I’d like to say there was one coffee shop in the entire downtown,” Gordon said. “Now, there’s restaurants, arts and culture, business and residential high rises. It really is what I had envisioned.”

Phoenix was the only major city at the time that did not have a university, and Gordon believed adding one downtown would bring in new residents, workers and other support systems. The idea and vision for this campus began when Gordon met with ASU President Dr. Michael Crow, and the two discussed future plans. The two met for breakfast and designed the campus on a napkin, Gordon said.

“Downtown had everything that would be needed for a complete educational career. It had the media, it had the banking, it had the government, it had social services, all in a compact area. And most importantly, it had a lot of vacant land or vacant buildings,” Gordon said.

Now, Gordon is focusing on getting healthy. He does not plan to go back into politics but supports current Mayor Kate Gallego’s vision for the city.

Phil Gordon, former Phoenix Mayor

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