Photo Essay

Arizona Falls, Another Urban Park

AZ Falls Waterfall

Niagara Falls, it's not, but it's an interesting little place. These photos were taken at Arizona Falls, a small park in Phoenix, Arizona. I pass it going to and from work everyday.

Formed by a natural 20-foot drop on the Arizona Canal, it is also a functional hydroelectric plant that furnishes power for 150 homes. The plant was originally built in the early 1900s and then closed for over 50 years, but reopened in 2003. It even has a dance floor upstairs and it's open 24 hours a day so you can dance under the stars, if you want.

The new Arizona Falls combines art, history and technology to generate clean electricity from the canal's waterfall. It was planned to be a neighborhood gathering place where visitors can learn, interact and reflect. The site showcases the Phoenix Art Commission's "WaterWorks at Arizona Falls" project, designed by renowned Boston artists Lajos Heder and Mags Harries.

The colors are all natural. Algae does wonderful things. From behind the falls, the opposite side of the canal looks like an Impressionist painting. The place is a little eerie–there's never anyone around when I go there except a guard upstairs reading the paper–with the sound of rushing water underground.

The setting sun made the falls glisten...Dusk was falling and I got out of there...before the humidity, the fishy smell, and the eeriness got the better of me...

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