Bragg's Pies Building

corner one story building
Bragg's Pies Building

Photograph by Jodey Elsner, courtesy of Arizona State Historic Preservation Office

Quick Facts

Location:
1301 Grand Ave. 1301 Grand Ave. Phoenix Arizona, 85007
Significance:
architecture
Designation:
Listed in the National Register – Reference number 08001313
OPEN TO PUBLIC:
No
Completed in 1946, the Bragg's Pies Building is significant as an example of a rare surviving International style commercial building in Phoenix, Arizona. While its pedigree lacks any record of an architect's involvement, the sophistication of the design strongly suggests professional expertise. The building is notable as an example of the International style of architectural design. The salient features of International style are smooth and uniform wall surfaces of reinforced concrete, little embellishment, windows with minimal exterior reveals, and windows that turn the comer of the building. These elements are all primarily expressed in the materials and form of the building including the pointed retail comer and the wedge shape of the building. 

Allan and Elaine Bragg purchased the vacant northwest comer of Grand Avenue and McKinley Street in 1945, which at the time possessed only a billboard erected in 1934. The couple had been involved in commercial pie baking in the Salt River Valley for a decade and the new site was a good fit for an expanding manufacturing business. When the Bragg's Pies Building opened in 1946, it was a state-of-the-art facility and quite an accomplishment for Allan and Elaine as the business began with ten pies baked in mother's kitchen one day in 1935. In the business’ early days at the Grand Avenue location, delivery trucks parked in the shade provided by the 1934 billboard, the long-term lease for which was honored under tenns of the purchase contract. The company ran 35 daily routes at the peak of operations, traveling as far as Tucson and Yuma. The building ceased to function as a commercial bakery in 1962.