Welcome to Blocktown News!
If you wonder where the name Blocktown comes from, well, it's got nothing to do with Minecraft! The original Blocktown is actually Phoenix, Arizona, and more generally the entire Valley of the Sun region. For a few decades Phoenix was known as the block capital of the world. More block was made here, and laid here, than any other place in the world.
If you've been to Phoenix, or lived here for any amount of time, you've probably noticed that there is a lot of block around here. A LOT. We have more block walls and more block buildings than any other place I've ever seen, or even heard of. We have more variety of block shapes and sizes than any other place I've ever seen. This is because of a company called in the 1950's called Builders Supply, that later became Superlite Block.
Superlite Block, with it's massive manufacturing facility, by far the largest in the world, was so dominant in construction in the Valley of the Sun (where Phoenix is located) that "by 1955, 75 percent of all new buildings were constructed with Superlite concrete block, and in 1965, it accounted for a whopping 80 percent of all wall construction."
Just how many blocks did it take to build 75-80 percent of all the walls in The Valley? In 1964, the year of a recession, Superlite manufactured fifty million 8 inch x 4 inch x 16 inch units. In 1962, it produced 62 million. We in the trade simply call them "four highs." And that's just one kind of block. Superlite had many, many more. The numbers are mind boggling.
For over 20 years the Superlite plant in the Valley was the largest block manufacturer in the world. According to Superlite's records, 90 percent of all that block was used to build walls right here in Maricopa County. Which explains why, for many years, many Arizona masons affectionately called their home Blocktown USA.
To read the full article, "The Story of Superlite" from Modern Phoenix magazine, follow this link: http://modernphoenix.net/superlite/superlitecapital.htm