Phoenix Landmark Protected (AZ)

PHOENIX, AZ, 7/25/02 – The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and the city of Phoenix today announced the permanent protection of approximately four acres of land as an addition to the city’s existing 24-acre Tovrea Castle and Carraro Cactus Garden property.

TPL, a national land conservation organization, helped the city acquire the property to prevent development at the edge of this valuable historic resource.

“This was an important parcel of land that was needed to preserve views of the castle from the Red Mountain Freeway and Van Buren Street,” said Mayor Skip Rimsza.

“These views have been enjoyed by the motoring public since the 1930s, when Van Buren was the main interstate highway through Phoenix,” he said. “It is important to preserve the history of our community, and the Tovrea Castle property is an important part of that history. We are fortunate that the Trust for Public Land has partnered with Phoenix in this effort,” said Councilman Greg Stanton, whose City Council district includes the castle. Constructed as a hotel in 1929, the castle serves as a city landmark—a three-story, yellow structure on a hilltop known locally as “the wedding cake,” surrounded by more than 500 stately saguaros and other desert vegetation. The city purchased the castle in 1993 and hopes to restore the castle and surrounding grounds to its former glory, protect a unique piece of desert landscape within this urban setting, and allow public enjoyment of the property.

“The City of Phoenix has done a great job of preserving Tovrea Castle and the desert that surrounds it,” said Maria Baier, TPL’s conservation finance and marketing director in its Phoenix office. “The Trust for Public Land is happy to have been a partner in this historic pursuit.”

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting land for people to enjoy as parks and open space. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 1.4 million acres nationwide, including more than 188,000 acres in Arizona.

The Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money magazine recently named TPL the nation’s most efficient large conservation charity for the second year in a row, based on the percentage of funds dedicated to programs.