The Tovrea Castle in Phoenix
The Tovrea Castle in Phoenix, Arizona, is an interesting part of the history of the city’s late founder, Alessio Carraro, and his wife Mary Tovrea Carraro. It was built from 1922 to 1924 as the couple’s primary residence, with Mrs. Carraro serving as its architect and decorator. But the best way to get to know the structure isn’t just by reading about it; it’s through visiting the castle in person with an organized tour from Phoenix Historic Neighborhood Tours!
History of the property
The Carraro Heights neighborhood, located just south of downtown Phoenix, is home to one of Arizona’s most striking landmarks: a stone castle that was once home to a wealthy sugarcane plantation owner. The property changed hands many times throughout its history until it was purchased by Alessio Carraro for use as a chicken farm and family residence. After his death in 1959, most of his family moved out. When preservationists began rallying to save the site from demolition, it was purchased by John Wesely; he sold it to City National Bank and Trust Co., which finally deeded it over to Maricopa County Parks and Recreation department with an agreement that tours would be held at least twice monthly.
Tours and events
The Tovrea Castle is a distinctive Phoenix landmark located at Carraro Heights, just north of downtown. The castle was built by Frank A. Tovrea, founder of several large Arizona corporations including United Verde Copper and Arizona Consolidated Copper. While a young man was on his way west to search for gold, Frank met an Italian immigrant named Placido Carraro who offered him a job picking grapes in California’s Central Valley.
Where to stay nearby
If you’re planning a trip to Tovrea Castle, you might also consider staying nearby. You could stay at The Saguaro Hotel & Swim Club, which is located within walking distance of both Downtown Phoenix and Tovrea Castle. It features many rooms with views of Piestewa Peak or Camelback Mountain, as well as common areas that showcase desert vegetation and open architecture. This area is a popular choice for honeymooners or vacationers celebrating special occasions.
Don’t leave without…
…driving out to see The Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights. It’s an old mansion (or castle, if you will) that was originally built by one of Arizona’s richest men, Alessio Carraro. Over time, various families have lived there and different parts of it have been updated—the most recent being a complete restoration overseen by his great-granddaughter. Today, many rent it for events like weddings and fundraisers because it’s easy to make look brand new again with just a little paint and elbow grease. While exploring Carraro Heights and its grounds is free every day from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., visitors are encouraged to donate money or volunteer their time to maintain its legacy.