Blog Posts Tagged ‘phoenix’

Tovrea Castle

Photo Courtesy of Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau

Photo Courtesy of Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Tovrea Castle is not like the castles that were built in the Middle Ages. The walls of this castle don’t tell tales of nobility. Instead, these walls tell tales of unfulfilled dreams.

The castle, which today resembles that of a traditional wedding cake, was built by Italian immigrant Alessio Carraro. In 1928, Alessio moved to Arizona with dreams of developing a resort destination and housing subdivision known as Carraro Heights within Phoenix. The centerpiece of his vision was a hotel, which is the main structure we see today.

Carraro’s dreams never came to fruition as the hotel and property were sold in 1932. It is unknown what exactly squandered Carraro’s dreams.

The Castle was bought by the Tovrea family and eventually by the city of Phoenix. Today, visitors of the castle can tour its gardens; walk-in tour requests are based on availability only. There are no tours in the months of July or August.

Governor Hunt’s Tomb

Photo Courtesy of City of Phoenix

Photo Courtesy of City of Phoenix

Located in Papago Park, next to the Phoenix Zoo is Gov. Hunt’s Tomb. A tall, white pyramid atop a small hill, nestled next to the red buttes of the park. Arizona Gov. George W.P. Hunt was dubbed “King George VII,” with an impressive track record of being Arizona’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th, and 10th governor, which stands to show why he was considered “friend of the common man.”

When Hunt’s wife died in 1931 he had her buried on the hill in Papago Park, in a 20-foot-tall pyramid faced with solid white tile. When he died three years later he joined her, and was later joined in turn by his in-laws, his wife’s sister, and his daughter. Plaques on his pyramid declare that he was a descendant of an unnamed “Revolutionary War patriot,” that he allowed women to vote in his state eight years before the rest of the country, and that he was elected governor seven times, which “set a national record.”

The tomb was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008, and can be seen from anywhere in Papago Park, offering a panoramic view of the eastern part of the Valley of the Sun

El Tianguis Mercado

Photo Courtesy of Town of Guadalupe

Photo Courtesy of Town of Guadalupe

Nestled between Arizona’s capitol and the city of Tempe, at the base of South Mountain, lays the town of Guadalupe. A Native American and Hispanic community, the town boasts a strong cultural and ethnic identity, with a history dating back to 1907.

While in Guadalupe, stop and meander around El Tianguis Mercado. This courtyard-style shopping center is filled with unique shops and restaurants. Shoppers can purchase a variety of items from authentic Mexican pottery, Yaqui Indian art, leather boots, saddles, made-to-order piñatas and much more.

On weekends, the market is a vibrant place to visit, filled with visitors and live music.

Gateway Park

Photo Courtesy of the City of El Mirage

Photo Courtesy of the City of El Mirage

El Mirage is the perfect place to enjoy a day full of sunshine at Gateway Park.

Located directly off El Mirage road, the 13-acre park has something for every member of the family. Multi-use fields serve as the hub for team sports, and a ½-mile path awaits runners, parents jogging with strollers and owners walking dogs on leashes.

Families can enjoy a picnic lunch in one of the park’s ramadas and then spend the afternoon playing with their young children under the covered playground or in the area’s splash park. Older children can bring their skateboards to spend time in the 15,000 square foot plaza-style park, full of obstacles for skating enthusiasts to enjoy. Dog owners can join the fun, too, as they bring Fido on a trip to the dog park.

World’s Tallest Kachina

Photo Courtesy of AZ Central

Photo Courtesy of AZ Central

Located in Cave Creek is the World’s Tallest Kachina sits proudly in the open desert. Just north of Phoenix on Cave Creek Road, and on through Carefree, continue east for about five miles on Cave Creek Road, located at the entrance to the Tonto Creek subdivision sits the 39-foot statue.

Kachina Dolls (or Katsina) are a unique Hopi invention. Kachinas are made by Hopi craftsmen who’ve honed their skills over several years. The masked religious icons are carved from cottonwood root, and they were used to teach children of the tribe about the spirit world.

Phoenix City Clerk Cris Meyer



Phoenix City Clerk Cris Meyer was named the 2013 Clerk of the Year by the Arizona Municipal Clerks’ Association (AMCA) at its annual conference..  The Municipal Clerk of the Year award is given annually to a deserving candidate selected by the AMCA’s Executive Board to recognize an AMCA member who has made significant contributions to the profession.  In addition to advising clerks across the state, Meyer serves as the AMCA Legislative Committee Chair and does training on campaign finance law at each annual elections conference.

“Cris consistently finds new and improved ways of serving the public,” said former Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos.  “Those innovations have become models for other local governments.  He is a tremendous asset to the city of Phoenix and is well-deserving of this honor.”

Meyer has been involved in Phoenix elections in various capacities since he joined the city in 1985 and has participated in conducting more than 30 elections.  He has managed the development and implementation of Phoenix’s successful early voting by mail program that now accounts for more than 90 percent of all ballots cast.  Most recently, he managed the launch of the city’s innovative voting centers, which is the first in the nation to offer three days of voting, with one of those days being a Saturday.

He is the recipient of several public service awards, including the Governor’s Excellence Award in 1994 for coordinating a state interagency effort to better handle child support cases.  He also received a City Excellence Award in 2011 and 1997.

Meyer has a law degree from the University of Illinois and is a member of the Bar in Arizona and Illinois.  Prior to joining the city of Phoenix, he worked as a law clerk in federal district court and as assistant attorney general in the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.