Restoration & Development Timeline

Tovrea cactus guard the driveway


The effort to preserve and restore Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights has spanned almost 25 years. Listed below is a timeline outlining the efforts to preserve the land and restore the castle and surrounding gardens: 

1989 – 2000

  • 1989 Phoenix voters approved a  $5 million bond program to purchase land and begin garden restoration. 
  • 1990 Site listed on Phoenix Historic Property Register. 
  • 1991 Historic Building Assessment for Castle completed. 
  • 1993 First land acquired -- 7.6 acres. 
  • 1994 Historical Documentation Project completed, including oral histories, photos and archival research. 
  • 1994 City awarded $500,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration for additional land purchases/billboard removal.
  • 1996-1997 Additional land purchases.
  • 1996 Site listed on National Register of Historic Places. 
  • 1997 First phase of garden and stone wall/gate restoration completed. 
  • 2000 Conceptual Historic Interpretative Plan developed.

    2001 - 2005
  • 2001 Phoenix voters approve an additional $4.5 million for initial castle restoration and additional land purchases. 
  • 2001-2003 Major land purchases totaling nearly 44 acres completed leaving unprotected only two parcels from original historical site .
  • Private fundraising raises additional monies for Castle restoration. 
  • Restoration plan developed and finalized for Tovrea Castle. 
  • 2003 City Council approves Master Plan. 
  • 2005 Public site tours held. 
  • First phase of asbestos/lead removal. 
  • Phase II cactus garden restoration complete

    2006 - 2009
  • 2006 Voters approve $6.8 million bond program to fund castle restoration.
  • 2007 -- 2009 Second phase of castle restoration completed. In this phase of the project, crews finish removing lead and asbestos from the Castle’s exteriors and interiors; stabilize or upgrade the building’s tunnels, basement and structure to allow public visitation; replace the roof; restored the historic windows; remove a modern spray stucco coat and restore the original stucco exteriors; install fire sprinklers and new plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems; rework patio and and entries; fully restore the interior; and install a modern heating and cooling system. 
  • Plans underway to finalize design of parking arrangements, trail development and historic interpretation.

    2010 and future
  • 2011 Utilizing $1.4 million in proceeds from the Phoenix Parks and Preserves Initiative, crews begin work on a permanent visitor’s center with restrooms and adjoining parking area. 
  • Additional garden restoration work ongoing.
  • Obtain funding for full trail development/completion and installation of permanent trail and interior interpretative panels on site.