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.