Casas Adobes, Arizona

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Casas Adobes, Arizona
Tohono Chul wall.jpg
Garden in Tohono Chul Park
Pima County Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Casas Adobes highlighted.svg
Location in Pima County and Arizona
Usa edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Casas Adobes, Arizona
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 32°20′47″N111°0′35″W / 32.34639°N 111.00972°W / 32.34639; -111.00972 Coordinates: 32°20′47″N111°0′35″W / 32.34639°N 111.00972°W / 32.34639; -111.00972
Country United States
State Arizona
County Pima
Area [1]
  Total 26.77 sq mi (69.34 km2)
  Land 26.65 sq mi (69.02 km2)
  Water 0.12 sq mi (0.32 km2)
Elevation 2,411 ft (735 m)
Population (2010)
  Total 66,795
  Estimate (2016) [2] N/A
Time zone UTC-7 (MST (no DST))
FIPS code 04-10670
GNIS feature ID 37210 [3]
Moorish garden detail, Tohono Chul Park, Casas Adobes Moorish garden, Casa Adobes.jpg
Moorish garden detail, Tohono Chul Park, Casas Adobes

Casas Adobes (Spanish: "Adobe Houses") is a census-designated place (CDP) located in the northern metropolitan area of Tucson, Arizona (in Pima County). The population was 66,795 at the 2010 census. Casas Adobes is situated south and southwest of the town of Oro Valley, and west of the community of Catalina Foothills.

Spanish may refer to:

A census-designated place (CDP) is a concentration of population defined by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes only. CDPs have been used in each decennial census since 1980 as the counterparts of incorporated places, such as self-governing cities, towns, and villages, for the purposes of gathering and correlating statistical data. CDPs are populated areas that generally include one officially designated but currently unincorporated small community, for which the CDP is named, plus surrounding inhabited countryside of varying dimensions and, occasionally, other, smaller unincorporated communities as well. CDPs include small rural communities, colonias located along the U.S. border with Mexico, and unincorporated resort and retirement communities and their environs.

Tucson, Arizona City in Arizona, United States

Tucson is a city and the county seat of Pima County, Arizona, United States, and home to the University of Arizona. The 2010 United States Census put the population at 520,116, while the 2015 estimated population of the entire Tucson metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was 980,263. The Tucson MSA forms part of the larger Tucson-Nogales combined statistical area (CSA), with a total population of 1,010,025 as of the 2010 Census. Tucson is the second-largest populated city in Arizona behind Phoenix, both of which anchor the Arizona Sun Corridor. The city is 108 miles (174 km) southeast of Phoenix and 60 mi (97 km) north of the U.S.–Mexico border. Tucson is the 33rd largest city and the 58th largest metropolitan area in the United States (2014).


The attempted assassination of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, and the murders of chief judge for the U.S. District Court for Arizona, John Roll, and five other people on January 8, 2011, occurred at a Safeway supermarket in Casas Adobes.

2011 Tucson shooting

On January 8, 2011, U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and eighteen others were shot during a constituent meeting held in a supermarket parking lot in Casas Adobes, Arizona, in the Tucson metropolitan area. Six people died, including federal District Court Chief Judge John Roll; Gabe Zimmerman, one of Giffords' staffers; and a nine-year-old girl, Christina-Taylor Green. Giffords was holding the meeting, called "Congress on Your Corner", in the parking lot of a Safeway store when Jared Lee Loughner drew a pistol and shot her in the head before proceeding to fire on other people. One additional person was injured in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. News reports identified the target of the attack to be Giffords, a Democrat representing Arizona's 8th congressional district. She was shot through the head at point-blank range, and her medical condition was initially described as "critical".

United States House of Representatives lower house of the United States Congress

The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they comprise the legislature of the United States.


Though Casas Adobes is an unincorporated community, it is older than both the towns of Oro Valley and Marana. [4] Casas Adobes is notable for having the upscale shopping center, Casas Adobes Plaza, its only shopping mall, Foothills Mall, a major hospital, Northwest Medical Center, and the only botanical park, Tohono Chul Park. Casas Adobes primarily consists of homes situated on large lots (often in excess of 1 acre (4,000 m2)), and is suburban in character.

Unincorporated area Region of land not governed by own local government

In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not governed by a local municipal corporation; similarly an unincorporated community is a settlement that is not governed by its own local municipal corporation, but rather is administered as part of larger administrative divisions, such as a township, parish, borough, county, city, canton, state, province or country. Occasionally, municipalities dissolve or disincorporate, which may happen if they become fiscally insolvent, and services become the responsibility of a higher administration. Widespread unincorporated communities and areas are a distinguishing feature of the United States and Canada. In most other countries of the world, there are either no unincorporated areas at all, or these are very rare; typically remote, outlying, sparsely populated or uninhabited areas.

Oro Valley, Arizona Town in Arizona, United States

Oro Valley, incorporated in 1974, is a suburban town located 6 miles (9.7 km) north of Tucson, Arizona, United States in Pima County. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 41,011, an increase from 29,700 in 2000 census. Dubbed the "Upscale Tech Mecca" of Southern Arizona by the Arizona Daily Star newspaper, Oro Valley is home to over 10 high tech firms and has a median household income nearly 50% higher than the U.S. median. The town is located approximately 110 miles (180 km) southeast of the state capital of Phoenix.

Marana, Arizona Town in Arizona, United States

Marana is a town in Pima County, Arizona, located northwest of Tucson, with a small portion in Pinal County. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 34,961. Marana was the fourth fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona of any size from 1990 to 2000.

Established in the 1940s, the Casas Adobes community has grown to encompass a 23-square-mile (60 km2) area inhabited by nearly 60,000 residents. [4] Casas Adobes takes its name from a large residential subdivision of the same name developed by Silvio "Sam" Nanini and his family. Most of the homes in the subdivision are large ranch-style homes built with adobe bricks. [4]

Adobe Building material made from earth and organic materials

Adobe is a building material made from earth and organic materials. Adobe is Spanish for mudbrick, but in some English-speaking regions of Spanish heritage, the term is used to refer to any kind of earth construction. Most adobe buildings are similar in appearance to cob and rammed earth buildings. Adobe is among the earliest building materials, and is used throughout the world.

However, the history of the Casas Adobes area predates the arrival of Sam Nanini. The area bordering the Cañada del Oro in the north, and the Rillito River in the south was primarily inhabited and utilized by cattle ranchers. Cattle ranches dominated the Casas Adobes area until the 1920s, when Tucson had grown far enough north and the advent of the automobile made the area more easily accessible. [4]

The Cañada del Oro, is a primary watershed channel in the valley of Tucson, Arizona, USA. The word cañada has a tilde (ñ) and is pronounced [kaˈɲaða] in Spanish; in English it is pronounced kə-NYAH-də, not like the country of Canada.

One of the first individuals to build a home in the area was Maurice L. Reid, who came to Tucson in 1923 seeking a "walking cure" for tuberculosis. In the late 1920s Reid bought a 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) former ranch, bounded by North Oracle Road to the east, Orange Grove Road to the south, Ina Road to the north, and North La Cholla Boulevard to the west. Reid planted more than 200 acres (0.81 km2) of citrus trees and date palms, that would become the heart of Tucson's citrus industry. [4] Over the years, Reid sold parcels of land for home sites, and in 1950 he sold the last of his land. Some larger residential estates continue to maintain the remaining citrus groves and orchards nearly a century later.

Tuberculosis infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacteria. Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections do not have symptoms, in which case it is known as latent tuberculosis. About 10% of latent infections progress to active disease which, if left untreated, kills about half of those affected. The classic symptoms of active TB are a chronic cough with blood-containing sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. It was historically called "consumption" due to the weight loss. Infection of other organs can cause a wide range of symptoms.

<i>Citrus</i> genus of fruit-bearing plants (source of fruit such as lemons and oranges)

Citrus is a genus of flowering trees and shrubs in the rue family, Rutaceae. Plants in the genus produce citrus fruits, including important crops such as oranges, lemons, grapefruits, pomelos, and limes.

Leonie Boutall, who relocated to Arizona from Tennessee, decided to build a guest ranch in the early 1930s. The dry climate, her doctor told her, would relieve her bronchial troubles. Boutall bought 100 acres (0.40 km2) of former ranch land just west of North Oracle Road, and south of a narrow dirt track now called Orange Grove Road. She built Rancho Nezhone, a luxury guest ranch that drew the rich and famous to the sparsely settled area far north of Tucson. [4] Kate Smith, Liberace, Gen. John Pershing and William "Hopalong Cassidy" Boyd were guests of the desert retreat which featured lush vegetation with monkeys and parrots. Boutall sold out of the property in 1948. [4] Today the site is home to Mission Palms Apartments, where much of the original flora and several features remain, including a 300-stone wall in front of the property. [5]

In the late 1940s, further north along Oracle Road, Sam Nanini would ultimately make his mark in the area. Nanini and his wife, Giaconda, moved to Tucson in 1948 seeking to cure Giaconda Nanini's bronchial asthma. [4] Beginning in the mid-1950s, the Italian born, transplanted Chicagoan developed three residential subdivisions on about 300 acres (1.2 km2) that became the heart of the Casas Adobes community, giving the community its name. The subdivisions, along with Sam Nanini’s landmark Casas Adobes Plaza, were considered by many to be Tucson's first suburb. Sam Nanini and his son William also later built the world-class Tucson National Resort, and the million-dollar residential subdivision, the Tucson National Estates. [4]

1997 incorporation attempt

In 1997, the Arizona legislature passed a law that suspended the ability of incorporated cities and towns in Pima County to prevent the incorporation of other cities within 6 miles of their borders for a period of approximately two years. [6] That same year, the residents of Casas Adobes voted to incorporate as their own city. However, a series of appeals overturned the new law on constitutional grounds, and the Superior Court annulled the incorporation. A second vote for incorporation in 2001 failed 56 to 44 percent. [7]

While Casas Adobes' neighboring municipalities of Oro Valley, Marana and Tucson continue to build new homes and shopping centers, Casas Adobes is mostly built out. With the failure of incorporation attempts, it is likely that one or all three of the neighboring entities will annex portions of Casas Adobes in the future. [4]

2011 shooting

At 10 am MST on Saturday, January 8, 2011, 19 people were shot during a Congresswoman's meeting in a Safeway grocery store parking lot. [8] Six people were killed, including a federal judge, John Roll, and a congressional aide. U.S. Representative for Arizona's 8th congressional district, Gabrielle Giffords, was shot in the head at close range. [9] A 22-year-old local man named as Jared Lee Loughner was arrested in connection with the incident. [10]

Loughner was examined by psychiatrists and twice diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. After forced treatment, he was adjudged competent to stand trial on August 7, 2012. He accepted a plea bargain, and on November 8, 2012, Loughner was sentenced to seven consecutive life terms plus 140 years without parole.


Casas Adobes is located at 32°20′47″N111°0′35″W / 32.34639°N 111.00972°W / 32.34639; -111.00972 (32.346368, −111.009844). [11]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 22.6 square miles (58.6 km²), of which, 22.6 square miles (58.6 km²) of it is land and 0.04% is water.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census [12]

As of the census [13] of 2000, there were 54,011 people, 22,066 households, and 14,718 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,386.7 people per square mile (921.5/km²). There were 23,655 housing units at an average density of 1,045.3/sq mi (403.6/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 88.67% White, 1.65% Black or African American, 0.66% Native American, 2.18% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 4.47% from other races, and 2.31% from two or more races. 13.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 22,066 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.3% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 26.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the CDP, the population was spread out with 23.0% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.7 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $49,736, and the median income for a family was $57,926. Males had a median income of $40,323 versus $29,892 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $24,230. About 3.9% of families and 5.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.2% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.


Primary and secondary schools

Casas Adobes is served by three public school districts:

Public libraries

Pima County Public Library operates the Nanini Branch Library in Casas Adobes. [26]

Points of interest

Westward Look Resort garden, 2014 Westward Look Resort.jpg
Westward Look Resort garden, 2014

Begun in the mid-1940s, Casas Adobes is considered to be the first developed suburb of Tucson. [27] Casas Adobes has numerous notable points of interest.

Casas Adobes is the location of one of southern Arizona's largest and most biologically diverse nature preserves. Tohono Chul Park is a private nature park located northwest of North Oracle and West Ina roads on North Paseo del Norte. Tohono Chul, Tohono O'odham for "desert corner," was created in 1985 after Richard and Jane Wilson dedicated their historic home and property to the preservation of the desert and the education of visitors on the splendor of the native plants and wildlife. [4]

Casas Adobes features one of the highest concentrations of Mid-century modern architecture in the Tucson area with many prominent architects including Friedman and Jobusch, [28] Nicholas Sakellar, [29] Tom Gist, [30] [31] and Edward Nelson [32] designing properties in the region. Notable examples include Saint Odilia Catholic Church, [33] St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, [32] Dove of Peace Lutheran Church, [34] Arizona Bank (now Bank of America) as well as numerous residences in Catalina Village, Westward Look Estates, Casas Adobes Estates and Samalayuca Estates among other neighborhoods. [35]

The Casas Adobes Plaza is a historical retail destination, dating back to 1948. The Plaza is situated on the southwest corner of North Oracle and West Ina roads, and features some of the most authentic Mediterranean architecture in the area. Original Italian vignettes, statues, and fountains are incorporated into the plaza. Casas Adobes Plaza also features a historic Mediterranean observation tower.

Westward Look Resort is located in Casas Adobes, beginning in the early 20th century as a dude ranch in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson. The property was significantly expanded in the late 1960s by modernist architect Edward Nelson [32] and became the Tucson area's first resort. The original adobe home commissioned by ranch founders William and Maria Watson in the 1910s by Tucson architect Merritt Starkweather remains the heart of Westward Look Resort and is named the "Vigas Room." [36]

Casas Adobes is home to a nationally prominent golf resort built in the 1960s by Sam Nanini, the Omni Tucson National Resort. Hosting the PGA Tour Tucson Open for more than forty years, famous golfers Jack Nicklaus (who was discovered and promoted by Nanini), Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Tom Kite and Johnny Miller have played at Tucson National. Early tournaments were celebrity-hosted by Dean Martin and others. [37]

While Casas Adobes remains unincorporated, the community has distinguished itself from the other suburbs to the north and northwest of Tucson as the oldest community.

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