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Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
U.S. National Monument
Location: Coolidge, Arizona, USA
Nearest city: Coolidge, Arizona / Phoenix, Arizona / Tucson, Arizona
Coordinates: 32°59′39″N 111°32′17″W / 32.99417°N 111.53806°W / 32.99417; -111.53806Coordinates: 32°59′39″N 111°32′17″W / 32.99417°N 111.53806°W / 32.99417; -111.53806
Area: 472.5 acres (191.2 ha)
Visitation: 97,214 (2005)
Governing body: National Park Service
Designated NMON: August 3, 1918
Designated NRHP: October 15, 1966

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, in Coolidge, Arizona, just northeast of the city of Casa Grande, preserves a group of Hohokam structures.

The national monument consists of the ruins of multiple structures surrounded by a compound wall constructed by the Hohokam, who farmed the Gila Valley in the early 1200s. "Casa Grande" is Spanish for "big house" (Siwan Wa'a Ki: in O'odham); these names refer to the largest structure on the site, which is what remains of a four story structure that may have been abandoned by the mid-1400s. The structure is made of caliche, and has managed to survive the extreme weather conditions for about seven centuries. Graffiti from 19th-century passers-by is scratched into its walls; though this is now illegal. Casa Grande now has a distinctive modern roof covering built in 1932.

Contents

Administrative history

Proclaimed Casa Grande Reservation by an order of President Benjamin Harrison on June 22, 1892 (Note this was long before the National Park Service). It was redesignated a national monument by Woodrow Wilson on August 3, 1918. As with all historical areas administered by the National Park Service, Casa Grande was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.

Historic adobes

Between 1937 and 1940 the Civilian Conservation Corps built several adobe buildings to serve as housing and administrative offices for the National Monument. The adobe buildings, constructed using traditional methods, continue in use today and are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Because of careful conservation, the physical appearance of Casa Grande Ruins has hardly changed since the 1940s.[1]

Olmsted shelter

In 1932, a ramada was built to shelter the ruins from weathering by Boston architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr..[2] In the early twenty-first century, a pair of Great horned owls took up residence in the rafters of the Olmsted shelter.[3]

References

  1. ^ http://www.nps.gov/cagr/historyculture/index.htm
  2. ^ http://www.eartharchitecture.org/index.php?/archives/679-Pre-History-Meets-Modernity-Casa-Grande-Ruins-National-Monument.html
  3. ^ Air and Ground Assaults Threaten Arizona Ruins,Arthur H. Rotstein February 13, 2005, Los Angeles Times, in print edition B-6 Associated Press [1]
  • Noble, David Grant. Ancient Ruins of the Southwest. Northland Publishing, Flagstaff, Arizona, 1995. ISBN 0-87358-530-5.
  • The National Parks: Index 2001-2003. Washington: U.S. Department of the Interior.

External links

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is in South Central Arizona in the United States of America.

Understand

Casa Grande Ruins NM [1] preserves an ancient Hohokam farming community and Great House. The monument, located just north of the town of Coolidge, is very small, only about 3/4 of a square mile (1.2 sq km).

The monument is open every day of the year from 8:00AM-5:00PM except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

  • Phone: +1 520 723-3172
  • Fax: +1 520 723-7209
  • Street address: 1100 W. Ruins Drive, Coolidge, AZ 85228

History

The Hohokam were a nation that lived in the south-central region of Arizona. Their community was centered around large adobe structures. For unknown reasons, the Hohokam abandoned their structures and left the region around 1450 CE.

The first written records of Casa Grade occurred in 1694. With the advent of train travel, more people began to visit the site between the 1860s and 1880s. During this period, souvenir hunting, graffiti, and vandalism took its toll on the site leading to the creation of the archaeological reserve. In 1892, Casa Grande was the designated as the first archaeological reserve in the United States. It was declared a National Monument in 1918.

To protect the structure from the elements, a wood-and-corrugated-iron shelter was built over it in 1903. In 1932, the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed a more substantial steel shelter over the structure, which is still in use today.

Landscape

The monument lies within the Sonoran Desert but is surrounded by agricultural fields. Within the boundaries of the monument, natural desert terrain is maintained and is pretty much flat land.

Flora and fauna

Mammals such as the javelina, coyote, Mexican Wolf, bighorn sheep, and bobcat live in this area of the desert. Other animals like the bat, fox, skunk, cottontail, and jackrabbit also make this their home.

Climate

Casa Grande Ruins is in the desert.

Summer daytime temperatures frequently exceed 100 degrees. Winter temperatures range from the 60's to the 80's. Spring and fall are warm and dry, with highs in the 80's and 90's. During summer months, be prepared for hot temperatures. Protective clothing, hats, sunscreen and personal water containers are highly recommended.

Get in

By car

The monument is about 20 miles from Interstate 10 and the city of Casa Grande. Take exit 194 and head east on Highway 287 for 10 mi (16 km) to Highway 87. Turn left on Highway 87 and head north for 8 mi (13 km), turning left into the monument. The monument is about a one-hour drive from either Phoenix or Tucson.

By air

The nearest commercial airports are in Phoenix and Tucson.

The city of Casa Grande operates a public general aviation airport. [2] 3225 N. Pinal Ave, Casa Grande. 1 520 426-3616. Transient tie-downs are available: the first three days are free, $4 per day thereafter.

Fees/Permits

Entrance Fees for Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is charged per person and is valid for 7 days from date of purchase. Each adult (16 years or older) will be charged $5.00. Children 15 and younger are free.

Commercial Tour Groups are charged the same $5.00 per person entrance fee.

School Groups may apply for an Educational Fee waiver, which must be approved prior to the visit. Please call ahead.

All Interagency Passes (Annual, Senior, and Access) are honored for the card holder and 3 adults (total of 4 people)

Get around

As this monument is so small, foot travel is sufficient to experience the entire site.

  • Visitor center - exhibits detail the history of Hohokam culture and the Casa Grande structure.
  • Self-Guided Tour - A short walk around the ruins of Casa Grande.
  • Ranger-Led Tour - A short 30-40 minute tour led a park ranger or volunteer through the ruins site (generally half sitting down and half walking around the ruins).

Buy

The visitor center has a bookstore.

Eat

There are no food facilities within the park aside from a picnic area. Food may be purchased in nearby Coolidge.

Sleep

There are no sleeping facilities within the monument.

This is a usable article. It has information about the park, for getting in, about a few attractions, and about accommodations in the park. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!
  • Francisco Grande Hotel & Golf Resort, 26000 W Gila Bend Highway, 800-237-4238, [3]. The Arizona Hotel & Golf Resort has recently undergone an $ 8 million renovation of its hotel rooms and suites, including the golf course and all its dining and meeting facilities. Out of the 101 guest rooms, 64 are in our tower, including spacious suites overlooking our golf course and pool area. Every guest room in the tower is oversized and has a large, inviting balcony with expansive views of the golf course and the mountains in the distance. For the value-minded golfer to budget minded traveler, there are 37 standard rooms in our Courtyard Buildings that offer all the resort amenities. The resort's restaurants and watering holes provide a variety of casual and upscale dining and entertainment options. $79 & up.  edit

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