The interior courtyard of the Tovrea Mansion in happier days. (Steve Weiss photo).
A reader from Michigan wrote, "My wife and I were married at the Tovrea Mansion in 2000 (on today in fact — 6 Oct.). Not the Castle, but the mansion on 46th Street and Van Buren. We went back to see the building last week and found it abandoned, looted, and partially destroyed."
Almost everyone in Phoenix who pays attention knows about the Tovrea Castle and its storied past. The unique building was saved thanks to the city and a preservation effort led by former Mayor John Driggs. Amazingly, a number of loud voices opposed this and wanted the building demolished, the saguaros bladed.
The Tovrea Mansion was not so fortunate. A large ranch house surrounded by tall oleanders and palm trees, it was unknown by most Phoenicians. The pioneer Tovrea family lived there for decades. By the 2000s, it had been turned into an events center.