Cultural Resources InventoryThe Town of Oro Valley, incorporated in 1974, encompasses an area with deep historical roots. Centered on the Cañada del Oro drainage in the northern Tucson Basin, the town occupies part of the western foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Pusch Ridge forms a dramatic backdrop to the east, the picturesque Tortolita Mountains rise close by to the north, and metropolitan Tucson flanks the town to the south and west. The distinctive natural setting of Oro Valley, its location along a riparian strip that has been a focus of human settlement since early prehistoric times, and its proximity to the historic core of southern Arizona at Tucson have given the area a significant role in nearly every aspect of the region’s cultural history. Prehistoric Hohokam villages, nineteenth-century homesteads and ranches, historic transportation routes, suburban communities built in the postwar twentieth century— all have helped shape the modern community of Oro Valley.
Cultural resources is the general term for archaeological sites, historic buildings, early residential neighborhoods, and other physical evidence of the history of a place. Oro Valley has an abundance of cultural resources, many of which contribute importantly to an understanding and appreciation of the town and its history. But these resources also raise questions for town planners: What is the full range of cultural resources in the town? When should archaeological and historic sites be protected? Which neighborhoods deserve special consideration for their distinctive design, architecture, or connections to the town’s history? To help answer such questions, the Town of Oro Valley has hired William Self Associates, Inc. (WSA), a Tucson consulting firm specializing in archaeology and historic preservation, to prepare an inventory of cultural resources in the town and its larger planning area.
The Oro Valley Cultural Resources Inventory is a compilation of information from widely scattered sources on the archaeological sites, historic buildings, and other cultural resources of the Town of Oro Valley. It has also included a preliminary survey of early residential neighborhoods in the town by WSA’s historic architects. When it is completed later this year, the inventory will serve as the basis for additional, in-depth documentation of selected cultural resources in the town and for the development of an effective historic preservation plan.
More about Oro Valley's history.