Fountain Hills, located in Maricopa County, Arizona, is a town known for its picturesque scenery, particularly the famous Fountain Hills Fountain, one of the world’s tallest man-made fountains. The history of Fountain Hills’ urban development can be traced back to the early 1970s.
- Establishment of Fountain Hills (1970): The town was incorporated in 1989, but its history began with the purchase of a large parcel of land by C.V. Wood in 1960. Wood, a Disneyland developer, envisioned a master-planned community in the desert. The area was originally a cattle ranch owned by Robert McCulloch, who also played a crucial role in the development.
- Master-Planned Community: Fountain Hills was designed as a master-planned community, carefully laid out with residential, commercial, and recreational areas. The community was planned to be aesthetically pleasing, taking advantage of the stunning natural landscapes surrounding it.
- Fountain Hills Fountain: The town’s iconic fountain was completed in 1970 and is located in the center of a man-made lake. The fountain was built to be a focal point and a symbol of the community. It shoots water up to 562 feet into the air, making it one of the tallest fountains in the world.
- Residential Development: The town’s residential areas were developed with a focus on maintaining the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert. The architecture often incorporates Southwestern and contemporary styles, and the community is characterized by low-density housing.
- Commercial and Recreational Development: Fountain Hills has seen the establishment of commercial areas to serve the needs of its residents. Additionally, the town offers various recreational opportunities, including golf courses, parks, and hiking trails, taking advantage of the desert landscape.
- Population Growth: Over the years, Fountain Hills has experienced steady population growth. The town’s population has diversified, attracting retirees, families, and individuals seeking a tranquil desert lifestyle.
- Civic Amenities: As the community grew, civic amenities such as schools, healthcare facilities, and public services were developed to support the needs of the residents.
- Preservation of Natural Beauty: One of the unique aspects of Fountain Hills’ development is its commitment to preserving the natural beauty of the surrounding desert. Efforts have been made to balance development with environmental conservation.
In summary, Fountain Hills, Arizona, has evolved from a vision of a master-planned community in the desert to a thriving town with a focus on preserving its natural beauty. The careful development, iconic fountain, and commitment to maintaining the desert landscape have contributed to the unique character of Fountain Hills.