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Survey Number: HPS-146
Year Built: 1873; 1925; 2000
Architectural Style: Sonoran Row House

On August 20, 1999, the Tempe Historic Preservation Office received a nomination and request from Michael Monti (Owner) for historic property designation and listing in the Tempe Historic Property Register for Monti’s La Casa Vieja, located at 1 West Rio Salado Parkway.

The oldest continuously occupied structure in the Valley, C. T. Hayden House / Monti’s La Casa Vieja evolved from a typical Sonoran row house, built as Charles Hayden's family home between 1871 and 1873. Hayden's son Carl, known as the "most important person in Arizona history," was born in the house in 1877. Over the ensuing years, additions and modifications were made to the adobe "hacienda," converting it to a boarding house and finally for use as a restaurant. In 1924, local architect and builder Robert T. Evans was commissioned by Hayden’s daughters to restore the building to its original appearance. Later, the courtyard was enclosed for restaurant dining. The property was purchased by Leonard Monti in 1954. Already referred to as La Casa Vieja ("the old house", as it was called by the Hayden family after moving to their "new" home outside of town in 1889), the restaurant has been known ever since as "Monti's La Casa Vieja." Later additions enlarged the facility to a total of 20,769 square feet on the 2.56-acre site. Interior safety and comfort renovations were begun in the 1990's, and windows and doors were rehabilitated in 2000, through an Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund grant. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 and on the Tempe Historic Property Register in 2000.

La Casa Vieja (the old house in Spanish) was built in 1873. The original structure was a residence for Charles Trumbull Hayden and his family. The original house was a single-story row house constructed of adobe in the Sonoran style by Hayden and his Mexican American workers. Prior to 1883, the house consisted of 13 rooms located in an “L” shaped plan. The house spanned a distance of 80 feet along the Mill Avenue frontage and 120 feet along First Street. During the period of 1876-1883, a second story of adobe was built over the room at the north end of the house. In this same period, three rooms were built to create the west wing.

The Hayden Family moved from the adobe house in 1889 at which time the house began 35 years of use as a boarding house. In 1893, a frame second story was added to the west wing.

Over time, La Casa Vieja started to deteriorate until, by 1920, the building was in very bad condition. At this time, Charles Hayden's daughters, Sallie and Mary, planned to renovate the building and take it back to its original Mexican adobe design.

In 1924, Sallie and Mary Hayden hired Robert T. Evans, a prominent Phoenix architect, to begin what would be the first restoration of an historic house in Arizona. Evans removed the upper story and restored the plastered adobe walls. The Hayden sisters opened a tea house and restaurant in the refurbished landmark known as La Casa Vieja, or "the old house."

La Casa Vieja survives as an important example of rare architectural materials and methods which document the building’s evolution from a traditional Mexican row house (1873-1889), to its subsequent use as a boarding house (1830-1924), through its restoration to a restaurant (1924-present). The house is significant for its continued association over the past 133 years with the growth of Tempe, and is now the oldest remaining building in the Salt River Valley.

When the property was listed in the Tempe Historic Property Register in 2000, Staff noted several elements within the boundaries of the designated parcel which were considered non-contributing elements. Non-adobe additions to the south of the 1873-1924 portion of the structure, landscaping to the north, the parking lot to the west and south, and the billboard on the north were called out so that future consideration alterations or demolition work limited to a non-contributing elements, would not be subject to HPC review. Work to the adobe structure only, would require HPC (or HPO, in the case of minor work) approval.


HAYDEN, Charles Trumbull, (1825 - 1900)

Charles Trumbull Hayden was born on April 4, 1825, in Hartford County, Connecticut. He died on February 5, 1900, in Tempe. As a young man, Charles Hayden moved from Connecticut to Independence, Missouri. By 1848, he started running freight wagons on the Santa Fe Trail. In 1858, he bought his own wagons and supplies and established a freighting business in Tucson. In those days before the railroads came to Arizona, Hayden supplied army posts, mining camps, and towns across the territory. Hayden was appointed as a federal Judge for the Tucson district in 1858, and he was known as Judge Hayden for rest of his life.

In 1866, Hayden left Tucson on a business trip to Florence and Prescott. When he reached the Salt River, the water was too high, and he had to camp on the south side before he could cross. During this time, he climbed up a butte near the river and looked across the valley, noting the potential for development in the area. In November of 1870, Charles T. Hayden and four associates filed claim in Yavapai County to 10,000 inches of water from the Salt River for the Hayden Milling and Farm Ditch Company. Hayden also filed a homestead declaration on 160 acres in section 15, the land near the butte that would eventually become downtown Tempe. Charles Hayden is generally credited with being the founder of Tempe.

Hayden was the first to establish commerce and industry in the area, which made a permanent settlement possible. When Hayden heard that settlers were building a canal on the south side of the Salt River, he brought his wagons up and offered much-needed tools and supplies for the workers. In 1872 he opened a store and laid the foundation for a flour mill. A canal was extended along the base of the butte to bring water to the mill to turn the grind stones.

In 1873, Hayden started building La Casa Vieja, an adobe house with a walled patio, as part of his commercial complex that included a cable-operated ferry on the river, a store, a blacksmith shop, a carpentry shop, and a flower mill with associated grain storage and warehouse facilities. Eventually Hayden relocated all of his freighting operations to the Tempe area. The mill was completed in 1874 and the settlement became known as Hayden's Ferry.

Hayden was a strong promoter of education, and was influential in encouraging the Territorial Legislature to choose Tempe as the site for the Territorial Normal School in 1885. He also helped raise money to acquire and donate property for Normal School, which grew to become Arizona State University. Hayden was involved in the development of the community in many ways. He was a director of the Tempe Irrigating Canal Company, a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, 1880-1882, a trustee of Tempe School District No. 3 in 1884, and president of the Territorial Normal School Board of Education, 1885-1888.

Charles Hayden married Sallie Calvert Davis in Nevada City, California, on October 4, 1876. They had one son, Carl T. Hayden, who would later serve as Arizona's longtime Congressman and Senator, and three daughters, Sally, Anna, and Mary.

HAYDEN, Carl Trumbull, (1877 - 1972)

Carl Trumbull Hayden, a Representative and a Senator from Arizona was born at La Casa Vieja in Hayden’s Ferry (now Tempe), Maricopa County, Arizona on October 2, 1877. Carl Hayden attended the public schools in Tempe and graduated from the Normal School of Arizona at Tempe in 1896. He attended Leland Stanford Junior University, California from 1896-1900. Subsequently, he engaged in mercantile pursuits and in the flour-milling business at Tempe from 1900-1904. He was a member of the Tempe Town Council 1902-1904; treasurer of Maricopa County 1904-1906; and sheriff of Maricopa County 1907-1912. Upon the admission of Arizona as a State into the Union was elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-second Congress; reelected to the seven succeeding Congresses and served from February 19, 1912, to March 3, 1927. He did not seek renomination, having become a candidate for United States Senator.

During the First World War Carl Hayden was commissioned a major of Infantry in the United States Army and elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1926 for the term commencing March 4, 1927, reelected in 1932, 1938, 1944, 1950, 1956, and again in 1962 for the term ending January 3, 1969, he was not a candidate in 1968 for reelection to the United States Senate. Hayden served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Eighty-fifth through the Ninetieth Congresses, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Printing (Seventy-third through Seventy-ninth Congresses), Committee on Rules and Administration (Eighty-first and Eighty-second Congresses), co-chairman, Joint Committee on Printing (Eighty-first and Eighty-second, and Eighty-fourth through Ninetieth Congresses), co-chairman, Joint Committee on Inaugural Arrangements (Eightieth and Eighty-second Congresses), chairman, Committee on Appropriations (Eighty-fourth through Ninetieth Congresses). Carl Hayden’s record for fifty-six consecutive years of service in the Congress, including an unprecedented forty-two in the Senate, was unsurpassed at the time of his retirement. Hayden retired and resided in Tempe, Arizona until his death on January 25, 1972. Carl Hayden was cremated and his ashes interred in family plot at Tempe Butte Cemetery, Tempe, Arizona. Senate Years of Service: 1927-1969 Party: Democrat.

SETTLEMENT, Arizona Territorial Period: 1848 - 1911

The Salt River Valley had long been viewed by the Spanish, Mexican, and United States governments as a frontier, a landscape considered open, sparsely populated, and full of potential. Indigenous cultures had similarly walked lightly on this land. Early Anglo settlement initiated interaction with Native Americans and a nucleus of Mexican Nationals who called the Valley home in 1848 when the Gadsden Treaty was ratified abruptly transferring political control of the area from Mexico to the United States. The distinctive lifeway that was shaped by this physical and political geography persisted through initial waves of immigration and was still strongly in evidence throughout the region at the time the community of Hayden’s Ferry (Tempe) was initially established.

Several small agrarian settlements were already in place in the vicinity of Tempe when Charles Trumbull Hayden began construction of his home and business enterprises in here. While homesteaders came for the agricultural potential of the land, Charles Hayden came to establish the first commercial and industrial development in the area. Hayden had one of the largest freighting firms in Tucson, and was the only supplier of tools and household goods in the Tempe area for years. Hayden improved on what was already considered one of the most reliable points for crossing the Salt River with construction of a cable-operated ferry at the location of the butte giving rise to the settlement being called Hayden Ferry from 1871 until 1879.

Charles Trumbull Hayden was Tempe’s first great humanitarian. “Don Carlos,” as many Mexican-American pioneers affectionately called him, was known across Arizona for the assistance he provided to people in need. Hayden traded with the Salt and Gila River Native Americans Communities and helped early Mormon settlers establish colonies in the Tempe and Mesa areas.

The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and:

__X__ A. That are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history (Community Planning and Development); or

__X__ B. That are associated with the lives of significant persons in or past; or

__X__ C. That embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction (Architectural Styles); or

_____ D. That have yielded or may be likely to yield, information important in history or prehistory.

The C. T. Hayden (also known as La Casa Vieja) was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 as Building #84000173. The property qualified as historically significant under criteria for Event (A), and Architecture/Engineering (C). Although no style is identified in the National Register listing, the identified area of significance is: Architecture, Exploration/Settlement. The identified period of significance is: 1850-1874, 1875-1899, 1900 -1924. Privately owned, the historic function; Commerce/Trade, Domestic is complemented by enumeration of historic sub-functions: Hotel, Restaurant, Single Dwelling. The current function: Commerce/Trade the National Register listing identifies a current sub-function: Restaurant.

The C. T. Hayden House / La Casa Vieja began as a single-story row house constructed of adobe. The “L” shaped plan extended 80 feet north-south along Mill Avenue and 120 feet east-west along First Street (Rio Salado Parkway). The house was originally composed of 13 rooms built before 1883 in a traditional Mexican Sonoran format.

The earliest of these rooms are four, 20-foot square rooms fronting on Mill Avenue. They were built in 1873 immediately north of the 20-foot wide adobe front of Hayden’s store (demolished circa 1921). Although Hayden operated a store on the site as early as 1871, sources indicate that more permanent structures for his business and residence were built after he moved from Tucson in 1873. By the time of Hayden’s marriage in 1876, two additional rooms had been attached to the west of the north room: a zaguan, which served as the main entry to the house, and another 20-foot square room.

Shortly after 1876, three additional rooms were built to the west, giving the building a 100-foot front along First Street. During this period (1876-1883), a second story of adobe was built over the zaguan and its two flanking rooms. A courtyard, formed by the house and Hayden’s store, was enclosed on the west by a high wall. Three additional rooms had also been built west from the courtyard wall along First Street, and were probably used as housing for domestic help. This configuration comprised the extent of Hayden’s “hacienda” during his occupancy of the property.

When the Hayden family moved from the house circa 1889, the property began a 35-year period of use as a boarding house.

Alterations during this period included the removal of the westernmost adobe room (1892), and the addition of a frame second story above the remainder of the west wing (1893). Deterioration of the property was in evidence by 1911 and continued through World War I until 1921 when the house was upgraded. In 1924 formal rehabilitation of the house was initiated for use as a restaurant. This stylistic restoration included removal of all second story rooms, demolition of an additional 15-feet of the west wing, and the construction of a new adobe end wall with a curvilinear parapet.

The courtyard was used as a dining patio, a river rock fountain was installed, and an adobe wall with a curvilinear parapet was built to enclose the south end. The interior was restored mostly to earlier room configurations with Mission style elements such as plain board wainscoting, and wrought iron light fixtures. A mural depicting Arizona Indians was painted on one of the interior walls circa 1935. The essence of the 1924 restoration remains intact although a contemporary post and beam structural system was added in most rooms. The courtyard was enclosed and is composed of two rooms with various wall finishes.

Constructed at the southwest corner of the intersection of First Street and Mill Avenue, La Casa Vieja marks the 0/0 reference point of the modern street addressing system in Tempe, appropriate as this location is considered to be the birth place of the Community.

The early Anglo-American settlers in the Valley utilized indigenous materials and architectural designs to construct houses and commercial buildings. Adobe structures constructed in the native Sonoran style were economical and suitable for the climate. Later, as railroads allowed the acquisition of industrial materials, new homes included bricks, glass windows, and milled lumber but kept a Sonoran form. Other imported changes soon followed and architecture began to increasingly reflect a combination of Spanish-Mexican and American traits, as did much of the population. By the turn of the twentieth century, however, adobe houses were increasingly seen only in low-income, largely Mexican-origin enclaves, as the Anglo population turned to brick for their homes. Several of the early homes exist today, included in the many National Register Historic Districts in Tucson and Nogales. In Tempe, the C. T. Hayden House / La Casa Vieja stands as a unique reminder of a persistent, vibrant settlement culture that adapted native materials and methods which had evolved over centuries in response to regional conditions and a deeply rooted long-term connection to the land.

Through the years the structure has undergone many renovations and additions to the interior and exterior of the building, however, the adobe structure has been maintained along with original materials, design features and other integral aspects of construction within the early structure.

The C. T. Hayden House / La Casa Vieja is the most significant historic resource in Tempe. The house is important for its rare architectural qualities with embody the building’s evolution from a traditional Mexican style row house (1873-1889), to its subsequent use as a boarding house (1890-1924), through its stylistic restoration and conversion to a restaurant (1924-present). It made significant contributions to the settlement and development of the Territory as well as to the educational and political history of the state. Built in 1873, the house is significant for its continued association over the past 110 years with the growth of Tempe and is now the oldest remaining building in the Salt River Valley. Charles Trumbull Hayden founded the townsite in 1871 and by 1876 had moved permanently to Tempe from Tucson. Between 1858 and 1888, Hayden became one of the largest freighters in the southwest. He played a significant role in the expansion of the western United States by providing supplies to many of the first settlements in the Territories of New Mexico and Arizona. Hayden was an influential figure in the early political and educational development of Arizona, and was the force behind the location of the State’s first Normal School (now Arizona State University) at Tempe. His son, Senator Carl T. Hayden’s unsurpassed 57-year tenure in the U. S. Congress began in 1912 and ended in 1968. A powerful political figure, Senator Hayden’s most significant accomplishments were in the areas of reclamation, irrigation, Federal highway legislation, and woman’s suffrage. Charles Hayden’s daughter, Sallie Hayden, enjoyed a 33-year career as a teacher at the Normal School and was also instrumental in the revival of the C. T. Hayden House / La Casa Vieja as a restaurant in 1924. The restoration, was directed by Sallie and her sister Mapes, and supervised by Robert T. Evans, who was to become Arizona’s premier resort architect, is possible the earliest restoration project undertaken in the state.

1873 – La Casa Vieja built for Charles Trumbull Hayden and his family.

1889 – The Hayden Family moved from the adobe house which at that time it became known as La Casa Vieja (“the old house”) and was used by the Hayden Family as a boarding house.

1924 – Formal rehabilitation of the house for use as a restaurant was initiated.

10/10/84 – C. T. Hayden House [Monti’s La Casa Vieja] is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Building - #84000173

08/20/99 – Tempe Historic Preservation Office received a nomination and request from Michael Monti (Owner) for historic property designation and listing in the Tempe Historic Property Register for Monti’s La Casa Vieja, located at 1 West Rio Salado Parkway.

10/14/99 – Tempe Historic Preservation Commission recommends to Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council that Monti’s La Casa Vieja be designated an historic property and listed in the Tempe Historic Property Register.

12/14/99 – Tempe Planning & Zoning Commission recommends to City Council that Monti’s La Casa Vieja be designated an historic property and listed in the Tempe Historic Property Register.

01/20/00 – Tempe Mayor and Council designate the C. T. Hayden House / Monti’s La Casa Vieja 1871-73 / 1924 / 2000 as Tempe Historic Property Register property number 11.

Arreola, Daniel D., 1993 – and James R. Curtis “The Mexican Border Cities: Landscape Anatomy and Place Personality” University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Arizona State, 1982 – ARIZONA STATE HISTORIC PROPERTY INVENTORY FORM: C. T. Hayden House/La Casa Vieja, Inventory No. 146, Janus Associates.

August, Jack L., Jr. 1998 – Vision in the Desert: Carl Hayden and Hydropolitics in the American Southwest. Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, online at:

Center for Desert Archaeology 2005 – Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area

Hayden, Carl Trumbull, 1972 – Charles Trumbull Hayden, Pioneer. Tucson: Arizona Historical Society.

Mandel, Paul, 1980 – “Carl Trumbull Hayden: Arizona’s First Congressman, 1912-1926.” Master’s thesis, Arizona State University.

National Register of Historic (ARIZONA - Maricopa County)

Nequette, Anne M., 2002 – and R. Brooks Jeffrey “A Guide to Tucson Architecture” University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Solliday, Scott 2004 – Tempe Hayden Butte & Environs Archaeological & Cultural Resource Study, ARS Project Report 2004:055

Tempe City, 1999 – Staff Summary Report to Planning & Zoning Commission MONTI’S LA CASA VIEJA #HPO-99.76 12/14/1999

Tempe City, 2004 – Three Decades of Development: The Tempe Downtown Redevelopment Guide.

Tempe Historical Museum Photographs from the Old Settlers Collection.

Tempe Historical Museum Research Library, Biographical Database.

Tempe Historical Museum Tempe Historic Property Survey.

Rice, Ross R., 1994 – Carl Hayden: Builder of the American West. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

Sanborn Map Company 1890 and 1927 – Fire insurance maps of Tempe Arizona online at:

U.S. Congress, 1972 – Memorial Addresses and Other Tributes in the Congress of the United States on the Life and Contributions of Carl T. Hayden. 92d Cong., 2d sess., 1972. Washington: Government Printing Office.

U.S. Congress, 1962 – Tributes to Honorable Carl Hayden, Senator from Arizona, to Commemorate the Occasion of His Fiftieth Anniversary of Congressional Service, February 19, 1962, Delivered in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. 87th Cong., 2d sess., 1962. Washington: Government Printing Office. 

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