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Our History – The Story of Heard Farm

Our History – The Story of Heard Farm

This location in South Mountain, also known as SOMO, was chosen based on a vision by MAK Homes to create a neighborhood that speaks to history, context and health in order to give a meaningful backdrop to all of its homeowners. The Heard Farm Community, named after Dwight and Maie Heard is recognized by the City of Phoenix Historical Preservation and has been provided a certificate of appropriateness per an extensive collaboration effort with the Historic Preservation hearing officers of Phoenix.

History of the South Mountain area reaches beyond 2000 years ago to the settlements of the Hohokam people. These early settlers were the first to transform this desert area with thriving agriculture by means of creating the first canal irrigation system stretching as far as 10 miles to the Salt River Valley. With such a feat, the Hohokam were irrigating up to 110,000 acres of farmland! Although the Hohokam people had mysteriously vanished around 1400, many people of Mexican descent reinstated and expanded the Canal System in the mid 1800s. South Mountain has a very colorful, diverse, and at times a controversial past. However, its relevance to great feats and hard work in agriculture has been a continuous thread throughout South Mountain history.

Although Dwight Heard was a publisher for the Arizona Republic, real estate developer and politician, he was also the largest land owner and rancher in South Mountain which vastly produced citrus fruits. His efforts and ambition established South Mountain as a major contributor of produce in the southwest. His wife Maie, was considered a great philanthropist, and her passions for the history and culture of Native Americans were expressed in her extensive collections of artifacts donated and displayed at the Heard Museum. Dwight and Maie’s influence on the enormous growth and progress of the Phoenix area are still prevalent to this day.

In 1930, Ralph Stoughton built a Spanish Colonial Revival home surrounded by the existing citrus orchards of the time, and is one of the few remaining citrus estates in the valley. The home has not had much in terms of alterations and in 1985 was recognized with the National Register of Historic Places. The home had undergone a major renovation in 2010, and has been brought back to its original glory.

The vision of Heard Farm was to intently echo the agricultural history of this property by recreating citrus orchards and insisting the use of flood irrigation established by the site’s historical predecessors. This community is a part of the surrounding family farms that are currently open to the public with fresh produce and other goods. An extension of the South Mountain Park is established with direct access to the canal system leading to an abundant network of recreational trails in the mountain preserve.

The home designs of Heard Farm are in direct response to the agricultural context of the South Mountain area with simplicity and elegance in its architecture. Ensuring to take full advantage of the views to South Mountain and its adjacent farmland gives a significance and sense of place for the community. The composition of the exterior facades and quality material palette provides an artistic continuity of the neighborhood, and installing paver sidewalks and steel entry arbors entices a dramatic and warm welcome to enjoy walks throughout the streetscape. All of the homes of Heard Farm extend the living space with usable front porches so as to be inviting and encourage lasting relationships with neighbors. View deck options and large covered patios make connecting to outdoor living very convenient, and various floor plan options allow a family to choose a home that accommodates and enhances their lifestyle.

MAK Homes and its team have passionately worked extremely hard to make this wonderful vision come to life. The continuity of providing a higher standard, and their sensitivity to contributing to South Mountain’s ongoing history is prevalent in their execution of design and construction.