Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Monti's La Casa Vieja "The Old House"
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