Duppa Homestead: The Oldest House in Phoenix

May 19, 2013

Like the mythical bird that rises from the ashes, the City of Phoenix really does keep re-inventing itself. In the city's real estate-driven economy, little thought is given to razing historic buildings when a new project is in the works.

Miraculously though, this house has managed to survive for 143 years. That makes it the oldest surviving structure in Phoenix!

The Duppa Homestead was originally built by Lord Darrell Duppa, an Englishman who came to Prescott in 1863 and settled in the Salt River Valley in 1867. The house is believed to have been constructed in 1870.

The walls are constructed of adobe brick and the roof uses cottonwood tree branches and mud, which would have been typical construction methods for the time.

Lord Duppa is credited with naming Phoenix and Tempe, after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Duppa was a well-read scholar, having attended Cambridge University in England.

He was friends with Jack Swilling, another important pioneer and businessman who was instrumental in the founding of modern Phoenix.

Today the home is preserved by the Arizona Historical Society. It can be seen downtown at 1st Ave and Sherman St (about 3 blocks north of Buckeye Road). The address of the Duppa Homestead is:

115 W Sherman St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Just for the record, the Duppa Homestead is the oldest building in Phoenix, but not the oldest building in Arizona. That claim belongs to Fort Misery, a log cabin in Prescott, Arizona that dates back to 1864. It is part of the Sharlot Hall Museum today.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, it's not actually Duppa's house:


de Neui said...

The log cabin in Prescott is in NO WAY the oldest building in Arizona! Discounting the countless structures that still exist from a time before Europeans came, the San Xavier Mission near Tucson dates from 1783!... and there are other 18th and early 19th Century "European" structures around the state, as well!

Tessa Rippenhagen said...

Casa Grande, for the WIN...its the oldest building in the entire united states, along with cliff dwellings that scatter the Colorado plateau

Bob Temarantz said...

That Prescott building is recent vintage compared to the ancient homes in Oraibi. Tucson has houses older than in Prescott. One believed built in 1810 which incorporates the original presidio wall built by the Spaniards. Another Tucson home built in 1848. Tumaccori Mission built in 1691.


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