At the first glance of Catalina Pueblo, Warren and Beverley Edminster knew they were home.
The picturesque neighborhood of 108 town homes was built in the 1970s, sitting just to the southwest of La Encantada, near Campbell Avenue and Skyline Drive.
The homes, which are compact by Foothills standards, are settled comfortably in their desert surroundings.
Catalina Pueblo was thoughtfully designed and built in three stages by brothers Don and Norman Maxon.
According to a 1974 story in the Arizona Daily Star, the brothers preserved all vegetation possible when planning the 25-acre community. Homes were carefully built around saguaros, palo verde and other desert flora. Cacti and other plants that could not be avoided were transplanted whenever possible.
“Houses have been fitted to the land, rather than the land fitted to the houses,” the Star article said.
Workers were not allowed to drive across the site except in designated areas and some vegetation was encased in protective wrapping during construction.
No two houses, constructed of adobe brick, were built exactly alike, and the result is a charming neighborhood of smaller homes that blend in with the landscape. The neighborhood features three community pools.
Don Maxon, who is credited with developing Green Valley in the 1960s, was nationally recognized for land planning, designing and promotion, a neighborhood website says. The federal government named him one of the nation’s top 10 community developers.
Don Maxon, who died in 2007 at age 92, was apparently quite pleased with his project. He and his wife lived in Catalina Pueblo for the rest of his years, the website says.
While some of the houses serve as second homes, it’s a place where residents know one another, and take part in regular social events that include lunches, hikes and holiday gatherings.
It’s the kind of place where neighbors share cocktails on the patio, surrounded by wildlife, stunning natural vegetation and, of course, up-close views of the Santa Catalina Mountains.