Litchfield Park – On the Move
The downtown area of Litchfield Park became Tierra Verde Village in the mid -1960s. A great change had taken place within Goodyear Farms as they no longer concentrated on farming, but turned their farmland into proposed Villages. The company hired Victor Gruen and Associates of Los Angeles, a planning and design team, to make a study of the potential development of the Village concept. Their original plan was to create 12 villages in a line going west. However, the only village ever completed was the planned Tierra Verde Village.
Many great changes came to Litchfield Park as the new design changed lifestyles. The Village gained a new lake for fishing, miles of pathways, and acres of new parks. The parks were used as athletic fields for community sports as well as social events. A Recreation Center was built with both tennis and basketball courts plus a 25- yard lap swimming pool and a play pool. At a later date a therapy spa was added. In 1979, a beautiful library was built downtown in honor of Florence B. Litchfield. Three new churches were built, a larger St. Thomas Aquinas Church was built across the lake, St. Peters Episcopal Church, and the LDS Mormon Church were also added.
In 1986, Goodyear sold their land, downtown Litchfield Park and The Wigwam. In 1987, Litchfield Park was incorporated and became the City of Litchfield Park. The Wigwam was sold to SunCor Development Company a subsidiary of the Pinnacle West Capital Corporation. The first City Council, for the City of Litchfield Park was appointed, and this City Council selected and appointed Charles Salem as the first Mayor.
Litchfield Elementary School, rated as an A+ School, has recently been remodeled and a new gymnasium now replaces the old legendary gym. The administrative offices for Litchfield School District #79, also with an A+ rating, recently built a new headquarters building on the Litchfield Elementary School campus. The district has grown to 15 schools.
A new World War II War Memorial was recently dedicated on the west side of the school to replace the deteriorated wooden Memorial torn down in the 1960s. A gazebo was built on the corner of Wigwam Blvd and Old Litchfield Road. Litchfield Park Kiwanis added a Desert Park along Indian School Road between Old Litchfield Road and Litchfield Road. A new walking underpass was built at the intersection of Wigwam Blvd and Litchfield Road.
Litchfield Park continues to grow with new retail markets. In 2016, the most recent new retail center, featuring Fry’s Marketplace, opened on Camelback and Litchfield Road. New buildings are being planned for the vacant land downtown. The West Valley is one of the fastest growing areas in the Phoenix area and Litchfield Park continues to thrive and has remained very special.