The Casa Grande National Monument consists of the ruins of multiple structures surrounded by a compound wall constructed by the ancient people of the Hohokam period, who farmed the Gila Valley in the early 13th century. “Archeologists have discovered evidence that the ancient Sonoran Desert people who built the Casa Grande also developed wide-scale irrigation farming and extensive trade connections which lasted until about 1450AD”
“Casa Grande” is Spanish for “big house”, which refers to the largest structure on the site, the remains of a four-story structure that was abandoned around 1450. The structure is made of caliche, and has managed to survive the extreme weather conditions for about seven centuries. The large house consists of outer rooms surrounding an inner structure. The outer rooms are all three stories high, while the inner structure is four stories high. The structures were constructed using traditional adobe processes. The wet adobe is thicker at the base and adds significant strength. The process consisted of using damp adobe to form the walls and then waiting for it to dry, and then building it up with more adobe.
Father Eusebio Kino was the first European to view the Hohokam complex in November 1694 and is the one to name it Casa Grande. The modern roof covering was built in 1932 to help protect the structure from rain and other elements that will deteriorate the mud adobe.