U.S. Army Chaplain Winfield Scott visited the Salt River Valley in 1886 and was so impressed he purchased 640 acres to start a farm near the heart of what is today downtown Scottsdale. A number of ranching operations came into the area, which gave the city its “West’s Most Western Town” nickname. In 1916 a 44,000 acre ranch was developed to the north; DC ranch continued to operate until 1952. During the Depression many artists and architects flocked to Scottsdale, including Frank Lloyd Wright, who bought 600 acres by the McDowell Mountains and build Taliesin West, his winter home.
In the following years Scottsdale has seen tremendous growth in tourism and draws more than 6 million visitors each year. Large master-planned communities have been developed, such as McCormick Ranch, Gainey Ranch, and Desert Mountain. Today the city hosts an annual open golf tournament with the highest attendance in the world. The McDowell Mountain area has been put aside as a preserve with nearly one-third of Scottsdale’s land area. Old Town Scottsdale features a thriving district of art galleries surrounded by shops and restaurants. Scottsdale Airpark surrounds the city airport contains a variety of businesses and light industry.
Currently, the median single family residence list price is $950,000, and the median price per square foot is $262. For all types of residences listed, the median price is $757,000, or $257 per square foot.