An inspired vision, then and now
The beginnings of Beatitudes Campus can be traced back to a nursing home visit by Rev. Dr. Culver “Bill” Nelson, Church of the Beatitudes pastor. The appalling conditions he witnessed compelled him to join forces with Rev. Dr. Everett B. Luther and other church visionaries to create a welcome alternative – an early model community for retirement living and health care that did not exist anywhere in Arizona at the time.
The need for comfortable, caring, affordable, quality retirement living was so great, the young congregation agreed to build the community before building their own church sanctuary. In February of 1962, they voted to sponsor what was then called the North Congregational Retirement Home. A committee was formed to search for a site and eventually located 25 acres within just one mile of the church site – the land Beatitudes Campus occupies today – and purchased it for $25,000 per acre.
As farmland surrounded by areas zoned for residential use, the property faced some rezoning issues and delays. Yet, interest in the “retirement home” vision was high. Mary Bremhorst, the Assistant Administrator, began taking applications while rezoning was still in progress. With the commitment and dedication of many individuals, a groundbreaking ceremony was held on July 26, 1964. Less than a year later, in May of 1965, the residence building now known as Plaza South welcomed its first residents. In August, what is now Plaza View Assisted Living opened to residents. Completed in 1969, were Plaza North apartments and the Health Care Center.
Nearly 35 years later, in 2005, Beatitudes Campus completed the first phase of a master planned redevelopment and expansion. Existing buildings and landscaping were updated and new construction added spacious, modern residences for independent living – Central Park apartments and Patio Homes – which offer up to 1,700 sq. ft., private balcony or patio, desirable finishing details and modern appliances. Also part of the first phase was the Town Plaza, a state-of-the-art gathering place that is the center of resident life.
The future for Beatitudes Campus looks bright as we continue plans for our second phase of redevelopment to include more new residence options, programs and services.