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For The Home

In Perfect Harmony

Author: Roberta Landman
Issue: January, 2007, Page 22

Fireplaces—symbols of hearth and home—rose from the ground first at the Phoenix Home & Garden Idea House at Talking Rock. Then came the framing of our ranch compound structures. And with excitement common to all new homeowners, we walked through the still-rough spaces recently and imagined the cozy rooms, covered porches and such we’re planning to unveil to the public in the spring of 2007.

Talking Rock, a residential community developed by Harvard Investments, is set on Prescott’s former Cooper-Morgan Ranch. Currently, homes and a Ranch Compound clubhouse—all with ranch-inspired ambience—are being built at this site of rolling hills, meadowland and junipers and piñon pines.

“Talking Rock expresses Arizona’s heritage and a comfortable indoor/outdoor style of living,” says Jim Buckley, director of sales and marketing for Talking Rock and Harvard Investments.

It was a first glimpse of Talking Rock’s setting, some 3,600 acres, that stirred the imagination of architect John Sather of Swaback Partners. Moved by the land’s beauty and its place in Arizona’s ranching history, it was he who created the master-planned development’s overall design.

Sather vowed to follow in the footsteps of the former ranchers and safeguard the property’s many trees. He proposed a community of high-quality homes—residences at once rustic and luxurious—that twist and turn among the trees.

A Jay Morrish-designed 18-hole golf course is set in a sweep of meadow where no trees had existed. “So, in the end, the trees win,” states Sather.

Talking Rock has “a life beyond golf,” he remarks, noting meandering trails for walking, hiking and biking among the 1,000 acres that have been permanently set aside as open space.

Also preserved are approximately 4 acres of petroglyph-dotted land in nearby In-scription Canyon. The acreage has been deeded by the developer to the Yavapai Prescott Indians to remain as wilderness.

Sather thinks the concept and design of Phoenix Home & Garden’s Idea House are in perfect harmony with Talking Rock’s ranching legacy and with what he envisioned when he first saw the land.

“What the Idea House is going to do is open people’s eyes as to what is possible,” he comments.

And that is just what we are planning.
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