THE WEST VALLEY
With 24,000 households and a population of over 37,000, Graceland Hills remains one of the most heavily populated unincorporated communities in the west valley, occupying over 15 square miles.
Several other master planned communities have grown up around the original development. Communities surrounding Graceland Hills include, Arcadia, Campbell Square, Superstition Hills, Sunset Park, Union Hills and Shannon Park.
The Graceland Hills Cemetery is one of the largest, privately owned cemeteries in the state. Graceland Hills was decommissioned as an active burial site in 1986 when the current property reached capacity following the relocation of over 600 graves between 1977 and 1979.
WEST VALLEY GRAND CANAL
The Grand Canal Trail is a multi-purpose trail that circles the west valley following nearly 68 miles of aqueduct. Since 1964, neighboring communities have constructed paved and lighted bike paths, bankside landscaping and public art features.
Graceland Hills is located adjacent to this multi-use trail network with many neighboring residential lots offering direct access to the canals from the comfort and safety of your own gated back yard. Additional canal features include, paved trails, lighting, landscaping, public art and user amenities such as seating, shade structures and pet stations.
Motorized vehicles are not allowed on canal banks. Swimming or other water activities are not permitted in the canals for safety reasons. Anyone using the canal banks always should keep in mind that the canals, canal banks and associated facilities are built and maintained for the primary purpose of transmission and distribution of water.
FIRE & RECONSTRUCTION
Sparked by heat lightning during an especially dry summer, the original Phase I homes were destroyed in 1978 when a wildfire erupted in an overgrown section of the Graceland Hills Cemetery.
The inferno, fueled by hot summer winds swept through the block and wood homes, damaging or destroying most of Phase I and displacing over 250 families.
Remaining Phase I residential lots were purchased by the developer in 1978. Construction was halted on the new Phase VI development and work began razing the remaining homes and rebuilding the neighborhood utilizing the more modern designs and materials.
The newly rebuilt Phase I re-opened in the fall of 1980.
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One of the earliest and largest master planned communities in America, Graceland Hills opened Phase I on August 22, 1958, with five home models, a shopping center, a recreation center, and drive-in movie theatre. The opening weekend drew 100,000 people, ten times more than expected, and resulted in a Time magazine cover story.
Built on the site of the former ghost town of Mesa Verde. The only surviving element of the original community is the Graceland Hills Cemetery and funeral home which were built in 1920. By the time America entered the second world war in 1941, the town of Mesa Verde had been abandoned. The town and surrounding areas were purchased in 1949.
Due to the unusual placement of the Graceland Hills Cemetery at the heart of the development and a number of local urban legends surrounding the area. The community has earned the colorful nickname, “Graveland.”