Ahwatukee Arizona's House Of The Future


When I was a kid growing up in Arizona one of the few memories I can recall is visiting the Ahwatukee Arizona “House of the Future” with my Cub Scout group. The house was built in 1979 at a cost $1,200,000 dollars. It was a demonstration for a planned community. It appears to have lost money every year it was sold.

Surprisingly there is no Wikipedia entry on the subject but I did find a June 23rd, 1980 article from InfoWorld on Google Book Search.

The house was designed by Charles R. Schiffner of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Built over 30 years ago it featured an advanced home automation system with five Motorola 6800 processors linked together. The system was designed by Motorola who was the major employer in Arizona at the time.

It’s important to note that the Ahwatukee home is not a computer controlled home, rather the home permits the tenant to to be in complete control of his environment, making the important decisions which will then be carried out by the microcomputer system.

That’s a quote from Charles E. Thompson, some marketing genius who seems to want to keep people from being scared of the computer controlled house. It’s also worth mentioning that 30 years later, I have been able to reproduce everything that house was capable of for a few thousand dollars and that such home automation capabilities have not yet caught on although the energy saving technologies have.

The house still exists today at 3713 Equestrian Trail, Phoenix, Az and can be seen on Google Maps. Although they gave tours back in the day for $3, I can’t seem to find any information on who the current owner is or even pictures of the interior on the internet.

Update 2016-01-14 More pictures of the house can be found at PrairieMod’s “More House Of The Future“.

Update 2012-12-27: I have found 10 photos from my trip from the early 1980’s.

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 1

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 2

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 3

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 4

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 5

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 6

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 7

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 8

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 9

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 10


8 Replies to “Ahwatukee Arizona's House Of The Future”

  1. I also remember going on a tour of the Ahwatukee house of the future, back in the 80’s. The home does still exist, however only worth less then half it cost to build it. The home is currently owned by Kaufman David, who resides in the home. This once one of a kind home has become a home more of the past then the “future”.

  2. I remember this house well as my late husband, Keith Foudray, built it and in it’s day was “the house of the future”. At the time of construction, he was Vice President of Grace Construction of Phx. and St. Joseph, Missouri.

  3. I worked on this house for a short time. My boss, Tom Alfers, was the foreman on this project for Grace Construction. I had known Tom since High School back in Glen Ellyn, IL.

    I remember “Lath” Schiffner was the architect and he came by quite often during construction to make sure everything was going according to his plan.

    We poured a lot of concrete on this job and I remember they had to use dynamite to blast for the pool.

    I never saw the finished product, so these pictures are very interesting to me.

  4. I lived down the road from this house from 1982 until 1995. Back in the day, I remember the tour buses carrying folks up and down Equestrian Trail. I never had the opportunity to visit it, would sure like to see what it looks like today!

  5. I remember as well touring this house with my grade school class. I remember it being cool at the time. I always wondered what ever happened to this house which prompted me to do a search and I found this site. I would imagine that todays cell phones are far more advanced than what this house had in its day. Good memories…

  6. During my early college days at ASU while studying computer engineering I worked for a cement company that did the Kool decking around pools. I was surfing the internet looking at vintage photos and happened to come across this article and the picture of the pool.

    The pool was unmistakable. I knew this was one of the pools I had worked on during my few years of construction work while going to college.

    As I recall the pool was not very large but took way longer to work on than anticipated due to the rocky ground which required jack hammering and the close confines for drainage of the deck. The shape of the pool was also quite complex with many different angles and pitches for drainage which made it difficult to form up and still ensure the decking properly drained away from the pool.

    I recall talking to one of the home builders at the time, although I can’t recall his name, who explained to me little bit about the interior design of the home which was still under construction. He mentioned that the home was to be the “design of the future” and how it would have several computers to control operations of the house. I found it to be quite fascinating as I had original thought of going into architectural design before changing my career study to computer engineering. This house seemed to combine both of my interests.

    Like John I never did see the completed project but would have if I knew that there were actually tours given of the home in the early 1980’s. Greg thank you for posting your photos from your class tour. It has brought back fond memories.

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