Established originally as Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Scottsdale ’s first Catholic church was built in 1933 by Mexican and Yaqui Indian families who settled in the area. Today, the Old Adobe Mission (1st St. and Brown Ave., 480/947-4331, www.olphaz.com , 10 a.m.–4 p.m. daily, Oct.–May, free admission, closed summers) is being restored to its former glory and is still used as a spiritual center. The brilliant white facade and domed bell tower of the Spanish Colonial Revival church were designed to resemble the Mission of San Xavier del Bac , south of Tucson .
Peek inside to see the building’s original adobe bricks through a small cutaway in the plaster on the north wall. The bricks—which were made by blending local soil, straw, and water, then molded and baked in the sun—allow the walls to “breathe,” moderating the church’s temperature in both the summer and winter.