Sun City museum pays tribute to retirement community's developer

Del Webb developed Sun City, and it revolutionized housing and retirement in America.

Webb may be long gone - he passed away in 1974 at the age of 75 - but his name and accomplishments continue to have an impact, and one picture-perfect pink house stands as testament to that legacy.

"Sun City is a community that changed the nation," said Paul Herrmann, a second-generation Sun City resident.

When people go inside the house at 10801 Oakmont Drive, they are taken back in time, and Herrmann is a tour guide at the house, which is also the Del Webb Sun Cities Museum.

On January 1, 1960, the museum was one of five model homes that helped sell the first-of-its-kind active adult community.

"$10 a square foot," Herrmann said. "This home is 850 square feet. It was $8,500."

100,000 people showed up the first weekend, and more than 230 homes sold right away.

The front bedroom at the model home highlights some of Webb's accomplishments, including those outside of Sun City.

Besides Sun City, Webb owned the New York Yankees, built Luke Air Force Base, Madison Square Garden, the Flamingo in Las Vegas, and the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

"Everything he built made him lots of money," Herrmann said. "This was the most significant thing because he realized that [Sun City] changed people’s lives."

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The model home's exterior

To the present day, Webb's name lives on in a place that is home to thousands.

"We’re proud of it since we’re the first," Herrmann said. "We want to keep Del Webb's name involved because that’s part of who we are. It’s something we want to carry on. That’s why we have the museum here."

Del Webb Sun Cities Museum