A company of Spanish conquistadors, led by a mercenary Irishman named Hugh O’Conor, built a small fort on a shelf of land overlooking the east side of the Santa Cruz River in 1775. For the first 100 years of its existence life in Tucson had a decidedly martial flavor under Spanish rule, under Mexican rule and under American rule. Even after the settlement moved outside the fortress walls there was fighting between Confederate troops and Union supporters during the Civil War and the threat of attacks from the Apaches was a real menace for decades. It wasn’t until the 1880s and the arrival of the railroad that the military presence in Tucson receded into memory.
By 1900 Tucson’s population had edged above 7,000 and it was the largest town in the Arizona Territory - a distribution center for livestock and crops and newly discovered minerals. When Arizona entered the Union in 1912 Tucson was the first city of the 48th state, although it would shortly be eclipsed by Phoenix.
The county seat of Pima County began gathering a national reputation as a health and winter resort, favored especially by “lungers,” as visitors with respiratory ailments to the dry heat of the Sonoran Desert were known locally. While the population of Tucson grew steadily by 1950 you could still clamber atop the roof of a three-story building and have an unobstructed view of the entire city.
Spurred by suburban sprawl and federal funds for rebuilding American downtowns, Tucson became an enthusiastic player in urban renewal in the1960s. Even after preservationists woke up and recommended the saving of 75 buildings in 1969, 68 were torn down. Our walking tour of downtown Tucson will seek out those expressions of Southwest architecture that still remain and we will begin where the town began over 230 years ago, which has been rebuilt to look like it looked back then...
Presidio San Agustín del Tucson
33 West Washington Street at southeast corner of Church Avenue
After American settlement began in Tucson in 1856 the walls of the original fortress constructed by Spanish conquistadors was gradually dismantled with the final section being removed in 1918. In 2007 the northeast corner of the original fort was reconstructed on its original site using traditional earth brickmaking techniques - minus the nine-foot trench that was created 200+ years ago in digging out the dirt for the 10-foot adobe walls. An historical timeline of the history of Tucson has been created through the re-created presidio.
WITH YOUR BACK TO THE PRESIDIO ON WASHINGTON STREET, TURN LEFT. TURN LEFT ON COURT AVENUE AND MAKE A QUICK RIGHT ON TELLES STREET.
Old Town Artisans
201 North Court Avenue at northwest corner of Telles Street
This was once the stable area for El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson and the site of some of the town’s earliest adobe structures after American occupation in the late 1850s. The buildings have been converted to shops and galleries today and you can still see makeshift ceilings crafted with saguaro cactus ribs, packing crates, and whiskey barrel staves. Also visit a Spanish-style courtyard and a converted 1920s filling station.
La Casa Cordova
end of Meyer Avenue and Telles Street
You could be looking at the oldest standing building in Tucson, whose two back rooms may have been constructed before the Gadsden Purchase of 1854 when this was a Sonoran village in Mexico. Historians peg that belief on a small structure that seems to be appear on the earliest known map of Tucson, drawn by Major D. Ferguson and by stories told by the Cordova family which acquired the property in 1936. True or not, the single-story, flat-roofed adobe house with doorways spilling directly onto the street is representative of tradition Mexican village houses. Note the splash of style added by the lintels above the door and window openings.
TURN RIGHT ON MEYER AVENUE. AT WASHINGTON STREET TURN LEFT AND WALK A FEW STEPS TO SEE...
Leonardo Romero House
1104 West Washington Street
The original Presidio wall ran along today’s Washington Street and parts of this adobe dwelling from the 1860s that sits flush with the street may even contain parts of it. It carries the name of the first known residents; Leonardo Romero was a skilled carpenters whose handiwork graces several early Tucson landmarks. The structure itself has been much altered in its 150 years, serving many masters.
RETRACE YOUR STEPS ON WASHINGTON STREET, CROSS MEYER AVENUE AND TURN LEFT ON COURT AVENUE.
El Charro Cafe
311 North Court Avenue
Jules Flin was a celebrated French stone mason who came to Tucson to build St. Augustine Cathedral and stayed to construct many buildings around town, including this one in 1896 that was the family home. Flin used black volcanic basalt rock to craft the residence, hauled from his claim on nearby Sentinel Peak. Monica Flin was the eldest in a brood of eight. She married and resettled in Mexico but after a second husband died in 1922 she returned to Tucson at the age of 35 and opened a one-room restaurant she named “El Charro” after the skilled horsemen she admired in Mexico. The restaurant thrived, skipping around town until 1968 when Monica Flin brought the eatery back to her homestead. Monica, who is well-known as “The Inventor of The Chimichanga,” was followed into the business by her niece and great niece and today the award-winning El Charro Cafe lays claim to being the oldest family-run Mexican restaurant in America.
TURN LEFT ON FRANKLIN STREET AND WALK TWO BLOCKS TO MAIN AVENUE.
Rosalia Verdugo House
323 North Main Street at northeast corner of Franklin Street
This traditional Sonoran adobe house covered in stucco was raised in 1877 with walls two feet thick. Although today its sports a modern roof you can still see the canales (drain pipes) that channeled any water off the roof onto Main Avenue.
297 North Main Street at southeast corner of Franklin Street
This elegant residence began life in the 1870s as a flat-roofed adobe similar to others in the neighborhood but took on Victorian airs as North Main Avenue evolved into the town’s most-sought after residential address, soon known as Snob Hollow. This one was gussied up by Julius and Marie Kruttschnitt after they purchased the house in 1912. Kruttschnitt was born in New Orleans and educated at Yale University. He was only 27 when he acquired this property, having come to Tucson to helm the American Smelting and Refinery Company. The Kruttschnitt House was treated roughly in middle age, being subdivided into apartments but its graceful dignity has been restored as a bed and breakfast.
300 North Main Avenue at southwest corner of Franklin Street
Few structures in town pack as much history inside its walls as this Spanish Mission-style hacienda. Start with the building itself and its architect, Henry Charles Trost. Trost hailed from Ohio where he attended art school and worked as an architectural draftsman. He worked his way around the West, developing a hankering for the design of the early Spanish missions of Northern Mexico and the American Southwest. He arrived in Tucson in 1899 when he was 39 and only stayed a few years before moving on to El Paso where he re-shaped that downtown as he became one of the country’s most prolific designer. Trost was hired to construct this building in 1900 by the Owl’s Club, that was formed by 13 Tucson movers and shakers in 1886. The Owls all had one thing in common - they were single men and it was not an easy thing to find a “suitable” wife in rough-and-tumble Tucson so the club was designed to promote their love lives. The frontier Club-Med stayed here only briefly before moving up to 378 North Main Avenue (you can take a quick detour to the next block to see their ornate next digs) and twelve of the 13 original Owls eventually did get hitched. The next owners of the brick and stucco mansion, in 1904, were Albert and Bettina Steinfeld. Steinfeld was born in Germany in 1854 but his family sailed for New York City when he was only eight years old. In 1876 he came to Tucson to work in his uncle William Zeckendorf’s store. A decade earlier, acting on a tip that Tucson was a booming town with no supplies, Zeckendorf’s brother Louie had loaded up 12 wagons of merchandise and set off on a four-month trip through Apache country from Albuquerque to peddle his wares. He indeed sold out his inventory. The next year he repeated his trip but when the goods didn’t move he opened a store instead. Family lore insists that the mild-mannered Steinfeld was so taken back by his first days in Tucson he was moved to tears. Among other things his colorful uncle was a hard-scrabble vigilante not unfamiliar with lynching parties. But Steinfeld persevered in the business and in 1904 opened the town’s go-to department store at Pennington Street and Stone Avenue that was a Tucson institution until 1984.
TURN LEFT ON MAIN AVENUE.
E. Cheyney House
252 North Main Avenue
24-year old David Holmes came to Tucson in 1898 to teach mechanical drawing at the Territorial University School of Mines, today the University of Arizona. Five years later, rather than pay to hire an architect, the school asked Holmes to design a gymnasium, still around today as Herring Hall. The small Roman Revival building was so well received that Holmes was given greater responsibility in developing the nascent campus. In 1905 when Tucson’s leading designer Henry Trost took off to El Paso, Holmes took the plunge and hung out his own architectural shingle with his brother Jack handling much of the business side. Holmes and Holmes quickly became the town’s go-to architects, designing over 30 buildings around downtown before David moved on to San Diego in 1912. David Holmes was among the most versatile of early Tucson designers and here he fashioned a Flemish-inspired residence for Annie Cheyney, the widow of postmaster George Cheney.
221 North Main Street
Brought to Pennsylvania from his native Wales, Sam Hughes had such a thick accent that he quit school after three days rather than endure the taunts of classmates and instead went to work in a cotton factory when he was 12 years old. Like thousands of other young Eastern men he headed for California to chase gold but found his fortune slinging hash and stew as a cook rather than sifting prospecting pans. Hughes arrived in Tucson in 1858 on his way to Texas to run cattle when he was 29 but he didn’t expect to see 30 as he was stricken with tuberculosis. In the Sonoran Desert he found his lungs clearing and he stayed to open a butcher shop and supply meat to the army camps and stage line inns. Hughes would live another 60 years, along the way investing in mining, newspapers, flour mills and gobbling up huge swaths of desert real estate as he became one of the Territory’s richest men. When he was 32 he fell in love with Atanacia Santa Cruz, not yet 12 years old, and they married in 1862. They built the core of this Greek Revival-flavored adobe house shortly thereafter and it grew significantly as Atanancia bore 15 children, 10 of whom survived beyond infancy.
J. Knox Corbett House
180 North Main Street at southeast corner of Washington Street
J. Knox Corbett followed his brothers to Tucson from South Carolina in 1881. William Corbett was appointed Postmaster and J. Knox slid into the position of assistant Postmaster in 1883, rising to the top spot in 1890. Four years later he started J. Knox Corbett Lumber which helped pay for this Mission Revival home in 1907. Corbett served as mayor of Tucson from 1915 until 1917, starting a family political legacy that included his son Hiram who was a state Republican operative and his nephew who was also a mayor. Hiram Corbett brought spring training baseball to Tucson in 1947 when he convinced Bill Veeck to switch his Cleveland Indians training camp from Florida to Arizona; the town’s municipal baseball stadium is named for Hi Corbett. The house remained in the Corbett family for over 50 years and now is administered by the Tucson Museum of Art.
Duffield-Stevens House/Fish House
151/119 North Main Street at northeast corner of Alameda Street
These two 1860s adobe structures are today wedded under the auspices of the Phoenix Museum of Art that caretakes five pioneer properties on its “Historic Block,” including the already seen Cordova House, Romero House and Corbett House. Hiram Stevens was a larger-than-life character around whom the politics of Tucson swirled and Edward Nye Fish was a New Bedford, Massachusetts man who sailed a ship around Cape Horn during the California Gold Rush loaded with pre-cut and ready-to-assemble lumber to build much-needed houses in San Francisco. Both arrived in Tucson in 1865 and during their stays in these well-to-do 19th century houses each entertained lavishly. The Stevens story, however, did not end happily. During the financial Panic of 1893 that swept the country he shot his wife and then himself; she survived, Hiram did not.
TURN LEFT ON ALAMEDA STREET.
255 West Alameda Street
The city government moved into this modern Brutalist style, 10-story home in 1967. The price tag was $1.9 million.
LOOK BEYOND CITY HALL TO SEE...
Sentinel Peak/A Mountain
southwest of downtown Tucson across Santa Cruz River
Sentinel Peak is a 2,897-foot basaltic ridge that takes it name from the days when a look-out was stationed on the mountain by the Presidio of Tucson to keep a wary eye out for Apache invaders. Basalt rock was often carted down the mountain to build walls and foundations in Tucson. Today many know the volcanic remnant as A Mountain, stemming from a 1916 whitewashing of rock forming the letter “A” by University of Arizona students. Since September 11, 2001 the traditionally white “A” has been painted red, white and blue in an expression of patriotic solidarity that happens to coincide with the school colors.
CONTINUE EAST ON ALAMEDA STREET AND TURN RIGHT ON CHURCH AVENUE.
Pima County Courthouse
115 North Church Avenue between Alameda and Pennington streets
This is the third courthouse to stand on this ground; the first was an adobe structure erected in 1868, the year after Tucson had been designated capital of Arizona Territory. Architect Roy Place blended Spanish Colonial and Moorish influences for this courthouse in 1929. Place learned his architecture in Chicago and Boston before coming to Tucson at the age of 30 in 1917. For the next three decades he would do more to shape the look of Tucson’s streetscape than any other designer. Most of Place’s Spanish Colonial creations have disappeared and the Pima County Courthouse stands as the best example of his work. Dressed in pink stucco, the massive cement dome is layered with colorful ceramic tile.
One South Church
1 South Church at southeast corner of Congress Street
This is the tallest building in Tucson and the thirteenth tallest in the state. Completed in 1986 it stands 330 feet tall.
TURN LEFT ON CONGRESS STREET.
Fox Tucson Theater
17 West Congress Street
The Fox began life on April 11, 1930 with a screening of the romantic musical Chasing Rainbows that introduced the song “Happy Days Are Here Again.” Arizona film impresario Nicholas Diamos built the theater but before it opened Fox Studios offered to buy the movie house. The offer was “sell or we will build a larger theater across the street.” Designed by Eugene Durfee, the Fox is considered the only Southwestern Art Deco movie palace. It followed a similar life arc to its fellow downtown movie theater cousins across the United States and was done in by suburban malls and television in the 1960s and 1970s. It was one of the lucky ones, however, and dodged demolition long enough after its closing in 1974 to receive a $13 million preservationist makeover.
Consolidated National Bank/Chase Bank
2 East Congress Street at southeast corner of Stone Avenue
This was Tucson’s first skyscraper, raised in 1929 and completed just 18 days before the New York stock market crashed. Consolidated National Bank was the oldest and largest bank in the city welding Tucson’s first banking house, The Pima County Bank with the bank of D. Henderson. Master architects Albert R. Walker and Percy A. Eisen came from Los Angeles to provide the Beaux Arts styling for the banking temple that is fashioned with brick and cream-colored terra cotta on its show sides. A slender red-tiled roof hangs over the edges. Walker and Eisen followed the convention that had been followed for forty years in designing skyscrapers to resemble a classical three-part column with a defined base (the elaborate ground floors) a shaft (the unadorned center floors) and a capital (the ornate upper floors and cornice). It was an old-fashioned way to build skyscrapers in 1929 and would seldom be seen again but was new to Tucson.
TURN RIGHT ON STONE AVENUE. TURN LEFT ON BROADWAY BOULEVARD.
55 East Broadway Boulevard at northwest corner of Scott Avenue
No grand columns or temple-like pediments for this federal building that was constructed in 1929 to house the post office on the ground floor and court rooms above. The Neoclassical detailing from James Wetmore, Supervising Architect of the Treasury, is so unassuming you have to look hard to find the main entrance.
TURN LEFT ON SCOTT AVENUE. TURN RIGHT ON CONGRESS STREET.
130 East Congress Street at southeast corner of 6th Avenue
Walk around Tucson in the early 1900s and you would see streets lined with substantial masonry commercial buildings like this one designed in 1903 by David Holmes for the Los Angeles Furniture Company. In 1919 the Chicago Music Store moved into the expansive space and have been supplying Tucson will all types of musical instruments ever since. The Chicago Store even took a star turn in Martin Scorcese’s 1974 slice-of-life feature Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore when 12-year old Jodie Foster shoplifts here.
311 East Congress Street at northeast corner of 5th Avenue
The two-story Hotel Congress opened in 1919, just before the enactment of Prohibition. As it approaches its centennial Club Congress, with four bars, has been celebrated as one of the best watering holes in America. Alexander Curlett, who was one of the most stylish architects working in Los Angeles during its go-go days of the 1920s, provided the design for the guest house that greeted passengers disembarking from Southern Pacific trains. The Hotel Congress entered American cultural lore in 1934 when a fire swept through the upper floor, forcing the evacuation of guests that happened to include bank robber John Dillinger and his gang who were hiding out under assumed names. The 30-year old Dillinger, demonized as “Public Enemy Number One” by law enforcement, was soon captured, an arrest that the city celebrates each year during “Dillinger Days.”
318 East Congress Street
At the same time Alexander Curlett was working on the Congress Hotel for his father William’s architectural firm across the street, he was also designing one of the town’s earliest movie palaces here. The money man behind the Rialto was entertainment pioneer Emanuel Drachman, whose father Philip and uncle Samuel did much to shape the early Arizona Territory. Emanuel, known as Manny, managed an early Tucson baseball team and as a pticher is said to have thrown the first curve ball seen by Arizona hitters. In 1903 Drachman set up a screen and hand-cranked projector in Elysian Grove Park and began showing the first movies in town. Ownership of the Rialto transferred to corporate hands in the 1930s and it operated as the Paramount until going dark in 1963. After a rocky middle age that saw lengthy bouts of vacancy between stints as a Spanish movie house and porno theater the Rialto has emerged as a performance venue.
TURN LEFT ON O’TOOLE AVENUE.
Southern Pacific Depot/Amtrak Station
400 North Toole Avenue
The first Southern Pacific train reached Tucson on March 20, 1880, pulling into a small wooden depot located here. In 1907 the town received this Spanish Colonial-style passenger station from the drawing board of Southern Pacific architect Daniel J. Patterson. The City purchased the property in 1998 and restored the depot and several outbuildings. Today the city is serviced several times a week by the Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle Amtrak trains.
TURN LEFT ON 5TH AVENUE AND FOLLOW SOUTH ACROSS CONGRESS STREET TO BROADWAY BOULEVARD.
178-188 East Broadway Boulevard at southwest corner of 5th Avenue
This two-story commercial brick building with hints of Georgian Revival styling (note the keystone inserts above the windows) was constructed in 1917. The Hotel Lewis, spiffed up with screened-in porches, operated on the second floor and retail clients took the ground floor. Tucson’s first indoor automobile showroom was in the Julian-Drew Building. The space received a complete makeover in 1994.
TURN RIGHT ON BROADWAY BOULEVARD. TURN LEFT ON 6TH AVENUE.
135 South 6th Avenue
The Middle Ages in Great Britain saw the banding together of tradesmen into guilds to promote business and fellowship. The carpenters had their own guild, the bricklayers had their own guild and so on. Trades that did not have a large number of practitioners welded into hodgepodge guilds known as Odd Fellows. In 19th century America an International Order of Odd Fellows lodge building, usually exuberantly ornate, could be found in virtually every town. The Odd Fellows organized in Tucson in 1881, this Odd Fellows Hall dates to 1919. Across the street is the site of the Santa Rita Hotel, Tucson’s fanciest guest house from the time of its construction in 1904, the type of place where movie stars, captains of industry and big-name politicians would sign the guest register. The five-story hotel, the town’s largest building in its time, was torn down in 1972.
The Rubi House
175 East 12th Street at northeast corner of 6th Avenue
Owen T. Rouse was Kentucky-born and Missouri-raised. He became a busy attorney in rural Missouri and won election to the State Senate in 1880 but his political career stalled after four years. President Grover Cleveland appointed Rouse United States Attorney for Arizona and he eventually became a long-tenured Territorial judge. He had this Neoclassical house with curving Corinthian portico constructed in 1907. Its name today, Rubi House, comes not from its exuberant restoration but from a subsequent owner, a Justice of the Peace named Pete Rubi.
221 South 6th Avenue at southeast corner of 12th Street
Camp Tucson replaced the Tucson Presidio in 1860 and was captured by Confederate Texans in 1862. A corps of California volunteers re-took the fort and renamed it Post Tucson, managing the movement of supplies for the Union Army through the Territory. In 1866 regular Army troops took over the abandoned post and and named it Camp Lowell in honor of a young officer killed in the just ended Civil War. The often exuberant soldiers and the townsfolk did not always mix and Camp Lowell was shifted seven miles out of town. Armory Park, where troops camped and paraded, remains as a souvenir of those martial times. The senior center is a 1975 addition, raised among war memorials to heroes from the Spanish-American War, World War One and the Mormon Batallion of 1846.
Children’s Museum Tucson
200 6th Avenue at southeast corner of 12th Street
In 1901 Scottish-born industrialist Andrew Carnegie sold his steel company for $400 million and became the world’s richest man. He set out to give away all his money and one of his pet projects was public libraries. He funded over 2,500 of them around the world, including four in Arizona. Tucson received $25,000 which was used for its library, which lent books for 90 years until it closed in 1991. Henry Trost provided the Neoclassical design, the style favored by the trustees at the Carnegie Foundation. As soon as the books were cleared out the Children’s Museum Tucson, that had started five years earlier in a single room building at Ft. Lowell Park, moved in. At the 6th Street entrance is the Pioneer memorial, a curving chunk of onyx sculpted by Beniamino Bufano in 1920.
WALK BACK TO 12TH STREET AND TURN LEFT, WALKING PAST THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM. AT THE END OF THE BLOCK, WHERE 12TH STREET ENDS, IS...
Tucson Scottish Rite
160 South Scott Avenue at southwest corner of Ochoa Street
The first organizational meeting of Scottish Rite Masonry in Tucson was held on April 18, 1875 and six weeks later Santa Rita Lodge of Perfection No. 1, Territory of Arizona, held its first class of seven initiates on June 3, 1875. The lodge did not take, however, and was forced to surrender its charter in 1886. With the new century came stirring of the Scottish Rite once again and by 1916 the Masons were able to move into this Neoclassical temple. The Masons reached out to Henry Charles Trost, then in El Paso, for the design for the Cathedral - it was the last major building he would design in the town he did much to decorate fifteen years earlier.
TURN LEFT ON SCOTT AVENUE AND RIGHT ON CORRAL STREET, MOVING PAST THE SCOTTISH RITE CATHEDRAL. AT STONE AVENUE TURN RIGHT.
St. Augustine Cathedral
192 South Stone Avenue between Ochoa and Corral streets
The mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson traces its beginnings back to the chapel of the Presidio of San Agustin in 1776. The parish was revived in 1866 and a house of worship constructed two years later. The current two-towered cathedral was completed in 1897 in the Mexican Baroque image of the cathedral of the central-Mexican city of Querétaro. The outside of the building is dressed in cast stone decorated with native desert plants.
Old Pueblo Club
101 South Stone Avenue at southeast corner of Jackson Street
This century-old building boasts a royal Tucson architectural pedigree - it was designed in 1907 by David Holmes and received a makeover in 1932 from Roy Place. It was the first building in Tucson to be clad in buff-colored California brick. Members of the Gentlemen’s Club enjoyed the use of a bowling alley, gymnasium, billiards room, dining privileges and a rooftop garden. The club operated into the early 1990s.
Bank of America Plaza
33 North Stone Avenue at southwest corner of Pennington Street
The Bank of America Plaza was built in 1977 and reigned for a decade as the town’s tallest building.
Montgomery Ward Building/Roy Place Building
44 North Stone Street at southeast corner of Pennington Street
Hyped up on urban renewal in the mid-20th century, Tucson city planners tore down or covered up most of the town’s Spanish Colonial face. Many of those buildings were designed by esteemed architect Roy Place, who kept his office in this building which he designed in 1929. When the corner building was rescued from its modernist makeover and the original Spanish Colonial trappings restored in 2010, the building was also re-named to recognize its creator.
100 North Stone Avenue at northeast corner of Pennington Street
The Tucson of the 1920s was a town of two- and three-story buildings until T.N. McCauley blew into town, acquired control of the Consolidated National Bank and announced he was going to build the first high-rise downtown. Shortly thereafter department store magnate Albert Steinfeld and his son Harold released their plans for the Pioneer Hotel that would do McCauley’s ten-story bank and office building one story better. Roy Place drew up the plans and the two towers went up almost simultaneously - Consolidated Bank was first, the Pioneer Hotel was higher and the two lorded over the Tucson skyline unchallenged for years. The Pioneer - and the city of Tucson - were changed forever shortly after midnight on December 20, 1970 when fire broke out in the hotel with open stairwells and no sprinklers. Twenty-nine people, some leaping from upper story windows, died in the conflagration that was the town’s worst ever catastrophe. Harold Steinfeld and his wife Margaret, who lived in the 11th floor penthouse, perished from smoke inhalation. Louis Taylor, a teen-ager was convicted of starting the deadly fire and he remains in prison, refusing to apply for parole because it would force him to confess to a crime he claims he did not commit. The hotel closed in 1974 and the original facade masked under new cladding; the building now houses offices and apartments.
Wells Fargo Bank
150 North Stone Avenue
Henry Wells and William Fargo organized a joint-stock company in 1852 to provide banking and express services to Gold Rush pioneers. Tucson was selected to be the company’s first Arizona office, at first handling mostly shipments of silver and later fruits and vegetables from the irrigated desert cropland. This Wells Fargo branch was initially constructed in 1955 for First Interstate Bank; the architectural firm of Place and Place, with Lew Place at the head after the death of his famous father five years earlier, dipped back to the Italian Renaissance for the building that is dominated by a pair of arcades of seven arches stacked upon one another.
Pima County Public Library
101 North Stone Avenue at northwest corner of Pennington Street
The first books were lent in Tucson from a room in City Hall in 1883. The library moved to this location in 1990 into the footprint of the city’s last full-service department store, Jácome’s. Carlos Jácome was an employee of Louie Zeckendorf’s early Tucson store who struck out on his own in 1896. Jácome’s red-and-green packages were a staple of Tucson life for 84 years; the plaza out front remembers the family retailer.
TURN LEFT ON ALAMEDA STREET AND TURN RIGHT ON CHURCH AVENUE TO RETURN TO THE TOUR STARTING POINT AT THE TUCSON PRESIDIO.