On a typically hot late June day,I visited the Tucson Art Museum and appreciated its fine collection of Twentieth Century Art with American western themes.Painters well-represented at this relatively small art museum included Joseph Sharp,Oscar Berninghaus("Trail Through Snow"),Olaf Weighorst("Trails of Navajos"),Robert Henri,Nicholas Fechin,Maynard Dixon,and Clark Hulings("Grand Canyon").There also were fine more recent paintings by Fritz Scholder,Howard Post("Bullpen'),and Thomas Waddell.There were also fine Contemporary creations by Luis Jiminez.Although this art museum is limited in scope.I nevertheless appreciated its Southwestern American ambience.This art museum is open from Wednesday through Sunday and closed on Monday and Tuesday.+
Before I had my son, I took my 12 year old daughter with me anywhere I went. One of her favorite things to do was feeding the pigeons downtown Tucson. On one such occasion, we stumble upon the timeline of Southern Arizona. Located on Almeida street is a small area designated to the history and time line of Southern Arizona. The 12,000 year long history is broken down on black plaques explaining what transpired up until now . . . The time line runs in a zig zag pattern that leads to El Presidio Park. On August 20, 1775 Captain Hugo O'Connor selected the site for the presidio San Agustin Del Tucson in what is now down town Tucson.
On October 24 Captain Juan Bautista de Anza and his soldiers passed through Tucson with nearly two hundred people from Mexico heading to San Francisco to establish a presidio there in California.There is more to it, I just didn't get enough information. If you spend some time in Tucson, you will find that it is a city rich in history, culture and people. Beside touring the down town area, there is much more to do in the out skirts.
I have written a few more things to do while in Tucson including; the Pima Air & Space Museum, Arizona State Museum, Tucson Museum of Art, Biosphere 2, Titan Missile Museum, Desert museum, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Saguaro National Park, Kitt Peak National Observatory,Tohono Chul Park, Old Tucson Studios, Tucson Botanical Gardens, University of Arizona museum of art and many more.
While exploring and once you pass the Leonardo Romero home is this small section of adobe wall with a plaque on it and it reads:
About 400 people, including 100 soldiers, lived inside the fort. When not performing their military duties, the soldiers grew crops in the Santa Cruz River floodplain and tended livestock herds in the surrounding area. Many of the soldiers were married. Women cared for the children, washed clothing, tended gardens and baked bread in outdoor ovens. Children also worked tending fields and watching the cattle and sheep herds. Near the fort were O'odham and Apache Manso settlements.
The Plaza de las Armas was a center of actitivity within the presidio. In this view, looking to the south towards the mountains, two mounted light cavalry soldiers are returing from traveling a mule train traveling from the Presidio of Altar. Nearby an Apache Indian leads a carreta(cart) loaded with mesquite logs to be used in the construction of roof vigas (rafters). Other presidio residents are engaged in their daily chores in front of their homes lining the interior of the presidio walls.
While exploring old downtow Tuscon, while I was taking a picture of a Little Piece of History tip, this wonderful lady was standing there checking her phone. I was a little surprised because I came up behind her and she paid me no mind. (Do NOT do this when your downtown and always be aware of your surroundings and people PLEASE!) Well I coughed and said excuse me so she would know I was coming up behind her so I could take a picture. She was excited I was exploring Tuscon and started to tell myself and my hubby the whole history of the Tuscon and the Presidio. She asked if I was following the Blue Line and I said no. She said look down and we did and there was this somewhat faded blue line. She said follow it and it will take you to all the historic buidings or sites of Tuscon. We asked if she was a teacher of history, she no, but she said she works for the city and arranges the cities events. So follow the BLUE LINE...lol!
Downtown Walking Tour Map in PDF
This area at the base of Sentinel Peak, or A Mountains, has been called the birthplace of Tuscon. It has been a place of human habitation agriculture and irrigation for several millennia. Tuscon is derived from teh O'odham word "Chuk Shon", which means "at the foot of the mountain." Sentinel Plaza honors the early cultures of this area. The main features of the Plaza are the Sentinels, four sculptural monoliths which face Sentinel Peak. They are constructed of rammed earth. Earth was one of the building materials of the early peoples, as can be seen today in the great ruins of Casa Grande National Monument. The smaller tiled monolith is a symbol for bultural origins. The black "spirit" line is a symbol for cultural energy, as it flows through and unites the site. It is also a water symbol, an echo of the adjacent Santa Cruz River, which was an important resource drawing human settlement. Water symbols are also seen in the curving pavement design, and in the wave patterns of the bronze cap and tiles of the small monolith. The motifs of the other applied tiles on site are the artist interpretations of Hohokam pottery designs and the flora and fauna of our Sonoran desert.
by RLV Arts (Judith Stewart, Chuck Sternberg, Andrew Rush, Joy Fox, Bob Vint)
The railroad reached Tucson in 1880. The current building is the "new" station that was built in 1907. Legend has it that Wyatt Earp pursued and shot the man he accused of murdering his brother, Morgan, on the tracks here. The S.P.R.R., building the nation's second transcontinental tail line eastward from California, reached Tucson on March 20, 1880. It was the occasion for one of the greatest celebrations in the history of the city and foretold the coming of a new era of fast, reliable and inexpensive transportation, bringing increased growth, development and prosperity. The original station, built in 1880, was a large wooden structure with offices, freight and passenger accommodations. It was replaced by the present depot, built on the same site in 1907.
The S.P.R.R., building the nation's second transcontinental tail line eastward from California, reached Tucson on March 20, 1880. It was the occasion for one of the greatest celebrations in the history of the city and foretold the coming of a new era of fast, reliable and inexpensive transportation, bringing increased growth, development and prosperity. The original station, built in 1880, was a large wooden structure with offices, freight and passenger accommodations. It was replaced by the present depot, built on the same site in 1907.
The venerable Hotel Congress, designed by well-known architect, Roy Place, is the last surviving historic hotel in downtown Tucson. This three-story landmark was built in 1919 with exposed masonry construction and marble details. The hotel, south of the railroad depot, was convenient to railroad passengers arriving in Tucson. The elegant lobby and dining room provided a degree of refinement for winter visitors on their western adventure. A January 1934 fire destroyed the original third floor and inadvertently resulted in the capture of John Dillinger and his gang several days later. The Hotel Congress and the Rialto Theatre defined the east end of the commercial district on Congress Street.
El reconocido Hotel Congress, obra del afamado arquitecto, Roy Place, es el único sobreviviente de los hotels historicos del centro de Tucson. Este edificio de tres pisos fue construido en 1919 de ladrillo a la vista con detalles de mármol. El hotel, al sur de la estación del ferrocarril, era conveniente para pasajeros llegando a Tucson por tren. La recepción y comedor elegantes ofrecían un alto grado de refinamiento a los visitantes que durante el invierno venían a su aventura del oeste. Un incendio en enero de 1934 destruyó el tercer piso e inadvertidamente llevó a la captura de John Dillinger y su pandilla pocos días después. El Hotel Congress marcaban el limite oriental del sector comercial de Tucson.
This charming, historic hotel is located in the heart of downtown Tucson's East End. 40 rooms retain their timeless appeal with vintage radios and antique iron beds, and feature private bathrooms and air conditioning. A fully operational 1930s-era switchboard and the rumble of occasional trains contribute to the ambiance. Downstairs, enjoy our beautiful lobby, or dine in the award-winning Cup Café. Pull up a stool in the Tap Room, enjoy a show at Club Congress, or book a special event in the Copper Hall banquet facilities.
Hotel rooms $75-$129.
The Fox Tucson Theatre, the country's only southwestern art deco movie palace, was designed by California architect Eugene Durfee. Construction began in 1929 for the Tower Theatre, the crown jewel of the Diamos Brothers Southern Arizona Movie Theatre chain. Fox West Coast Theatres leased the building from the Diamoses and renamed it the Fox Theatre, opening on April 11, 1930, it soon became the community center of Tucson. In 1936, it became the city's first public building to have refrigerated air. Unoccupied from 1974 to 1998, it deteriorated. Revival efforts began in 1997, and in 1999 the Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation was formed to restore the theatre. Through extensive efforts of volunteers led by Fox Foundation executive director Herb Stratford, the faithfully restored Fox Tucson Theatre reopened on New Year's Eve 2005. The Theatre was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 2003, and elevated to the national level of significance on April 16, 2004.
Just outside the Presidio along the wall and along the sidewalks are small markers located on the ground. This is the timeline of who and what was here before the presidio and after it was here. It is very educational.
Near this site was the southwest corner of the adobe wall that surrounded the Spanish Presidio, an enclosure of 11 ¼ acres which included most of the present city – county governmental complex and the Art Museum block. Tucson was the largest fort in a chain of Spanish frontier posts extending from the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of California., designed to protect the northern border of New Spain. Main Street, originally the "Camino Real," paralleled the west side of the presidio and linked Tucson with Spanish settlements from Mexico to California.
Muro Presidial y Camino Real
Cerca de este sitio establa la esquina suroeste del muro del presidio español, encerrando una superficie de casi cinco hectareas, incluyendo hoy la mayor parte de las cuadras del gobierno regional y del Museo del Arte. Tucsón era el fuerte más grande de una gardena de puntos fronterizos españoles extendiendo del Golfo de México al Golfo de California para guardar la frontera norteña de la Nueva España. La Calle Main, antes el Camino Real, corriendo al lado oeste del presidio, enlazó Tuscón con poblaciones españolas desde México a California.
The Presidio was established in 1775 and remained standing till 1856. Sadly the walls were torn down in 1918. They reconstructed the 20 ft adobe tower and 10 foot high walls. It is living history between October and April, where you can learn the crafts during its days and listen to the old stories that are still told. Since 1918, archaeologists have uncovered portions of the fort, and historians have located documents describing its appearance. These sources were used in this reconstruction of the northeast corner of the presidio, a city projects completed in 2007. It was not opened when we were exploring, but you can look in at the main gate at least.%c
This house is named for its first know residents, living here in 1868. Although construction dates are not known, the Washington Street wing lies along the course of the Presidio wall, completed in 1783. Leonardo Romero, a carpenter whose shop was located on the Meyer Street side, was well-known for his work on such landmarks as San Augustine Cathedral, the Convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph, and early restoration at San Xavier Mission. The house, much altered, has variously served as residences, shops, offices, studios, restaurants, a gas station, photo laboratory, an art museum and classrooms.
This house is named for its first know residents, living here in 1868. Although construction dates are not known, the Washington Street wing lies along the course of the Presidio wall, completed in 1783. Leonardo Romero, a carpenter whose shop was located on the Meyer Street side, was well-known for his work on such landmarks as San Augustine Cathedral, the Convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph, and early restoration at San Xavier Mission.