1560 West Grant Road
Tucson, AZ 85745
Phone: (520) 547-1755
Fax: (520) 547-1754
You don't have to drive very far to see the desert wildlife in Tucson. In fact, some coyotes have become quite urbanized here. Greasewood Park is a particularly good spot to view wildlife. Anklam Wash, a natural corridor for coyotes, javelins and other desert critters can be found running right through it. The park doesn't have many other attractions or facilities except some picnic tables and grills, but the abundant desert vegetation is a sight most foreign visitors will appreciate.
This building in downtown Tucson always catches the attention of tourists due to its pink exterior and eclectic architecture. It was actually built in 1902 according to the design of Chicago architect Louis Sullivan, with geometrical friezes, Sonoran-style drainpipes sticking out underneath the roof, and a facade that imitates the Spanish missions of the Southwest. Formerly the home of the Fraternal Order of Owls (as signified by the sculpted owl looking down on the street from the top level), the building is now a private residence. Your appreciation of the architecture will have to be limited to the outside.
Built in 1900 and bought by Tucson department store owner Abert Steinfeld in an upscale downtown district formerly known as Snob Hollow, this amazing mansion is a fine example of architect Henry Trosts's passion for the Mission Revival style. Note the arched portico and tiled roof, features reminiscent of the Spanish missions of Northern Mexico and the American Southwest, and take a minute to rest in the cool, shaded courtyard. Access is free. Today, the building houses several private offices, which limits your visit to the outside view.
Old Town Artisans is a place not to be missed when sightseeing in downtown Tucson. The old adobe structure in the historic Presidio district invites visitors to explore its shops, galleries and restaurants, or to just sit and relax in the wonderful courtyard shaded by palm trees. It's a kind of art shopping center catering to tourists eagerly looking for souvenirs from the Southwest. In fact, it offers everything from Navajo rugs to dried prickly pear jam.
Mexican-American families have continuously inhabited this house until it was incorporated into the downtown Museum of Art Historic Block in the 1970s. Named after its last resident, Maria Navarette Cordova, it has now become a Mexican heritage museum. Its rooms have been restored to the original style with a replica of the old Spanish garrison at this location on display. A good time to visit is during Christmas when folk art nacimientos, or nativity scenes, are shown inside.
This house was one of the centers of Tucson's upper-class social scene in the 19th century. It was formerly the home of cattle baron Hiram Sanford Stevens, and it was here where he shot his wife and killed himself after his cattle business went awry. (His wife survived, though, since the bullet ricocheted off a comb in her hair). After those unfortunate incidents, happier times came to the house with the arrival of the upscale Janos restaurant from 1970 until recently, when Janos was evicted to make room for the Tucson Museum of Art next door to expand, an act which has caused much controversy among Tucsonans.
This house is a fine example of 19th century Tucson architecture. The Fish House, named after a prominent Tucson businessman, is made from adobe, which is essentially dried mud and bricks, materials that have for centuries provided excellent insulation in the either cold or extremely hot climates of the Southwest. As is common in this style of architecture, the ceiling is laced with saguaro cactus ribs. The building presently houses the Tucson Museum of Art's Western Art collection.
Tucson Museum of Art proudly features pieces created by artists in American West and Latin American. Most of the pieces are also contemporary modern in nature. The museum also features works by some of Arizona's most talented artists. Children under 12 and members are admitted free of charge and it's free for all on the first Sunday of the month. If art is what intrigues you, especially that of a local variety, then this place is a must-visit.
This courthouse, designed in 1928 in Spanish Colonial style, is a nice architectural homage to Tucson's Spanish-Mexican past. If you are downtown, take your time to stroll around and view the building from all sides. Explore the courtyard and its arcade, created by arches and columns, or sit by the cool water of the fountain. The best part of the complex is actually its glittering tiled dome in vaguely Moorish style. Finally, walk upstairs (security check required) to see the only remaining piece of the original Presidio walls displayed there. Access is free during office hours.
Sonora is presently the most controversial piece of public art in Tucson. Since its installation in 1991, the painted steel structure in front of the main library downtown has elicited hostile responses from residents as well as very mixed reviews from the media. According to artist, Black, the concept was taken from Tucson's natural environment, reflecting the serrated peaks of the Sonoran desert and the cascading streams in Sabino Canyon, yet some people do not appreciate the stark contrast to the austere architecture of the library building in both style and color. You'll just have to go and see for yourself.
This building, designed in 1929 by Los Angeles architect M. Eugene Durfee, once belonged to the chain of movie theaters showing Fox Studio productions and was decorated with those Art Deco motifs that were typical of the movie houses of the period. After long years of falling into disrepair and neglect since 1974, it is now in the process of being renovated and revitalized, due to the much-publicized efforts of a group of conservationist citizens. Today it hosts a variety of live performances, including concerts, musicals, and lectures.
Built in 1929, this building has the distinction of being Tucson's first skyscraper, towering high over the one-level houses that gave Tucson its distinct Western town character. From 1935 well into the 1990s, it was known as the Valley National Bank Building until another, bigger corporation took over. Today, higher structures dominate the Tucson skyline, but this particular building, apart from its historic impact, still derives some charm from the tree-shaded brick patio on its south side, which is always welcome in the brutal Tucson summer. Visitors may enjoy free access to the lobby during business hours.