This is a place for discussions of historic preservation in Armory Park, and what benefits and challenges it presents. Local history is another subject addressed here and in web pages. I will publish articles here when it seems helpful; readers are invited to comment. To support the mission of this site, acceptable comments are those that contribute to reasonable historic preservation, better understanding of our history and serve the interests of Armory Park residents. Others may be invited to post here also. Please let me know if you want to do so.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Tucson's Historic Neighborhoods (and styles)

 The City has been involved in historic preservation since the middle 1970 so there are resources available from the City's web pages. One such resource is a PDF titled Tucson's Historic Neighborhoods. Armory Park is but one of the many such neighborhoods. You might find it interesting to learn more about the others. For me, the descriptions and drawings of the various styles of residential architecture is more interesting. You can find information on both subjects at this link:

The dominant Armory Park style is the bungalow. Commonly, a two bedroom residence and always single story with a pyramidal shaped roof, this was a common style across the country in the early decades of the 20th century. A feature separating our bungalows from those of the East, is the gable vent usually found here. If you search online for images of bungalows, you will rarely see the gable or dormer vent in cooler climates. 

Early Armory Park bungalows usually have exposed brick exteriors though some have been covered with stucco. Some others are adobe brick covered with stucco and may have been redecorated in the craftsman style when that was fashionable. The early bungalows usually have an asymmetrical fa├žade with a porch opposite a front room which is often a parlor but sometimes was an office space. Home businesses were common and this room may have been an office for a doctor or lawyer. This is a reason that two "front doors" are often seen. 

The other common reason for two front doors is for access to the apartments of our ubiquitous small duplexes. Because each apartment is quite small, a number have been converted to single family residences. Both front doors remain to preserve the historic appearance after the conversion. 

The early bungalows are often termed anglo-territorial. They were built during the territorial period but reflected the preferences of the arriving easterners. The railroad not only brought residents to Tucson, they also brought the fired bricks that made the "new" styles possible. The brick homes facing our major avenues were usually home to mid-level railroad employees. There are a few larger homes on 4th and Stone Avenues owned by higher level individuals. More of the larger houses are in the West University neighborhood. 

Because of the extensive "period of significance" for Armory Park (1860s - 1945), we have the greatest diversity of architectural styles of any Tucson neighborhood, ranging from the Velasco House on Stone Avenue to the few 1945 structures. 

Future articles will address the styles of the various periods and the features associated with them. Until then, take a look at the information in the link above and enjoy learning more about our diverse architecture. 

Please share your comments and questions after you have considered the information here. 

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