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.
Showing posts with label History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label History. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Historic Blenman Inn

This excellent piece by KGUN9 tells a good story about the Blenman Inn today and how it came to be. Margo and Rob Caylor are the owners of the inn and have preserved its historic character while offering comfortable accommodations to the traveling public. Margo is an accomplished amateur historian and has filled in many details of the house's history and its most significant residents. I've had the pleasure of touring the inn and it is even more appealing in person. 

You can view the video by clicking below: 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Railroad Coal Tower

 There has been some listserv discussion recently regarding a coal tower the railroad used to fuel its steam locomotives back in the day. Tod Santee did a post  that inspired me to do a search for the matter in the Star archives. Here is what Tod had to say: 

  "Up until way back in '97-'98 or so, there was an historic coal tower straddling the tracks almost directly east of 16th St & Toole.  One day we found out Union Pacific or Southern Pacific RR was preparing to knock it down with a wrecking ball but only because of the news that a homeless guy who had apparently been living inside the upper part for a few years when he came to Tucson during his transience.  He climbed out on the roof of it basically daring the wreckers to "go ahead and try" according to so news reports & interviews he got with the Star.

Sunday, September 12, 2021


For those seeking more background on a historic home, here is another source. The Arizona State Historic Property Inventory is the survey report which was written in 1974 as part of the application for National Historic Residential status. The entry for each property includes a description of the house, information regarding the owner at that time drawings of the house footprint and pictures. Like any history resource, not all information may be accurate. For example, my house is listed as constructed in 1905. The Sanborn insurance map shows the house in 1901. The 1901 Tucson directory lists two men living at the address. Nevertheless, The description and period photos give me an idea of what changes have been made to the house since 1974. Additional work was done in 1993 so some information is from that year.

If you are doing a project requiring historic review, The information will tell you how the property was at the time the historic district was formed. The board will want to retain the details of the house during the period of significance (1860s to 1945). The 1974 survey is the earliest reliable information available.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Aerial Photos

There has been some  interest in aerial photos of the neighborhood. Here is a link that was recommended:

For copyright reasons, I can't put those images here but you can take a look. 


This is Armory Park in 2019 from Google Maps. It is essentially what you see today including Armory Park del Sol. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

History Feedback - Wow!

I'm greatly impressed by all the feedback and historic vignettes about people and places in our neighborhood history. Two preserve all of this as a basis for future articles, I'm posting the essence of the emails responding to the request I made for feedback and historic tips. I am seeking collaborators and history leads to discover more of our history. If anyone is good at recording oral histories (I'm not), that would be especially useful. 

Monday, September 6, 2021

Controversial Use of Public Spaces

We may think debates about the use of public spaces is only a current concern (think Children's Museum). History tells us that this has been a long term concern that surfaces from time to time. The Arizona Daily Star of January 7, 1926 (ten pages, 5 cents a copy) contained the following: 

Contention that the proposed creation of a recreation park out of Armory park will result in irreparable damage to the park by the destruction of large trees and palms and the erection of unsightly structures in the park is set forth In a suit filed at 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon against the city of Tucson and Mayor John IL White by Francis M. Hartman and Mae B. Hartman in which they seek an order from the superior court restraining the city from carrying out the proposed plan. 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Four Named Streets

Most Armory Park streets are designated with numbers but there are four with names that have a connection to early residents of Tucson. I was unable to find the namesakes of Bean and Russell Avenues. If you come across something about them, please let me know. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

History for the rich only?

Some things seem never to change. This 1977 article addresses some of the issues we still talk about today, gentrification, affordable housing, preserving historic structures, crime and more. I'll continue after the newspaper article. . .

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Tucson's Living History


There is a wealth of history in the archives of Tucson's two main newspapers. The Citizen is now gone but its archives are kept by the Arizona Daily Star and are available from by subscription. 

A previous post talked about Connie Weinzapfel as a railroad man who lived in Armory Park. This clipping outlines his historic interest and service to historic preservation in Armory Park. 

Monday, August 30, 2021

Constant Weinzapfel - Armory Park's Locomotive Engineer

The Southern Pacific Railroad and railroad people built early Armory Park. I've been searching for history of the company and people who gave our neighborhood its start. 

The following paragraphs were extracted from a 2001 article in the Tucson Weekly. The subjects were Connie Weinzapfel and engine #1673, now located at the downtown train depot. If you want to read the entire article, click here: The Engine and the Engineer.

Connie Weinzapfel was born into a railroad family. His father, Michael Charles, or M.C., worked for the Illinois Central railroad company for seven years before moving west in 1911 for his wife's health. Over the next 39 years he would be both a fireman and engineer for Southern Pacific.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

 I've started posting history articles in the History web pages. The most recent is about the railroads that helped to shape Tucson. The Southern Pacific was the principal force in the creation of the Armory Park neighborhood. Railroad employees at various levels of the company owned or rented in Armory Park. The land on which Armory Park del Sol is situated was railroad property until recent decades.