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.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

The AZ Republic Likes Armory Park

The reputation of Armory Park as a historic gem even extends to Phoenix. This article appeared on the website on 10/15/21. 

Armory Park 

Armory Park, just south of the city center, is the first residential district in Tucson to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, according to the Blenman-Elm Neighborhood Association.

The front garden of Armory Park, The Children's Museum, serves as a playground for children in  Tucson, July 29, 2021.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Research Team

History research can be a team sport. Finding historic details is like a detective story. Success is built on leads, tips and networking with others who may have a part of the picture. Put these things together and another bit of Armory Park history emerges. I would like to facilitate collaboration among the Armory Park residents who are interested in our history. 

There are two ways for you history buffs to stay engaged. The easiest is to become a follower which you can do by clicking on the blue button in the left column. This will notify you of each post to this blog. 

The second way is to become part of the Armory Park history discussion group. Just send me an email indicating your desire to join and I'll add you to the list. This will be a forum for sharing neighborhood history and research options. Since not all Armory Park listserv members are history buffs, it is considerate for us to limit the amount of discussion on that platform. Since only people interested in history will sign up to our discussion group, you can feel free to discuss whatever you want. 

I hope one or both of these options will help you to be a part of our Armory Park history research team. If you have trouble with either, please let me know at

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Research Tools: Tucson Directories

Even before the telephone came to Tucson, directories of businesses and residents were published. This first image is from the 1901 directory, page 66. It shows that a person named F B French lived at 637 S 4th Avenue, my house. If you are scrolling through the PDF copy of the directory, it will show as page 89 because of the un-numbered pages which are counted by my PDF software. If you scroll through to page 109 of the pdf, you will find another name, O H J Johnson, associated with the same address. This is page 86 of the paper directory. Paper copies of the directories can be found at the historic society but they are in resident name order so finding a particular address is very difficult. 

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. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Southwestern Architecture

 As you can see, Southwest architecture begins with the land and the sky. It is made of materials from the earth and baked by the sun. Layered over these inherent qualities are the cultures of the region, especially the extraordinary principles of Hispanic town making. The Spanish brought the plaza, the arcade, the well defined street and the interior courtyard or patio. These are all ancient features dating back beyond the Romans, but effectively re-utilized by Spanish architects in the Americas. As other cultures have made this region their home, permutations to the architecture have occurred. The Anglo-Saxon settlers brought the brick, the pitched roof, and the front porch - the building being detached and set back from the street.