Tuesday, April 23, 2013

In Tucson's Barrio Viejo...

This past weekend, The Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation organized a "Historic Adobes of Barrio Viejo" Tour--a rare opportunity to get an inside view of some of the oldest homes in the architectural soul of the city--the Sonoran rowhouses of the 19th century. It was a singular combination of sanctioned voyeurism and exhibitionism--'ok'd' by the historicity of it all...

No interior photography was allowed, but I did take my iPhone with me, so here are a few shots of the streetscape:

It feels so much more Mexican or Mediterranean than "Wild West US"...It's almost unbelievable to think that in the 1960's, blocks and blocks of this architecture was just torn down to make room for the Tucson Convention Center. (Before the days of gentrification--when this neighborhood was mostly Latino, with Chinese corner-grocers...) 

Just incredible. Tucson could've had a downtown as architecturally and as historically compelling as Santa Fe, NM--unified and with an authentic sense of place...Alas, just relics are left--but still enough for a worthy stroll or bike-ride...No other city in the U.S. has this collection of Sonoran architecture.

Some of the wrought-iron details:
--gotta love the cat-and-mouse sense of humor in this window...
...and the rattlesnake almost has a cute face...

creative tortoise-lock:

--and the old Teatro Carmen:
(this was not taken on my iPhone,
but I did use snapseed to edit it)
This particular alleyway has always reminded

...and, from a couple of years ago,
a serendipitous rainbow over a renovated adobe fa├žade:

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