Econo Lodge University
1136 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
Phone: (520) 622-6714
Fax: (520) 617-0505
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.
For a taste of historic Tucson, take a ride on one of the track trolleys leaving from the University of Arizona's main gate on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays. This all-volunteer "museum" has reinstated and refurbished the trolley system that was carrying passengers around downtown Tucson from 1906 to 1930. Old Pueblo Trolley has definitely given the city a return of its old charm.
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.
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 is the oldest archaeological museum in the Southwest, and the best place in Tucson to learn about the life of Arizona's Indians, both past and present. Impressive displays of Indian art tell the cultural history of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico. There is also a good natural history section demonstrating earth and climate changes in the area. A museum shop is also located on-site and sells related books and crafts.
The steam rail locomotive is the Southern Pacific 1673 which was born in Tuscon. The arrival of the railroad marks the rail history of Tuscon. The railroad today is present as a heritage in the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum. 20th March of every year is celebrated as a festival at this museum as it is the day of the rails. The best known preserve of this museum is the Southern Pacific Locomotive 1673 and is a great place to visit and view the historical preserve of Tuscon.
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.
Located on the University of Arizona campus, University of Arizona Museum of Art is home to a remarkable collection of Renaissance as well as 19th to 20th century art including works of such giants as Rembrandt, Rodin, Georgia O'Keefe, Rothko and Hopper. Apart from the permanent 15th century exhibit upstairs, there are changing exhibits around prominent artists and themes. The on-site bookstore and gift shop is a great place to pick up a souvenir as well.
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.