750 West Starr Pass Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85713
Phone: (520) 624-4455
Fax: (520) 624-3172
The monumental Santa Cruz Catholic Church occupies immense historical significance. Established in 1918, the building is a magnificent example of the Mission-Spanish Revival style of architecture. The site is incorporated in the National Register of Historic Places.
El Tiradito or the Wishing Shrine is the only one of its kind recognized by the Catholic church. The shrine is the burial place of a sinner, one Juan Enrique de la Cruz, killed by a jealous husband. Over the last hundred years or so devout believers have lit candles and prayed for milagros at the foot of the altar. The open air adobe wall is festooned with prayers and the ground appears perpetually stained with the wax of millions of candles. It is listed as a National Historic Site and is also the location of a spring that provided water for the first Spanish settlers. -Ted Parks
There is an intriguing legend behind this shrine on Main Street near the old historic barrio, a story involving broken hearts and crimes of passion, but you'll have to read the plaque mounted on it to discover the tale. El Tiradito has been part of local folklore for a long time and is now a national historic site. Take a peek and make your own wish.
Dirt dug up during construction might always turn up some historic relics, and that's why earth underneath downtown structures is always carefully sifted and scrutinized. When this old adobe building was reconstructed in the 1970s, old handset type was found under the floor. More digging revealed that this was the office of a Spanish-language newspaper founded in 1878 by Carlos Velasco. It is now a National Register site. Access is free.
As the biggest Catholic church in the city, St. Augustine Cathedral is one of the most splendid architecture with its high interior, tall windows and dome. Built in 1896, and renovated in 1967, it is a particularly imposing sight during late evening hours. A special attraction is the colorful Mariachi mass Sundays at 8a, delivered in Spanish—your chance to get a taste of Tucson's rich Hispanic heritage.
They're here to serve you, so stop by the MTCVB offices downtown, especially if you are a first-time visitor to Tucson, and let the friendly staff help you organize your visit to Tucson as efficiently as possible. Listen to their advice what to see and to do, pick up as many maps and brochures as you want, or let them help you organize your next convention. It's their job, and they love doing it.
This district was once considered the Mexican-American side of Tucson. It has been called Barrio Viejo or Barrio Libre since its Mexican inhabitants were more or less free to follow their own laws in the old days. That has changed, but the area has preserved its distinctly Mexican flavor with flat-roofed adobe (mud-brick) houses and roofs made from saguaro ribs and packed dirt (providing great insulation in the extreme Tucson climate). Some of Tucson's oldest structures can be found here and many of them nicely restored. Since most have been converted into private homes or offices, your visit will have to be confined to the exteriors.
This is the earliest work of public art in Tucson. Situated in front of what is now Tucson's Children's Museum, it was created in 1920 by San Francisco architect Bernard Maybeck and artist Beniamino Bufano, then transported to Tucson by train. Designed in a neoclassical style to fit the neoclassical building next to it, the monument commemorates the days of Tucson's rugged pioneers.
This building, designed in 1929 by Los Angeles architect M. Eugene Durfee, once belonged to the chain of movie theaters showing Fox Studio productions and was decorated with those Art Deco motifs that were typical of the movie houses of the period. After long years of falling into disrepair and neglect since 1974, it is now in the process of being renovated and revitalized, due to the much-publicized efforts of a group of conservationist citizens. Today it hosts a variety of live performances, including concerts, musicals, and lectures.
Built in 1929, this building has the distinction of being Tucson's first skyscraper, towering high over the one-level houses that gave Tucson its distinct Western town character. From 1935 well into the 1990s, it was known as the Valley National Bank Building until another, bigger corporation took over. Today, higher structures dominate the Tucson skyline, but this particular building, apart from its historic impact, still derives some charm from the tree-shaded brick patio on its south side, which is always welcome in the brutal Tucson summer. Visitors may enjoy free access to the lobby during business hours.
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.
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.