Historic Gem on S. 4th

Among the appealing features of Armory Park is its historic character from its panorama of classic residences. One of the finest of these is the McGinty-Laos house on South 4th Avenue. It was built in 1897 and hosted President Teddy Roosevelt on a visit to Tucson. It is cited among the architectural examples included in the armory park:74 ff study by the U of A College of Architecture in 1974. This study formed the foundation for the process which led to creation of the AP Historic District in which we live today.

The house is currently the home of Annie Laos and her son Roy who is also proprietor of the Roy’s Corner store. Annie provided the initial spark for the historic preservation effort in our community when she successfully led the effort to prevent the destruction of the historic Safford School buildings. Annie and her family began restoration of the old house in 1952, bringing it back from the significant deterioration and damaging alterations which it had suffered. Most of the work was done by Annie and her sons. Most Tucsonans will recognize the family name today from the transit center named after Roy Laos Sr. who owned a bus company which was an ancestor to our current Sun Tran system. (more follows after the image)

IMG_2308.JPG

The house is not only important historically, it also has among the most faithful and complete restorations of the interior of any of our neighborhood homes. All signs of its rooming house period are gone and the natural wood finish of trim and other details is beautiful. Those of us who saw the house on our 2015 home tour can appreciate what a great job she did. The addition of a modern family room at the rear of the house and other modern amenities was done without detracting from the overall historic character.

I plan to do more pieces on the homes and residents of our community in the near future. If you have suggestions and details on which a short article can be based, please email me.

Ken Taylor, blog@kmtaylor.com

Author: Ken Taylor

I am a relatively recent Armory Park resident (2/16) along with my wife, Donna and our little dog Lulu. In our 7+ decades, Donna and I lived over 30 years in Anchorage, Alaska before moving to Arizona. We have been Arizona residents for 16 years before coming here including 12 in Green Valley and four in west Tucson. We love the neighborhood for its history, walkability and interesting residents. Lulu insists on walking every day so you may see us following her around and picking up trash to keep our neighborhood presentable.

One thought on “Historic Gem on S. 4th”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s