Kitt House, 319 South 4th Avenue

This is the first in a series of articles about noteworthy historic homes in Armory park. The historic information about each home is extracted from the armory park:74 ff study done by the College of Architecture in 1974.

IMG_2361In 1899 this house was built by William R. and Catherine Kitt; its general design said to have been done by Mrs. Kitt herself. It is constructed of thick adobe walls employing the Roman Revival style. The portico is not merely an applied classical ornament in this case, but is a deep front porch oriented toward the west. The single low-gabled roof extends over the tetrastyle porch in the Doric Order. In response to the environment, the gable end has a lunette IMG_2362transom for ventilation. Warm air is thus drawn out of the house through the attic. Although displaying Roman Revival charac­teristics on the exterior, the irregularity of plan shows defi­nite Queen Anne influences. For convenience in an inhospitable climate, each room is offered direct access to either the front or rear porch.

Katherine Florence Daniels Kitt migrated from California to Tucson in the 1890’s. Although having taught at the Safford School, she is best remembered as having pioneered the art department of the University of Arizona. She mar­ried William Roskruge Kitt and the couple was given, as a wedding present from George Roskruge, the land on which the house was built. The famous Kitt Observatory is named for her mother-in-law, Mrs. Phillipa Kitt.

(Tucson Historic Sites.1969.p21)

Copyright © 1974 College of Architecture, University of Arizona

319-s-4th-aWhile most homes in Armory Park are anglo territorial, late victorian or craftsman, this is one of a few Greek revival houses. This house survives today though like many others it shows the stress of age. Here you can see what it looks like in 2017. It was enough of a treasure in 1974 to be highlighted in the armory park:74 ff study. It remains a treasure today.

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.

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