The meeting was scheduled as a general member meeting of our neighborhood association but became two meetings in one. Jack McLain’s departure from the Historic Zone Advisory Board created a vacancy which board chair Bill Duffy wished to fill. Giovanna Hesley was nominated to fill the vacancy and the assembled AP residents elected her to be recommended to replace Jack. Bill thanked Jack for his excellent service as a board member and chair. John Burr was nominated to fill a special expertise position on the board based on his experience and education in historic architecture. He was also elected without dissent.
The APNA meeting opened with a presentation by the group which has been studying the Armory Park, namesake for our neighborhood. They have been collecting information which will allow the park to be closer to its historic roots while best meeting community needs. That is a significant challenge. It is used as the gathering point for many large events, most recently the Women’s March and the March for Science. The senior center now sitting where the armory once stood, occupies a large part of the park’s east side. These functions are important to the community and should not be lost. The military origin of the park and the military memorials placed there over the years are important parts of the park’s history and should continue to be honored.
The park earlier had many more trees which have been lost over the years. As they died or were removed, replacements were not planted. A 1948 overhead photo showed very little unshaded grass unlike the open expanse of today. The traditionally styled band shell had become cosmetically deteriorated and was removed. It was replaced by a modern bandstand in a different location.
When a digital copy of the report is available, it will be posted on the ArmoryParkTucson.org website and I will write further articles here about the park’s history and future.
Anne Cooper reported that there were nine homes planned for the upcoming tour and that several of them are particularly noteworthy. She is looking for a few more to bring the total to 13 – 14.
DeeDee and Michael Means have cleaned up five of our roundabouts. They removed weeds and dead plants. Trees and shrubs were trimmed to more attractive shapes. This complements the cleanup work along our major avenues led by Martha McClements. DeeDee is organizing an upcoming event of socializing on the many porches which are such attractive features of our community. She is looking for help to get this going.
There was discussion of the problems created by commercial truck traffic passing through the community. It is not practical to enforce the 26′ limit as posted on signs and many trucks are 24′ long. Approaching the companies associated with the trucks may be the most promising avenue.
Plans for development of the vacant lot at 5 Points are still moving along. It seems likely that the property will become an HPAD (see glossary), leaving our historic zone but retaining some historic restrictions. The biggest issue is still the overall height allowed for a proposed building. The stakeholders are continuing to meet and hope to have agreement before the formal review process goes further. As economic values of area properties increase, there will probably be growing pressure to remove properties from historic zones.
David Bachman-Williams will be performing the board secretary’s duties going forward.