Even though Donna and I have lived in Armory Park for over a year now, we discover new things about our community almost every day. The latest find is the Zócalo magazine which covers Tucson arts, culture and living. Though coverage is not restricted to the downtown area, many articles and even advertisements are of special interest to those of us who live here. Free copies of the magazine are available at many Tucson businesses. If you want your print copy delivered, for $15, you can subscribe at http://www.zocalomagazine.com/subscriptions/. You can also browse current and past issues at https://issuu.com/zocalomagazine for no cost. There are 11 issues each year.
My first exposure was to the May issue (the latest). Music and other events are well covered with articles also featuring Tucson’s history. I particularly liked the piece on The Old Barrio which covers not only the barrios we see today but also those destroyed in the construction of the convention center. The list of regular features covers many interesting aspects of life in Tucson.
If you want to keep up with the many exciting things happening in Tucson, Zócalo magazine can help you.
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.
LAOS, Anna Baffert
Passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by family on April 11, 2017, at the age of 87 years. Anna is survived by her five children; Roy B. Laos, III, Jeffery B. Laos, Sr., Enrico B. Laos, Marco B. Laos (Plano, TX) and Rene B. Laos. In addition, she is survived by 14 grand children and three great-grandchildren. Anna “Annie” was born on December 26, 1929, in Tucson, Arizona. She graduated from Tucson High School and completed two years of study at the University of Arizona. She married Roy E. Laos, Jr., her sweetheart/a local Pharmacist and businessman in 1952. After marriage, Anna worked alongside her husband in their family Pharmacy/Retail business known as “Roy’s Arizona Pharmacy” located at South Six Avenue and 17th Street (now know as Roy’s Corner). Her children remember her as a caring and driven mother who encouraged them to pursue their goals. Anna was accomplished in local politics and civic activities. Anna was a witty and dedicated individual who loved the City of Tucson and who was passionate about proper and productive changes for the better of its citizens. A Funeral is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on April 22, 2017 at St. Augustine Cathedral Church located on Stone Avenue in Downtown Tucson; a reception to follow (Fraternal Order of the Eagles Hall 1530 N. Stone Avenue beginning at 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) for a celebration of Anna’s life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Casa De La Luz Foundation at 7740 N. Oracle Road, Tucson, AZ 85704. The family would like to thank the staff and caregivers from Casa De La Luz for their support, care and dedication. Family thanks Carrillo Mortuary for their excellent service. Arrangements by CARRILLO’S TUCSON MORTUARY, INC.
Spring brings warmer weather and the plants love it. Flowers, shrubs and trees are leafing out and many are blooming. the results are fun to see and enhance the attractiveness of Armory Park. There is a downside though; stop signs get obscured and the sidewalks are sometimes obstructed. Property owners/residents are supposed to maintain the areas between the property line and the curb but that doesn’t always happen. There are a variety of reasons however the work must be done to keep the streets safe and the sidewalks conveniently walkable. Continue reading “Spring Cleaning Mostly Done”
This meeting was informative on a number of subjects. The kickoff was a presentation on historic landscape of the Armory Park (the park, not the neighborhood) and children’s museum (former Carnegie library). This is a research project leading to a preservation plan. The researchers are seeking community input on improvements and restoration of both spaces. Board discussion centered on keeping open space, preventing changes detracting from AP’s historic character, documenting the history of both spaces and addressing parking issues related to events in the park. Armory Park is the city’s signature park; there are many well attended events staged there so parking is often a problem. More parking lots are not the best solution. Encouraging event sponsors to publish available parking options and connecting public transit could make life easier for event attendees and nearby residents. John Burr, Mark Crum and Martha McClements agreed to accept neighborhood input. Please contact any of them with your thoughts. The presenters will return for the April board meeting. Continue reading “Board Meeting, 14 March”
At the December meeting, the historic board considered a case where the contractor mistakenly built a structure three feet taller than approved. The property under discussion is the large guesthouse still under construction behind 741 S 4th Avenue. Because the structure was built so tall, it loomed over Railroad Avenue and appeared much taller than any building nearby. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture before the garage roof was lowered but you can see what it looks like today. The three feet it was lowered gives a normal appearance to the garage and makes it similar in height to other structures nearby. Continue reading “Mistakes Can Be Expensive”
Among my first positive impressions of Armory Park was the strong sense of community. What makes a neighborhood a community? It is the sense of connection of its residents to each other. That connection is best illustrated when a neighbor has a need and others step in to help. The following two examples gleaned from emails on our listserv illustrate what I am talking about.
The first is an example of a neighbor stepping in to gather support for another experiencing hard times. In addition to the money and food gathered for our struggling neighbor, there is the sense that others care and that you do not have to suffer alone. This last part may be as important as the more material aid. Continue reading “More Acts of Kindness”
The 14 February APNA board meeting was well attended and the agenda was a full one. You can see the agenda, financial report and minutes on the board website at ArmoryParkTucson.org.
Since I am now managing the APNA website, the board’s adoption of my proposals was most interesting to me. It’s now clear that the site is the voice of the board and those it chooses to allow. It is targeted at Armory Park residents and stakeholders; others who may access it are incidental. In the interest of simplicity and easier management, rehosting the site was approved. The board and its designees will provide content. For those few who want to see the details of the email I sent board members, click here: meeting-20170214 Continue reading “Lots of Action at Board Meeting”