More Recollections of Annie

Here are a couple of additional pieces about our recently departed neighbor, Annie Laos. They may be informative for people who haven’t seen them already and I will be keeping them permanently on this site in the People & Places category. 

Anna Baffert Laos, a longtime businesswoman and community activist who supported the preservation of historical sites, died April 11 surrounded by family in her downtown Annie Laos Photo 2home. She was 87.

Laos died peacefully in the home she and her late husband, Roy Elias Laos Jr., moved into decades ago. She worked tirelessly renovating the vintage 1897 home — doing the labor herself and also overseeing contractors on major restoration projects, said her son, Roy B. Laos, a former Tucson city councilman.

He said among the values his mother taught him and his four brothers was that education was necessary. She stressed for them to study and learn. “It became important to my mom because her educational dreams were ripped away from her,” said the younger Laos, recalling that Anna enrolled at the University of Arizona to study geology after graduating from Tucson High School in 1947.

Continue reading “More Recollections of Annie”

Culin-Roskruge House, 318 E 13th Street

This is the second 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 318 E 18TH Todaystudy done by the College of Architecture in 1974. My copy of this study was a gift from Annie Laos who passed away earlier this week. Those who value the historic character of Armory Park owe a debt of gratitude to Annie. Her drive, energy and passion for our history saved the original buildings of the Safford School from destruction. That set the stage for historic preservation here and she continued to be a driving force in that effort for many years. One can’t drive important change without causing some controversy which she certainly did. Annie was a great neighbor and we will miss her greatly. Continue reading “Culin-Roskruge House, 318 E 13th Street”

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. Continue reading “Kitt House, 319 South 4th Avenue”

Historic Structures of Armory Park

Historic structures are among the appealing features of Armory park and certainly attracted Donna and me to the neighborhood. In a past post, I mentioned that Annie Laos IMG_2360is our next door neighbor. She was the leader of a movement to preserve the old Safford School buildings and was also a major player in the creation of our Historic Preservation Zone. Because she knows we appreciate the community’s history, she gifted us a copy of the armory park:74 ff study which formed the basis for creation of our HPZ. This study was done by the University of Arizona College of Architecture in 1974.

I am going to use the study as the source for a series of articles about the historic structures, mostly homes, which make Armory Park so special. I will also look for other sources of historic information about our neighborhood and the people and places who built it.

If you have relevant material, please contact me:

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. Continue reading “Historic Gem on S. 4th”