Armory Park Businesses

This morning Donna, Lulu and I had another delicious breakfast on the Five points patio. Long term AP residents are likely to be familiar with the local businesses but us newer arrivals and those contemplating an AP future for themselves may not realize how many great options for dining and other needs are located nearby. Five Points will be my first effort once we have sampled the lunch offerings. Please advise me by email or comment f you find a business, especially a restaurant, worthy of recommendation.

Ken Taylor

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”

What a Community!

One of the things making AP such a great place to live is the sense of community. Last night, Halloween, took that sense up a notch. Special thanks to Janet Miller who promoted the idea of a neighborhood trick or treat effort and even put a map of “treater” locations on a map published via our listserv. Thanks also to the many neighbors who “treated” the kids so generously. Donna and I bought candy while on our travels so we would be ready upon returning home. We had about 40 “trickers” and ran entirely out of treats.

There were many positive comments on the listserv; here is one: “That really was our favorite Halloween ever! Thank you, neighbors, for making our little trick-or-treaters so happy & showing them the value of a wonderful community and neighborhood. We are so grateful to raise our little ones here! P.s. The puppet show was such a treat for kids & adults.”

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I feel so fortunate to live in such a special place.

Ken Taylor

Things Are Looking Up

We just returned from the beauty and challenge of the red rocks of Moab and Sedona. Our modified Geo Tracker “Toby” took us to places most vehicles could not go. It was fun but we also had a treat on returning home.

The cooler fall temperatures seem to have inspired a lot of clean-up around the hood. Our location near 4th and 17th had a couple of challenging spots for walking and they have really been spruced up. Thanks to those property owners for making our neighborhood more walkable and MUCH more attractive. Making our usual morning rounds we observed a number of properties along 4th Avenue looking tidier.


As the temperatures are more friendly for outdoor work, I hope momentum will build for individual and group efforts to clean up our public spaces. Perhaps the volunteer group from earlier this year will resume efforts to trim around stop signs and along sidewalks. I will be glad to join in.

Ken Taylor


Let’s Keep Armory Park Walkable

Donna, Lulu Small black dog) and I walk the sidewalks of Armory Park every day we are in town. We enjoy the historic ambiance and the nice people we meet along the way. We also collect and dispose of trash since it is a good use of the time we are already taking to stroll. The only problem we regularly encounter is the untamed vegetation along some sidewalks which are something of an obstacle course. On the listserv, Phyllis has reminded us of the legal obligations in the city code for all property owners and tenants: 

Sec. 16-13. Exterior premises and vacant land.

(a) Accumulation of vegetation prohibited. Each owner, lessee, tenant, resident or occupant shall maintain a property so it is free of the accumulation or untended growth of vegetation. The accumulation or untended growth of vegetation means the presence of plants on property that create a fire, safety or health hazard, or that attract vermin either on the property, on neighboring properties, or on both, and includes but is not limited to:

(1) Any lawn grass that exceeds six (6) inches in height.

(2) All weeds that exceed six (6) inches in height.

(3) Dead trees or dead shrubs.

(4) Dead palm fronds within ten (10) feet of the ground, a structure, a fence or wall, or of any combustible other than the tree from which the fronds have grown;

(5) Any tree, shrub, or other form of vegetation of any kind on the property or on the adjoining right-of-way, street, or alley that extends over or under the sidewalk space or roadway in a manner that may interfere with the reasonable use of the street, sidewalk, or alley for pedestrian or vehicular traffic of any kind or that may obstruct the view or light distribution of traffic-control devices or luminaries. Vegetation must be trimmed and maintained to provide an unobstructed pedestrian path a minimum of forty eight (48) inches in width and eighty (80) inches in height from grade.

My preference  is to take a positive approach to keeping our public spaces passable and attractive. Involving city code enforcement should only be used with those such as absentee landlords who are unresponsive to positive efforts. Those of us who live in and love Armory Park are likely to do what is right with a little encouragement. If most community improvements are “grass roots” based, they are more likely to gain wider resident support. I want to encourage “bottom up” efforts to enhance our neighborhood. 

The first thing any of us can do is to keep the public area fronting our homes tidy. After you have taken that step, please encourage your Armory Park friends and neighbors to do likewise. For those areas without a responsive resident, informal trimming parties could do the job. This has precedent as recently as the first part of the year when a group was doing trimming to make stop signs more visible. I hope this group will reactivate and even broaden its efforts. I will be happy to participate. 

The bottom line is that we have a pleasant and historic community. We should not rely on the city or APNA to help it reach full potential. You and I should take on that job.

Ken Taylor

Contributors & Reporters Needed

The secret to a successful blog or any website is current and relevant content. I will write as many articles and news stories as I can but to keep fresh content flowing, I need help. Reporting on important neighborhood meetings such as our two boards will keep residents informed. Your comments and reactions to stories will keep the boards informed. Both boards are elected by residents who need to be able to make informed choices.

Articles of neighborhood interest will serve to bring our residents together. I envision articles on new restoration projects or progress reports on the ongoing ones. Highlighting particularly attractive properties may encourage further improvements. Stories of grass roots neighborhood enhancements may stimulate further efforts. Highlighting walkability problem areas might lead to sidewalk repairs or vegetation trimming. You get the idea.

Effective communications is often the greatest challenge to successful group efforts. A thriving neighborhood requires group participation and that is what you can help to achieve.