Armory Park Commentary & History

This HOME page is what this site is about: commentary and other articles about our wonderful community and the surrounding area. History and historic preservation will be emphasized. The other pages supplement the HOME page. Along the right margin are tools that let you choose from recent posts or comments, search for posts, view past posts by month and list posts by subject category. You can also click on the FOLLOW AROUND ARMORY PARK button to be notified by emails of new posts. On the left you can see  the category of each article or click to leave a comment.

Reader Raises Good Question

Gloria Fenner raised a good question about the four lot development on 5th Avenue and 18th Street. She questioned whether there were other blocks where four residences exist between a major and a minor avenue. I went for a drive-around to get an informal count. I counted five examples of four residences between a major and a minor avenue, 26 examples of three and the rest were two or one. I concluded that three was the most common, two or one next and four least common but not unusual. Incidentally, I agree with Phyllis Factor’s observation that only one location has a major/street corner house facing the street. All others face the major avenue. The APHZAB wanted the major avenue/street lot to face 5th Avenue. The developer might object because the setbacks along 5th seem greater than those along 18th Street. There are two more similar vacant lots in the same area so what is done in this case will likely have an impact on how they are developed. Continue reading “Reader Raises Good Question”

APHZAB Looks at Two Projects

Armory Park continues to attract new construction and renovation projects. The regular 17 January meeting was presented with two projects to review, one a formal review and one informal.

The informal review was for a small development on the lot at 140 E. 18th Street , between 5th and Arizona Avenues on the south side of 18th Street. The project proposes four single family houses on a resubdivision of the original large lot into5th-and-18th-lot-a four lots. As proposed, all four would face 18th Street. This was the board’s second look at the proposal which considering earlier feedback had been modified from two stories each to 1 1/2 stories with the appearance of being a single level. There was discussion of the appropriateness of the house closest to 5th Avenue facing 18th Street. Nearly all AP houses on such corners face the major avenue. The arrangement of doors and windows also attracted comments. An informal review is merely a communication between a project proponent and the board to make the formal review go smoothly and to avoid misunderstandings regarding historic zone requirements. Continue reading “APHZAB Looks at Two Projects”

Local Hotel Gets Published

Bill Duffy spotted an article in Arizona Highways highlighting our very own Downtown Clifton Hotel. If you want to see their piece, go to They also have their own website at It is a small place with classic decor elements and modowntown-cliftondern amenities.

They have plans to add rooms on the vacant lot immediately south of the hotel. The presentation made to the APNA board by co-owner Moniqua Lane made her project sound like a great addition to the community. I plan to do an article on the project when it gets a little further along.

If you have out of town visitors needing lodging, consider our AP hotel, the Downtown Clifton.

Please Leave Comments

The mission of this blog is to have a positive impact on the community by sharing news and commentary by me and others. It has no commercial aspect so the only benefit to me or any other contributor is to know that the community gains from our efforts. While I get occasional positive comments from people I meet around the ‘hood, I usually have no idea how any article is received or whether it was read by many. One way you can improve the blog and reward contributors is to leave comments. While we will always appreciate compliments, your criticisms or disagreements are also welcome. This blog is for the benefit of the community and will serve best with active neighbor participation. Thanks for considering this request.

Ken Taylor

New Contributor

Our neighbor, Karen Olson, has decided to become a contributor to this blog. She will post on items of interest to her which will contribute to our community. Her optimistic view of Armory Park is similar to mine but her perspective and writing style are quite different. She will add a different flavor to the blog. You may recognize her name associated with the Caritas Healing Center at the corner of 16th Street and Railroad Avenue. She has had varied life experiences and moved from a suburban ranch zone in west Tucson to our urban venue. If you want to know more about her, go to her short biography on the About page. Continue reading “New Contributor”

APHZAB Has a Difficult & Important Job

Armory Park has many distinctive qualities but the most important is its historic character and legal status. As the most prominent Anglo-Territorial  and “railroaders” community in Tucson at the turn of the 20th century, it has historic value recognized by the federal, state and city governments. The City of Tucson has enshrined in the city code many provisions supporting preservation of our historic character. Locally, the APHZAB (see the glossary) has responsibility for applying provisions of the code in its review of proposed structural changes in our community. If we didn’t have a few Armory Park people willing to take on this challenging responsibility, the historic character of the community could be lost. Continue reading “APHZAB Has a Difficult & Important Job”

Glad to be Home

Donna and I just returned from a great car trip to San Francisco with another couple. We have visited there a couple of times but it has been over 30 years since our last visit. We wanted to see a few things new to us and to refresh our recollection of the historic and cultural sites there. As you might expect, great food was a central theme of our adventure.

There are too many wonderful experiences in SF for me to mention them all but I want to touch on a few. Without doubt our best dining experience was at the Marrakesh restaurant. We had the five course dinner which featured lamb and chicken dishes that were all excellent. The meal was not cheap but was reasonable in line with typical SF prices. This city is not cheap. Continue reading “Glad to be Home”

We Love Armory Park

Last night Donna and I joined a large number of our AP neighbors at another wonderful annual Armory Park holiday party. As usual APNA furnished the beverages plus the main menu items of turkey and ham. The neighbors brought snacks, side dishes and desserts. We sat at a table on the side porch and enjoyed stimulating conversation while savoring the meal. The conversation covered many subject but finally got around to discussing what we could do to improve and maintain the appearance of our public areas, streets and sidewalks. Continue reading “We Love Armory Park”

Unexpected Controversy?

My announced intention to cover neighborhood meetings (APNA & APHZAB) may have stirred up a controversy — or maybe not. I feel strongly that a community is strengthened by more communications, not less. So I was somewhat surprised by Jack’s post on the listserv which may represent a controversy — or it could be a  misunderstanding. I feel that Jack and I are both trying to preserve the character of our neighborhood and to improve it whenever we can. This is his post. Continue reading “Unexpected Controversy?”