Friday, April 25, 2014

Barrio Viejo - Unreconstructed

The Old Barrio is just that - old.
Located just south of downtown, it held small and medium and large houses.
It was a neighborhood.
Then the Tucson Convention Center came to town and streets were razed.
Houses were bulldozed.  The community was shattered.
After years of benign neglect, urban homesteaders returned and began to pretty the place up.
Walking the streets on Easter Sunday, Brenda Starr and I found remnants of design elements gone by:
like this slanted roof. 
It's obviously not designed to help with snow removal.  Perhaps the monsoon rains needed assistance in reaching the ground? The lower end is barely 7' tall.  Small rules!!
We could see the ebb and flow of the years on many of the buildings.
Efforts have been made to keep them standing, even if beauty was not the primary consideration for the repairs.
I wonder why the bottom layers are changing color faster than those above.
Sometimes it was hard to tell if the buildings were occupied.
The electric meters gave the only reliable hints.
Even un-rehabbed, there's a quiet elegance to the structures.
They fit perfectly into the environment.
The rounded window and door openings matching the roof line made me wonder if this was an upscale development in its heyday.
Some of the larger properties are in process.
This fence told me that more wonderfulness will be happening to the house behind it.
It has to be coming.
No one would paint that bright a fence unless they were looking for attention.
Perhaps it will end up reconditioned,
like this one.
There were neighbors loading groceries and walking dogs and letting the cat out as we strolled the streets.  We saw a (very fast...too fast for my gimpy leg to catch up to with the camera) blonde dachshund and visited with a long haired blonde Chihuahua at a pocket park commemorating the loss of two children to a drunk driver.  There were Easter celebrants walking to the mega-church's non-denominational service at the Convention Center, decked out in fancy dresses or jeans and tattoos.
And there were Brenda Starr and I, taking it all in.


  1. I believe the difference in color is due to leaking water mains. There's free water under the adobe and its sucking it up. Eventually the buildings will fall down. Here is a link to the article discussing the problem.

    1. Thanks, Allison. This sounds like the ultimate Steve Urkel -- I've fallen and I can't get up!


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