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Here's an organized list of tours for the 2023 Arizona Historic Preservation Conference in Tucson, Arizona, with each day's tours grouped together by date:


#1 Tour: African American Museum of Southern Arizona. Explore Arizona's first African American museum which houses valuable oral histories, legacy stories from native Tucsonans and Arizonans, and a commitment to community engagement. We are a Movement, not just a Museum! We have hosted events with civil rights icons like Ruby Bridges and are honored to preserve Southern Arizona's African American and Black history. Discover our curated stories, images, and artifacts, contributing to a richer understanding of the past and benefiting our community. 

  • Guided One Hour Tours: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., Noon, and 1 p.m.

  • Meeting location: U of A Campus, Student Union Room 244.

  • Registration: up to 30 guests per hour.

  • Cost: Free – donations appreciated.

  • Self-transportation.

  • Hosts: Beverely Elliott, Executive Director, and Jie Li (Jenny), Curatorial Assistant II.



#1 Tour: Eckbo Landscape Tour. The Alva Bustamante Torres Plaza surrounded by the Tucson Convention Center, the Leo Rich Theater and the Linda Ronstadt Music Hall, was designed by world-renowned modernist landscape architect Garrett Eckbo (1910-2000). Eckbo was known for his interest in designing “people places.” Completed in two stages in 1971 and 1973, this landscape is the largest preserved Eckbo design sequence in the United States. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2015, the landscape has since been rehabilitated following the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards. 

  • Time: 2:40 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

  • Meeting Location: in front of the Linda Ronstadt Music Hall.

  • Maximum Participants: 20.

  • Self-transportation, walk to meeting site.

  • Host: Helen Erickson, College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture.



#1 Tour: Tumamoc Hill. Tumamoc Hill is an NRHP-listed property that includes both prehistoric and historic elements. It has been actively used for cultivation, habitation, and botanical research since the early Archaic period. Tour will make two stops along the hill, one to tour the historic Desert Laboratory (originally the Carnegie Desert Botanical Laboratory) which was founded in 1903 and the other to view the prehistoric trincheras features on the hill.

  • [TENTATIVE] Meet at designated conference spot at 6:30 a.m., tour begins at 7 a.m.

  • Maximum Tour Participants: 15.

  • Van Transportation available.

  • Host: Shannon Plummer, M.A., RPA, Arizona Antiquities Act Administrator.

#2 Tour: Presidio San Agustin del Tucson Museum. Tour includes an explanation of the history of the Presidio. A tour of the changing exhibits in the Jacome-Siquieros home that also houses the Museum Shop, a glimpse into a Presidio-era home and barracks, and an opportunity to see an exact replica of an 18th century cannon. There will be an explanation of a 2,000 year old Native American pit house and what it represented. And, a walk through the Early People’s Park to discuss how the Tohono O’odham’s ancestors lived and farmed in the Tucson basin, and a view of a store-room used for food and supplies.

  • Tour & optional Dandelion Café lunch.

  • Time: 12:10 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

  • Meeting location: 196 N. Court Ave.

  • Cost: $5 for the tour, Lunch option $20.

  • Maximum guests: 30.

  • Lunch options: Grilled Salmon, Grilled Veggies, Burger, or Gluten-free options.

  • Self-transportation.


#1 Tour: Ignite Sign Museum. Ignite Sign Art Museum tour showcases signs that were once part of Tucson and Arizona’s historical fabric. You will hear the history of the collection, the rescuing of historically significant signs and the restoration process. Some of the signs have been restored and are on display and others are still in process. The tour includes an in depth discussion of neon history and a bending demonstration.

  • Tour times: 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

  • Meeting location: 331 S. Olsen.

  • Maximum participants: 15 each tour.

  • Cost: $10.

  • Host: Jude Cook, Founder.


#2 Tour: Valley of the Moon Tour & Walkabout. Valley of the Moon’s current restoration work in the Enchanted Garden complex illustrates the unique challenges of preservation of an artist-built environment and a coming together of traditional artisans and cutting-edge imaging in the creation of an innovative repair plan. LiDAR display will be available. Valley of the Moon was constructed between 1923 and 1932 by George Phar Legler from rocks, recycled material, adulterated Sears & Robuck cement and a glorious vision into an imaginatively integrated collection of buildings, landscapes, miniatures, and intimate experiences. Legler used this magical place to promote kindness and inclusion. This tradition lives on 100 years later, with the whimsical storybook land essentially unchanged, due to the efforts of a 78-year-old micro non-profit. 

  • Docent-led tours: 10 a.m. or 11:30 a.m.

  • Walkabout: Explore on your own between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Cost: Donation-based.

  • Meeting location: 2544 E. Allen Rd.

  • Wear closed-toed, comfortable walking shoes.

  • Self-transportation.

  • Host: Jenni Sunshine, President.


#3 Tour: Teatro Carmen. The iconic 1915 Teatro Carmen building, located in Barrio Viejo is currently being restored and will include a 250-300 seat performing arts space, bar & restaurant and outdoor patio. The property has Hispanic, African-American and Chinese history which will be celebrated appropriately upon completion of the project. Currently the goal is late 2025, but entirely dependent upon fundraising, of which nearly 1/2 has been raised. The facade restoration was funded in part by an Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund grant. Project director Herb Stratford will lead the tour, he also restored the 1929 Fox Tucson Theatre and 1883 Arizona Daily Star building in Tucson.

  • Three tour times: 11:30 a.m., Noon, or 12:30 p.m.

  • Maximum number of participants: 30 (each tour).

  • Cost: Free, donations welcome.

  • Meeting location: 380 S. Meyer Ave.

  • Wear closed-toed shoes.

  • Host: Herb Stratford, President, Historic Theatre Consultants


#4 Tour: Tour of University Indian Ruin. University Indian Ruins is an NRHP-listed property that includes both prehistoric and historic elements. It includes one of the last remaining Hohokam Classic Period platform mounds in the Tucson Basin. Tour will include viewing the platform mound as well as the historic structures constructed by the University Arizona in the 1930s to support archaeological research at the site.

  • [TENTATIVE] Meet at designated conference spot at 8:15 a.m., tour begins at 9 a.m.

  • Maximum number of tour participants: 25.

  • Fee/cost: Free.

  • Meeting location: [TENTATIVE] Will guests be taking 12-passenger vans from conference (?).

  • Participants must be able to walk short distances over uneven terrain.

  • Host: Contact: Shannon Plummer, M.A., RPA, Arizona Antiquities Act Administrator, Arizona State Museum, The University of Arizona


#5 Tour: Urban Renewal Walking Tour. Urban renewal added to the chaos of the 1960s with “slum clearance.” This provided cover for racist attitudes and was enabled by a convenient relationship between local government with the power of eminent domain and real estate interests. Quickly, truly historic buildings and landscapes vanished, given that there was no “voice” for preservation in communities across the nation. In Tucson, the destruction of the Old Pueblo’s original neighborhood is likely the saddest chapter in our history. There were voices for preservation but this was the infancy of the historic preservation movement in Tucson and the nation at large. The tour will walk the entire length of the urban renewal zone with emphasis on areas of preservation. We will finish at the “wishing shrine” where the Butterfield Parkway proposal was stopped. Participants will use maps, photographs, and newspaper articles of the time to understand the challenges to preservation and the resulting establishment of the Tucson historic preservation ordinance.

  • Tour time: 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

  • Cost: $20.

  • Limited to 12 participants.

  • Meet at El Presidio Park next to the fountain.

  • Wear closed-toed and comfortable walking shoes.

  • Host: Contact: Ken Scoville, Retired Educator and Tucson Historian.


#6 Saturday Tour: San Xavier del Bac Mission. San Xavier’s spectacular baroque interior and ambitious dome and vault construction make it a unique and premier example of Spanish Colonial art and architecture in the United States. This tour will cover the history of San Xavier del Bac, with an emphasis on architectural and art history, while discussing ongoing preservation and conservation work and the complexity of preserving a living church within a tribal nation. Patronato San Xavier funds and directs ethical conservation, conducts scientific research, and conveys the significance of Mission San Xavier del Bac, a National Historic Landmark, in the community of Wa:k, part of the Tohono O’odham Nation.  

  • Time: TBD

  • Meeting place: 1950 W. San Xavier Road, in front of the Mission

  • Maximum number of participants: 25.

  • Wear comfortable walking shoes.

  • Self-transportation.

  • Hosts: Miles Green and Starr Herr-Cardillo, Patronato San Xavier


#7 Saturday Tour: Jacobson House (details to come)


#8 Saturday Tour: Ball Paylore House (details to come)


#9 Saturday Tour: Rialto Theatre (details to come)


Please note that for some tours, specific details are pending and should be confirmed closer to the conference date.

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