Night Tour Recap

The tour is about 11 miles long. Typically the tour will cover many, but not all, of following locations:

IRON HORSE

  1. Public Brewhouse - Our neighbor is one of Tucson's newest breweries. Beer has been here since 1862, when Alexander Levin opened Park Brewery.
  2. The Buffet - Tucson's oldest bar. Opened after prohibition and hasn't closed all that much since then. Opens at 6am!
  3. Rattlesnake Bridge - Nice views of Tucson. Listen for the rattle!
  4. The Shanty - Congresswoman Gabby Giffords old hangout.

FOURTH AVE / UNIVERSITY

  1. The Thinkers - mural that depicts 4th Avenue's colorful characters of the past.
  2. Light Rail - First arrived in 1906. It's recently returned to Tucson.
  3. Main Gate - Bustling college area, full of shops, bars, and restaurants.
  4. Old Main - The first University of Arizona building from 1891. Tucson originally wanted the insane asylum, but now we're happy we got "stuck" with the university. Ted Degrazia painted Power of the Press here in 1944.
  5. Student Union - Tower houses the bell from the USS Arizona, sunk at Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941.
  6. Steward Observatory - Established by Andrew Douglass in 1922, who also founded the field of tree ring research at the UofA.  The 36" reflecting telescope was the most powerful at the time, now dwarfed by the observatory's Magallan telescope in Chile. Mirrors are made under the football stadium.
  7. Tree Ring Research Building - Check out a 1701 year old Sequoia without counting the rings. Learn about the field of study where it was invented.
  8.  D&D Pinball - fun place, open Thurs-Sat.

DOWNTOWN

  1. Hotel Congress - Classic 1919 hotel. Biker-artist Larry Boyce painted the art-deco lobby. Hotel is famous for a fire in 1934 that led to John Dillinger's arrest.
  2. Rialto Theatre - Just across from Hotel Congress. Most elegant theater west of the Mississippi when built in 1919.
  3. Southern Pacific Station - Train arrived in 1880 to much fanfare, including a telegram to the Pope. Tucson changed from a village to a city. Cut travel time to San Francisco from 10 days to 2. Also site of Wyatt Earp shooting Frank Stillwell. Engine 1673 hauled a million miles of freight and appeared in the 1954 movie Oklahoma.

EL PRESIDIO

  1. El Charro - Oldest continuously family-owned Mexican restaurant in the USA. Popularized the chimichanga.
  2. Main Ave - Used to be El Camino Real, or King's Highway, part of a spanish road system starting in Mexico City.
  3. Owl's Club - Turn of the century bachelor pad with the motto of "Let us live while we live." Now home to a conservation organization that got its start protecting owl habitat.
  4. Steinfeld Mansion - Wealthy retailer's home designed by Henry Trost. Had Tucson's first bathtub.
  5. Sam Hughes House - Kicked off a stagecoach in 1858 to die of TB in Tucson. Recovered and became one of Tucson's most important civic, business, and educational leaders.
  6. Tucson Museum of Art - Nice campus with an impressive collection of Western American, Latin American, and Pre-Columbian art.
  7. Casa Cordova - The oldest house downtown, from 1848.
  8. Old Town Artisans - Old 1860's building, now home to an interesting artists' market and a beautiful courtyard offering food and drinks.
  9. El Presidio de San Agustin - Spanish fort founded in 1775 by Hugo O'Conner. Mostly gone now, but the original foundation remains in places along with reconstructed walls. Also home to an ancient Hohokam pit house.
  10. Pima County Courthouse - Designed by Roy Place. Beautful mission revival style. There was some controversy about the color and design at the time, but now much admired.
  11. Fox Theatre - Neat old theater. Saw success during the Great Depression. First building in Tucson with air conditioning, which was critical to post WW-II growth.

BARRIO VIEJO & BARRIO SANTA ROSA

  1. St. Augustine - Spiritual hub of Tucson.
  2. Ruiz - Best Sonoran hotdog stand in town. Hot dogs introduced to Mexico City in 1943. They were adjusted for local tastes, caught on in much of Mexico, and now are found everywhere in Tucson.
  3. Santa Cruz Church - Largest mud adobe building in Arizona. Built in 1917.
  4. Quatro Esquinas - Little Chinese markets used to be on each corner. Lalo Guerrero born here, the father of Chicano music.
  5. Convent & Meyer Ave - Historic adobe homes line these two narrow streets.
  6. El Tiradito - A little shrine that saved Barrio Viejo from being destroyed by freeway construction. In memory of a ranch hand who was killed due to romantic involvement with his mother in law! Still a functioning shrine where many people write messages and burn candles to ask for a wish.
  7. Ferrin House - Former store of Joeseph Ferrin, who helped establish the first synagogue. Now the Cushing Bar and Restaurant. Has a neat interior. Supposedly haunted.

ARMORY PARK

  1. Carnegie Free Library - Opened in 1901. Now the Children's Museum.
  2. Old Pueblo Hotel - Classic 50's neon sign.
  3. Armory Park - Where the California Column camped after they pushed the Confederates out of Tucson. 

 


    Thanks for letting me show you a bit of Tucson nightlife by bike!
    — Jimmy Bultman