Sunrise Tour Recap
The tour is about 8 miles long. Typically the tour will cover many, but not all, of following locations:
- Light Rail - First arrived in 1906. It's recently returned to Tucson.
- 4th Avenue - The tour starts with a ride down this funky shopping and entertainment street.
- Main Gate - Bustling college area, full of shops, bars, and restaurants.
- 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.
- Student Union - Tower houses the bell from the USS Arizona, sunk at Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941. Found by an alumni in a military scrap yard.
- Bear Down Gym - The University's slogan comes from a "win one for the Gipper" type story involving the quarterback who was mortally injured in a car accident. Location was used in the film, "Revenge of the Nerds."
- Tree Ring Research Building - Check out a 1701 year old Sequoia without counting the rings. The field of tree ring research was developed by an astronomer looking into sunspot activity. The leading facility in the world.
- Rattlesnake Bridge - 280' bridge modeled after the Sonoran Desert snake. Listen for the rattle.
- The Shanty - Congresswoman Gabby Giffords old hangout.
- 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.
- Rialto Theatre - Just across from Hotel Congress. Most elegant theater west of the Mississippi when built in 1919.
- 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.
- Barrio Brewing - One of many craft brewers in Tucson. They specialize in adding local ingredients, like prickly pear. First brewery was built by Alexander Levin in 1864.
- "El Jefe" mural. Artwork depicting the only known wild jaguar in the USA, found just south of Tucson.
- Solar Culture Gallery - Decidedly uncommercial art gallery.
- El Charro - Oldest continuously owned Mexican restaurant. In the 1920's, Monica Flin invented the chimichanga by accident.
- Main Ave - Used to be El Camino Real, or King's Highway, part of a spanish road system starting in Mexico City.
- Owl's Club - Turn of the century bachelor pad with the motto of "Let us live while we live." Now home to a conversation organization that has protected owl habitat.
- Steinfeld Mansion - Wealthy retailer's home designed by Henry Trost. Had Tucson's first indoor plumbing.
- 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.
- Tucson Museum of Art - Nice campus with an impressive collection of Western American, Latin American, and Pre-Columbian art.
- Casa Cordova - The oldest house downtown, from 1848.
- Old Town Artisans - Old 1860's building, now home to an interesting artists' market and a beautiful courtyard offering food and drinks.
- 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.
- 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.
- Veinte de Agosto Park - Site of original cathedral. Now the site of a federal homeless rights lawsuit and a statue or Poncho Villa, a controversial present from Mexico.
- 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.
- La Placita - 40 year old mixed use urban renewal project. Home of the Tucson visitor and convention centers. Wiped out a good chunk of the Old Barrio.
- Tucson Citizen - Oldest running newspaper in Tucson. Closed in 2009. Former employer of Charles Bowden, a prominent southwest author.
- Old Pueblo Club - Former gentlemen's club that hosted John Wayne, Buffalo Bill, and Charles Lindbergh. Made from California brick. Currently veteran housing.
- Cathedral San Agustin - 2nd site. Built in 1896. Has some nice southwest features, such as horned-toad lizards and saguaro cactus.
- Temple Emmanuel - First synagog in Arizona.
- Convent & Meyer Ave - Colorful adobe homes line these two narrow streets.
- Quatro Esquinas - Little Chinese markets used to be on each corner. Lalo Guerrero's house on the SE corner. Lalo Guerrero is the "Father of Chicano music."
- 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.
- La Pillita - The area used to be Carrillo Gardens and Elysian Grove, a nice area in the late 1800's for a picnic and even a boat ride. Leopoldo Carrillo was Tucson's wealthiest man. Owed over 100 properties, appointed himself water commissioner, and went by the job title "Capitalist."
- 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.
- Carrillo House - Brother of Leopoldo. One of the older buildings in the city. Front door is from the former county jail.
- Teatro Carmen - Built in 1915. Was a Spanish language cultural institution.
- Lee Ho mural - Former site of Lee Ho's store, the most important of the Chinese markets. Nice tribute mural. Chinese came to the area with railroad construction and were banned from mining, so many grew vegetables and operated small markets.
- Carnegie Free Library - Opened in 1901. Now the Children's Museum.
- Old Pueblo Hotel - Classic 50's neon sign.
- Armory Park - Where the California Column camped after they pushed the Confederates out of Tucson.