Architectural Treasure Hunting

Most cities have architectural treasures if you take the time to uncover them.  This has always been a search my husband Barry and I willingly undertake (much to the disappointment of our kids growing up).  Tucson has more than it’s share of “gems”.  One you should not miss is the Arizona Inn; built in 1930 by Isabella Greenway Arizona’s first Congresswoman.  The Inn is still owned by that family; perhaps that is why great care has been taken to preserve the original details.  Once you step onto the Arizona Inn grounds you would never know that you are in the center of Tucson.  You are enveloped in the grace of Spanish Colonial Architecture.

Entrance to the Arizona Inn

Designed by noted architect Merritt Starkweather and built by James Oliphant the Inn occupies over 14 acres.  It is a complex of cottages & one and two story buildings that open to interior courtyards & gardens.  The grounds today feel like a secluded Mediterranean village; they are lush, green & fragrant.  Since it is spring everything is blooming.

Gated entry at the front of the property

Garden Setting at the Inn

Don’t miss the library in the main building.  It contains furnishings from Isabella’s homes in the east.  There is also a collection of movies on DVD by some of the famous Hollywood stars who have stayed here.  Other notables who have enjoyed the Inn are John F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt and the Duke& Duchess of Windsor.

The Library

Not only is the Inn a find but the streets immediately surrounding it are worthy of exploring.  There is something for every architectural taste.

Cottages & Buildings

Located at 2200 E. Elm Street, Tucson, 85719