Sep 26, 2008

Downtown

While I was on my way to the train depot yesterday, I took some pictures of an area just north of downtown called Snob Hollow. It was the residential area favored by the rich and powerful at the close of 19th century. Most of the historic homes are now either property of the Tucson Museum of Art, or have been converted to professional offices. Like most cities, the history of Tucson's development can be traced to a few wealthy men and their families. Steinfeld, Corbett, Hughes, Jacome, Ronstadt (Linda Ronstadt's family), Flin and Duffy, to name a few. They are the men who had the vision and often the resources make cities out of dusty frontier outposts. It will be necessary to click on the photos to see the detail. The Steinfeld Mansion, was originally built for and leased by the Owl's Club, an organization devoted to bachelor-type carrying on and to finding suitable wives for young and powerful single men. The term 'mansion' is relative. By most standards the Steinfeld Mansion would not be characterized as such. In frontier Tucson, it was a big deal. Albert Steinfeld, a mining and mercantile baron, bought the house in 1907 for his rather large family. The very upscale Steinfeld's Department Store was a Tucson fixture until giant retail chains made it difficult to compete and it closed its doors. The Julius Kruttschnitt House, now operated as the El Presidio Bed and Breakfast is described as an adobe Victorian, in style. The historic homes in Tucson reflect a mixture of style, often reflecting the roots of the builder. This building has 20-inch thick adobe walls, which kept the interior cool without air conditioning. The J. Knox Corbett House. Johnston Knox Corbett, prominent businessman and politician lived with his wife and two children in this Mission Revival style home. The Corbett family produced two mayors of our fine city. Both J. Knox and his nephew James N. Cobett, served as our mayor. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

8 comments:

Steve said...

I think I like the Corbett house best. The Kruttschnitt house is interesting, though, because it doesn't LOOK like adobe.

Kurt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kurt said...

The Steinfeld mansion looks like a train station.

They should build more of those no-air-conditioning houses.

Megan said...

Hmm, once again, great photos, but no people. Iiiinteresting.

I went on an tour of Monterey adobes once. Not that they need cooler houses up there! But it was facinating...

alphabet soup said...

The Julius Kruttschnitt (what a name!!) house is very like the style of house built in Australia at the turn of the last century by people with enough money. The wide verandas helped keep the houses cool. No 20 inch adobe walls though. The Tucson Chamber of Commerce or whoever promotes tourism will be owing you soon Merle if you keep posting these great photos showing their city in such an attractive light.
Ms Soup

d. chedwick said...

Hmm, I like them all-- Merle must be up pretty early in the morning to get pix with no people.

I think the 3rd house is prettiest, but they're all really nice--Tucson does look great....

bitchlet said...

They look so clean to be old.

Coffee Messiah said...

I thought you said people lived in your area?

It looks like a ghost town.