28 Jul Tucson in the Monsoon Season
There has been some really great progress made thus far on the Barrio Viejo National Historic Landmark Project. The Fieldwork team who are uploading architectural data has surveyed the entire neighborhood with the exception of the Barrio Santa Rosa extension. The Fieldwork volunteers are going back to double check their work and also incorporate ‘non-contributing’ properties that the project’s GIS specialist was able to upload into the app we are utilizing. There have been some issues with the placement of the pins in the app floating around, but we are solving technical issues as they come our way. In the Historic Research Division, we are now in a phase trying to connect tax parcel ID numbers to addresses that we have in our project spreadsheets. Connecting the tax parcel ID numbers to present addresses is very vital, because we have noticed disappearing address numbers that reappear some years and new address numbers throughout the years of Tucson City Directories that are available to us. The tax parcel ID numbers are remarkably more consistent through the years, so it is the one surefire way to ensure we are collecting data for the right property. We also had a successful meeting with Placido Rodriguez, who was born in the neighborhood in 194o and, as a history buff, is very motivated to help us. He shared with us some information that really helped us understand the neighborhood much better. For example, I was always curious as to why city planners decided to move the El Tiradito, or Castaway wishing shrine, from the corner of Simpson and Meyer to its present location on Main Avenue just south of Cushing. The only reason I was able to uncover prior to meeting Placido was that it was due to a mere street widening of Simpson. Placido revealed to us the real reason, that Simpson did not go all the way through to the flood plain of the Santa Cruz River and whenever monsoon season arrived in the desert the street would become like a river. So what they did was extend the street into the flood plain so that the water had somewhere to go, and in that process they tore down the old shrine. This week’s pictures were sent to me by Carol Beidleman of EFTA from her site visit with our fieldwork crew and supervisors.