Three Centuries of Architecture In Two Downtown Tucson Blocks
Being a Chicago native, with architects and engineers in the family, cityscapes have always fascinated me. This morning, shortly before noon, as I was walking west on Congress from 6th Avenue, I was struck by the contrast between the three buildings in the frame. The one in the foreground was just completed last year. The building in the middle, originally the Consolidated Bank building, was Tucson’s first skyscraper and at 11 floors, was the tallest building in town when it opened in 1929. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places and houses the Chase Bank today.
Looming in the background is the 23 story One South Church , the tallest building in Tucson, most often simply called “The Tower” , houses a variety of tenants and dominates the Tucson skyline from anywhere in the basin, blazing on the east in the morning sun and on the west side of the building at sunset. The building opened in 1986.
Obscured in this photo is the Rendezvous Urban Flats which opened this year, built onto the Stone and Broadway sides of the block the tower sits on which was previously open plaza. I didn’t get it in the frame with the St. Augustine Cathedral, which was completed in 1868. To me, it’s an ugly apartment building which, along with the building on he opposite corner, are totally out of place and are emblematic of the gentrification of downtown Tucson.