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  #1  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 6:54 AM
Buckeye Native 001 Buckeye Native 001 is offline
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Tucson: Better Late Than Never

Part III of an ongoing series of photothreads that I never got around to posting for one reason or another.

DonB, my brother and I went down to Tucson the day after Christmas 2008 to check out the Old Pueblo. To us, it was damn cold and gray, something we're not used to seeing in the desert with any regularity. Don (thankfully) didn't wear his short shorts.

Maestro, kick it:
Video Link




I find the Pima County Legal Services building (Tucson's third tallest) to be delightfully ugly. This facade is made of stone, but doesn't it look like a carpet pattern you'd find in an office from the late 1970s/early 1980s?


And then there's this...(Cathredral of St. Augustine)




I was in DECA (marketing club) in high school. We used to come down to the Tucson Convention Center for the state championship. My high school never won any competitions.


Festive!




UniSource Energy Tower, Tucson's tallest at a whopping 330 ft/100.6m. Completed in 1986.


Truly, a sight to behold:




Random gentlemen milling about in front of the abomination


Bank One Tower/Chase Bank Building, one of Tucson's first skyscrapers, completed in 1929


Pioneer Plaza, originally completed in 1914. Someone went and spilled 1970s refurbishing all over it.

To be fair, the building was severely damaged in a fire in 1970, which was a major reason for its renovation


Looking north on Stone Avenue


Somewhere near the downtown library. To us thin-blooded Phoenecians, it was cold. Damn cold.


Tucson's second tallest, Bank of America Plaza, completed in 1976. Overtaken by the UniSource Energy Tower as Tucson's tallest a decade later


Pima County Courthouse, completed in 1928


Looking at Stone Avenue from the library






Somewhere near Tucson PD's headquarters?


Random low-rise that caught my attention


We demand our parking structures to be olive green


Looking north toward the mist-covered Santa Catalina Mountains


Train Depot


Heading west on Congress


Speaking of Congress...






For all your Chicago needs...


6th and Congress. This area was undergoing some significant development.




Given how old these pictures are, I'd like to head back down there and check out the area to see what's changed












I...don't get it?


Wig-O-Rama, for all your wiggity needs






You have any idea where you are!?




Evo A. DeConcini United States Courthouse


We headed north through the El Presidio neighborhood, Tucson's oldest neighborhood as well as one of the oldest establishments in the Southwestern United States














Some of the buildings in this neighborhood date back to the 18th Century












Tucson City Hall in the background


Sometimes you find the strangest damn things in the street.






I'm curious to know how well these buildings keep out heat in the summertime


Talk about contrast


Aerial of the Pima County Courthouse


Tucson's claim to fame (as well as its largest employer), the University of Arizona, is only a couple miles north/northeast of Downtown


Looking west toward the Tucson Mountains




Bear Down


Clouds were finally starting to part, providing a better view of the Santa Catalinas


The El Presidio Neighborhood from a whopping five stories...




We didn't have time to go up to Sentinel Peak ("A" Mountain), and given the weather conditions, the view probably wouldn't have been all that great. If I'm ever back down that way, I need to trek up there. Here's my lone attempt at a skyline shot of Tucson:


And that's it. Next up, ChrisLA, KingoftheHill and I drive all over the Southland on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January 2009.

Thanks for taking a look!
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 7:11 AM
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For as bleak as downtown Tucson is, some of the neighborhoods around it are great in terms of interesting houses. Rick Joy has done some wonderful projects down there.

I remember this storm. The day after these photos I drove over from CA and then went up to Flagstaff. There was nearly 2 feet of snow on the ground and dustings down to about 4000ft.
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Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 2:40 PM
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Wow @ that Pima County Legal Services building!

Oh, and best Tucson tour ever.
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Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 3:08 PM
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Nice pics. What is the enclosed area in 2nd to last pic?
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Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 4:46 PM
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You captured Tucson pretty well there, Buckeye! Of course, Tucson is pretty bleak just outside of Downtown, except for the U of A area, which is pretty damned nice... Seems like Tucson is much prettier in the suburban areas than the older, more urban parts. But overall, I don't think I would ever want to live there. Kind of a grungy, run-down place overall.

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Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 5:05 PM
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This is a great DT Tucson tour! I like how Tucson has kept some of their historical neighborhoods intact.

I'm not a fan of the city of Tucson for a few reasons; I'm an ex-Phoenician and ASU grad so naturally the U of A's home annoys me! (Half joking.) The physical geography of the Tucson region is stunning though.

The Santa Catalina mountains are incredible and one can escape the heat in a short 25 mile drive to be in cool alpine conditions with great hiking, camping etc...
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Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 5:16 PM
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the county courthouse is breathtaking; the US courthouse is an abomination. as it should be in a state like arizona -- the feds can't get anything right, and we can handle things our damn selves.

wow, tucson:
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Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 5:32 PM
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Fun fact: Unisource (then called Tucson City Center) was supposed to have a twin, but it never got built. It was designed by the same guys who did Denver Airport (Fentress-Bradburn)
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Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 7:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giovanni sasso View Post
the county courthouse is breathtaking; the US courthouse is an abomination. as it should be in a state like arizona -- the feds can't get anything right, and we can handle things our damn selves.

wow, tucson:
Pretty as that is, La Plazita has nothing in it. Just some tourist shops and juice bars.

But I lived in Tucson for 2 years and I miss that place.
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Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 8:39 PM
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GREAT pics! I lived a short stint in Tucson and really enjoyed the tour. Thanks!
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Old Posted Sep 1, 2011, 10:28 PM
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Thank you all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by glowrock View Post
You captured Tucson pretty well there, Buckeye! Of course, Tucson is pretty bleak just outside of Downtown, except for the U of A area, which is pretty damned nice... Seems like Tucson is much prettier in the suburban areas than the older, more urban parts. But overall, I don't think I would ever want to live there. Kind of a grungy, run-down place overall.
Fourth Avenue acts as the connector between the UofA and Downtown. I think they're in the process of building a streetcar line to connect the two. From what I've heard, its a pretty active area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Expat View Post
Nice pics. What is the enclosed area in 2nd to last pic?
Some sort of museum, but damn if I could find any info about it online (Googled "Museum Downtown Tucson")

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo the Dog View Post
I'm not a fan of the city of Tucson for a few reasons; I'm an ex-Phoenician and ASU grad so naturally the U of A's home annoys me! (Half joking.) The physical geography of the Tucson region is stunning though.
I kinda regret not stopping in the Barrio Historico south of Downtown, but it started raining again and we were trying to get down toward Davis-Monthan AFB so my brother could meet up with a friend of his. On the plus side, we had lunch at eegees.

I was almost went to UofA for undergrad, and in retrospect, I probably should've gone there.
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Old Posted Sep 2, 2011, 4:15 AM
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Nice pictures. It appears that Wilmington's tallest is taller than Tucson's tallest by 1 foot.

That festive plaza looks like a poor man's Horton Plaza.
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Old Posted Sep 2, 2011, 4:20 PM
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I always find rainy days in the desert to be very intriguing. When I visited Phoenix over President's Day weekend this year, it was cold, pouring rain, and quite windy. It provides an interesting contrast.
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Old Posted Sep 2, 2011, 4:38 PM
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Tucson vs Phoenix

I recently traveled to Arizona few weeks ago and find Tucson more authentic than Phoenix. I noticed a lot of construction in downtown Tucson and according to my friends it's getting better by the month. I agree. I compared the photos then and now, Tucson is much more improved. I love the Rialto, Club Congress, 4th Ave. area. The UofA is so much like an Ivy League school. The mountains nearby is very interesting being that there's a lake with green pine trees on top while you got desert at the base of the mountains. Biking is a blast!

I'm sorry to say, Phoenix has this fake, dull, bland, monotonous look and feel character. Almost everything looks the same.
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Old Posted Sep 2, 2011, 5:29 PM
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Originally Posted by empire-steel View Post
I recently traveled to Arizona few weeks ago and find Tucson more authentic than Phoenix. I noticed a lot of construction in downtown Tucson and according to my friends it's getting better by the month. I agree. I compared the photos then and now, Tucson is much more improved. I love the Rialto, Club Congress, 4th Ave. area. The UofA is so much like an Ivy League school. The mountains nearby is very interesting being that there's a lake with green pine trees on top while you got desert at the base of the mountains. Biking is a blast!

I'm sorry to say, Phoenix has this fake, dull, bland, monotonous look and feel character. Almost everything looks the same.
Tucson threads always illicit comparisons to Phoenix. I much prefer Phoenix (obviously, as I live here) over Tucson... I've been everywhere in both cities and they both have their own plusses and minuses. Phoenix being monotnous? Sure, but so are suburbs of most every city... you probably just didn't make it to the "coolest" places in Phoenix, while your friends seem to live in Tucson and probably knew all of the "cool" places and took you there. Regardless, it's to each his own and I hope you enjoyed Arizona overall.

BUT UofA an ivy league school? I have NO clue how you can make that comparison. LOLOLOLOLOLOL If UofA is like an Ivy League school, every university in America is like an Ivy League school.
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Old Posted Sep 2, 2011, 8:46 PM
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"Ivy League" might be a stretch, but its the only university in Arizona to belong to the American Association of Universities.

While ASU has it beat in some areas of academics, its still generally regarded as the best overall institution in the state.

At least neither of them are NAU.
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  #17  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2011, 4:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye Native 001 View Post
"Ivy League" might be a stretch, but its the only university in Arizona to belong to the American Association of Universities.

While ASU has it beat in some areas of academics, its still generally regarded as the best overall institution in the state.

At least neither of them are NAU.
Given that the point of a university is dual: to get a rounded education and to get a good job... Wall Street journal ranked ASU in the top five for corporate hiring... additionally ASU is ranked higher (slightly) in international university rankings. So saying that UofA is "generally regarded as the best overall institution in the state" really isn't true. All of this with ASU having no enrollment cap because the state won't allow it; therefore, having to accept every applicant who meets the state requirements, including the lesser students that UofA is allowed to reject because they have an enrollment cap. Honestly, given the facts, ASU being equal with UofA, is simply clowning UofA.
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Old Posted Sep 3, 2011, 3:23 PM
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My brother and his family lived there from 1985-1992 and I usually spent a week down there every winter during that time. They eventually moved back here. I miss my yearly trek into the desert.
Never did spend much time downtown.
Nice shots Buckeye.
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Old Posted Sep 3, 2011, 3:55 PM
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Allow me to clarify my statement "The UofA is so much like an Ivy League school". I meant it within the context of architecture with it's dominant red bricks etc... As for academic, I don't know ... it was my first time in the U.S.

I enjoyed Arizona. The Grand Canyon, Sedona, Tucson and Bisbee are equally wonderful and very unique. I could live there! As for Phoenix, it's not ugly, it's clean but my problem is that it looks like a city built in a factory where everything looks the same with a bland character. It's anti-urban dominant bland suburbia ... it looks FAKE.
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Old Posted Sep 4, 2011, 10:22 PM
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You captured a lot of buildings and areas that I'm not familiar with, however, I enjoyed all of them.

As a current resident, Tucson can get a bit stale over time if you not a UofA student or retiree. Besides the Sonoran dogs, there's not much to keep the graduates/ young professionals around.
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