Preserving Cultural and Historic Resources -
A Conservation Objective of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan

May 1999


By Linda Mayro & David Cushman

Part I Historic Preservation in Pima County

Cultural Resources Conservation
Historic Preservation Protection
Cultural Resources & the Community
Some Goals of the Historic Preservation Element

A Cultural & Historical Summary of Pima County, Arizona
Pimeria Alta before A.D. 1600
Colonial New Spain
Mexican Independence
Sonoran Tucson
War with Mexico
Gadsden Purchase
Westward Expansion
The American Civil War
Arizona Territory
Village of Tucson
Valentine State

Cultural Resources and the National Register of Historic Places
The National Register Criteria for Evaluation
National Register Categories of Historic Properties
Historic Contexts, Current Research, and Conservation Issues

Status of Cultural Resource Inventory and Site Protection in Pima County
National Register Properties in Pima County
Arizona State Museum and the AZSITE Inventory
Summary of Inventory and Surveyed Areas
Sites Protected - Sites Destroyed
Historic Preservation Bond Projects
Santa Cruz River Restoration & El Paseo de las Iglesias
Partners in Preservation

Recommendations for Revisions to Pima County Historic Zone Ordinance
The State Historic Property Tax Program
The Federal Investment Tax Credit Program
Other Economic Incentives


Part II Rewriting the Pima County Historic Zone: Analysis and Recommendations Historic Preservation in Pima County

Preserving Cultural and Historical Resources
A Conservation Objective of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan


The preservation of historic sites for the public benefit, together with their proper interpretation, tends to enhance the respect and love of the citizen for the institutions of this country, as well as strengthen ... the hallowed traditions and high ideals of America.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Stewardship extends beyond preserving for future generations those spectacular sites and historic structures that pay tribute to America's past and the principles upon which our great nation was founded. Our cultural heritage is the gift of our forebears which carries a responsibility for us to share this inheritance with our children for future generations to understand and enjoy. By nurturing our cultural heritage, respecting what has been created, and passing it on, we give future generations the tools to find meaning and answers to questions in years ahead.

Bruce Babbitt
Secretary of the Interior

Lofty statements, these principles of preservation and stewardship continue to express broad conservation goals, which were established by the federal government shortly after our nation's independence in its policies toward its new public lands. Adopting the premise that it was government's duty to "superintend, execute, and perform all such acts and things, touching or respecting the public lands of the United States," the role of conservation in public policy would come to broadly encompass the protection of our nation's natural and cultural resources.

Cultural Resources Conservation

Cultural resources may be generally defined as historic properties or places, which include sites, structures, buildings, objects, districts, landscapes, and traditional cultural places that are significant representations of our nation's history, archaeology, architecture, engineering, and culture. In addition to the many advocates seeking the protection of some of the most sensitive and valuable natural resource areas, as early as the 1880s, citizen groups and others were actively voicing the need for the federal government to preserve the nation's archaeological sites and important historical sites and places. Of particular concern were the spectacular ruins of the Territorial Southwest, which were being looted and destroyed as public lands were sold or given up to homesteading and agriculture. In response to citizen pressure, Congress in 1889 designated the ruin of Casa Grande, Arizona, one of the nation's most visible and vulnerable prehistoric sites, as the very first "archaeological reservation" to be placed under the protection of the Department of Interior.

By 1900, additional public lands with archaeological ruins and historic sites were being withdrawn from sale or other development with the expectation that Congress would also designate these places as future national parks. The Antiquities Act of 1906 codified this conservation ethic by providing for the designation of National Monuments and their preservation and protection.

Historic Preservation Protections

Since passage of the Antiquities Act of 1906, the federal government has long affirmed through federal law the principle that historic preservation is an important element in recognizing the value of cultural diversity and preserving American heritage values on the local, state and national levels. The development of a system of historic preservation laws and regulations spans nearly the last 100 years, beginning with the federal Antiquities Act, which was prompted by the destruction of archaeological sites from looting and vandalism. In 1916, Congress established the National Park Service within the Department of Interior which was expressly directed to preserve and protect cultural resources in the national parks.

By the 1930s, public works projects brought about by the Great Depression further focused on the development of parks by the National Park Service that contained archaeological and historical resources. Conceived on a broader notion of historic preservation, the Historic Sites Act of 1935 declared that it is national policy "to preserve for public use historic sites, buildings, and objects of national significance."

In contrast to the Great Depression years, by the 1960s, the US economy was booming, which led to the construction of interstate highways, suburban housing development, and public facilities. With flight to the suburbs now made possible by greater access to cars, highways, and new and relatively inexpensive housing, American cities began an era of urban decline that continues today. In an effort to counteract this economic decline, the federal government initiated a massive urban renewal program, which unfortunately resulted in the wholesale destruction of the historic commercial and neighborhood core areas of many cities and their replacement by public facilities and parking lots.

This virtual gutting of the historic hearts of our cities, including Tucson, prompted the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, which today remains the key piece of federal legislation that recognizes and protects historic properties at the local, state, and national levels. The NHPA established the National Register of Historic Places and standards for designation and treatment of historic properties, created State Historic Preservation Offices in each state, established the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and mandated that agencies take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties that are considered eligible for the National Register. Rules and guidelines that implement the NHPA often serve as standards for state and local cultural resource protections.


Photos -- Colossal Cave 1930's


Statutory support for the protection of cultural resources in Arizona includes the Arizona Antiquities Act and the State Historic Preservation Act, which both apply to state agencies and political subdivisions of the State of Arizona. In 1990, the Arizona legislature passed two State laws that protect human burials and associated artifacts on both state and private lands. In Pima County, historic preservation policy derives from compliance with federal and state laws and local ordinances. Following the establishment of the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission in 1974, together with the adoption of the first Pima County Historic Zone code to protect historic buildings and districts, Pima County additionally adopted a policy that acknowledges the need for "preservation of the county's historical and archaeological sites as required by law ...," and directs county departments to "review and recommend action for all known archeological or historic sites that [may be] impacted by any construction project funded by or under the direction of Pima County." With the adoption of policy that defines the county's responsibility toward cultural resources affected by its own projects, Pima County in 1985 extended this policy to private sector development by amending its zoning code.

Cultural Resources & the Community

In addition to the protection of cultural resources significant to our nation's history, historic preservation at the local or community level is critical to maintaining a community's identity, continuity, and sense of place. Unlike many local government jurisdictions, Pima County is vast with a diverse, multi-cultural heritage. Larger than some states, Pima County comprises an area the size of Connecticut, Delaware, and two Rhode Islands, or 9240 square miles, with a total population of about 800,000 people. More than half live in the Tucson metropolitan area, with the rural areas and the Tohono O'odham Reservation very sparsely populated in comparison.

Pima County, with its long and complex prehistoric and historic past, has a diversity of historic properties located throughout a culturally diverse region. Furthermore, its Native American, Spanish Colonial, Mexican, and Territorial heritage remains very much a part of the community's vitality. The vast landscape, shaped by generations of its founding groups, and the regions's cultural origins together have come to define the community's heritage. This heritage, rich in history, cultures, regional character, and diversity, may be viewed as a mosaic of the region's ethnic diversity, archaeological past, history, architecture, technology, art, and traditions that is expressed in archaeological and historic sites and districts, buildings, structures, objects, rural historic landscapes, and traditional cultural places.

It is the goal of historic preservation to retain and celebrate a community's cultural heritage and to build a stronger sense of community by acknowledging the accomplishments of the past through conservation, restoration, rehabilitation, interpretation, and the protection of historic, cultural, and archaeological properties. As a result, historic preservation can contribute to community identity and stability, redevelopment, reinvestment, civic pride, heritage tourism, and economic development.

Photos -- Arivaca Schoolhouse/Drachman School

Unfortunately, Pima County's historical and cultural heritage is substantially threatened by significant population growth, urbanization and sprawl that is changing the character, composition, and landscape of our southern Arizona communities and the Tucson metropolitan area. As development intensifies and expands, those cultural properties, archaeological sites, and historic sites and buildings that define Pima County's historical and cultural foundations and identity are forever removed from the landscape and removed from our collective sense of place and sense of the past. Historic preservation, like any system of values, has a philosophical basis or ethic. It assumes that historic properties have value as expressions of a community's cultural heritage and our sense of community and merit conservation.

Community support for historic preservation has been continually expressed from a broad spectrum of the concerned public. Consequently, both Pima County and the City of Tucson have passed Historic Preservation Ordinances, and a joint Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission has been established, together with County and City staff positions to develop and manage programs to encourage historic preservation and to mitigate impacts to archaeological and historic properties as necessary. Citizens have continued to support preservation issues. Some examples include: stopping the extension of Mission Road through the Mission San Agustín del Tucson, the "birthplace of Tucson," restoring San Xavier Mission, planning for the commemoration of the Tucson Presidio, prosecuting individuals for damaging archaeological sites ancestral to the Tohono O'odham, working to preserve the Robles Ranch, stopping the demolition of historic ranch buildings at Agua Caliente Park., and voicing considerable support for the protection of Tumamoc Hill, recently threatened by sale for development.

Volunteers have also come forward to recognize and protect Pima County historic properties. Some examples include the restoration of Kentucky Camp, removing graffiti from historic buildings, requesting an historic site marker for Arivaca, working with the National Park Service to establish the Anza NationalTrail, and requesting National Register nominations and the inventory of a variety of properties ranging from Arivaca dancehalls, to the Ajo historic district, to rural ranch houses, to Joesler-designed residences. The Pima County 1997 bond question for historic preservation and open space was a significant statement for conservation, being approved by nearly 70 percent of voters. Moreover, as Pima County continues to grow and develop, there will be increasing demand for the conservation of open space and for enhanced recreational opportunities that showcase our natural and cultural environment.

Another goal of historic preservation is to preserve the living cultural traditions that make our region unique. As land in Pima County continues to be developed, cultural and historic sites will also be destroyed in the process. Ironically, Pima County is rapidly losing its historic and cultural heritage just as there is increasing interest from residents and visitors who seek to experience the authentic natural and cultural landscape of the Southwest.

Photos -- Historical Ranches

Some Goals of the Historic Preservation Element:

Consistent with the objectives of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, the historic preservation element seeks to define and understand the cultural landscape and how our community's history, traditions and cultures have shaped the natural landscape.

A Cultural & Historical Summary of Pima County, Arizona

It is impossible to understand the value of cultural and historical resources without providing the historical context in which these resources developed, were built, and came to have significance and value to the community. The following summary is provided, not as an exhaustive detailing of events, but rather as a broad-brush historical overview that only touches on the broad patterns of history that have shaped our community in the time before Statehood.

Pimeria Alta before 1600

In those 100 centuries before the first Spanish explorers entered southern Arizona, the native peoples of this region developed a varied and successful adaptation to the upper Sonoran desert, leaving a rich and complex archaeological legacy.

Beginning about 10,000 B.C., the first people in southern Arizona were Paleo-Indian hunters who followed the movement of Ice Age mammoth, camel, horses, bison, and other large game. Known for their large distinctive spear points called Clovis points, a number of "kill sites" have been identified in southeastern Arizona.

As the large game became extinct, the Southwestern Archaic tradition developed and persisted for some 7000 years. These people were nomadic hunters and gatherers who moved around in small groups, exploiting seasonally available plant foods and animals, eventually adopting corn agriculture, the technology of canal irrigation, and a more settled life by about 1000 B.C.

The Hohokam Indians of southern Arizona, known for their distinctive red-on-buff pottery, developed into a successful society that occupied much of central and southern Arizona for nearly 1000 years. Hohokam communities were sustained through intensive agricultural food production supplemented by wild plant and animal resources. Through the exchange of surplus foods, cotton, pottery, shell jewelry, and other materials, they developed extensive trading networks and complex political alliances. By A.D. 1450, Hohokam society had collapsed, as had the other great prehistoric traditions throughout the Southwest.

By the late 1600s, native Piman Indians, who are likely to be the descendants of the Hohokam, were encountered by the early Spanish missionaries. "Pimeria Alta," homeland of the upper Pimas, extended from northern Sonora north to the Gila River. Early Spanish maps identify a number of separate Piman groups including the Pima and Sobaipuri living along the Santa Cruz and San Pedro rivers, and the Papago (Tohono O'Odham) of the western desert area.

Photos -- Hohokam Artifacts

Latecomers to the Southwest, the nomadic Apache migrated southward, eventually moving into the area north and east of Pimeria Alta by the 1600s. Although the Apache had adopted agriculture to a limited extent, wild plant gathering and hunting remained the dominant means of subsistence, supplemented by trade and raiding. Raiding of both native Piman villages and Spanish settlements for grain and livestock became a well established practice by the 1700s. The Apache continued their relentless attacks in southern Arizona on Spanish, Mexican, and later American settlements until they were finally stopped in the late 1800s by a significant US military campaign to "end the Apache problem."

Colonial New Spain 1540-1821

Sparked by tales of vast riches and gold, the Coronado expedition was sent north in 1540 through southeastern Arizona to Zuni - the land of Cibola. Although no gold or great cities were found, the Coronado expedition opened northern New Spain for colonization through the establishment of mission communities and military presidios.

Spanish colonization of northern New Spain began in earnest with the missionary efforts of Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, who traveled through the Tucson area in the 1690s. The village at the base of "A" Mountain, called "stjukshon" by the native Pimas, was named San Cosme del Tucson by Kino. Translated, this Piman name means "at the foot of the black hill or mountain."

The Piman villages of Bac and Tucson had relatively little interaction with Europeans in the early 1700s. However, following the Pima revolt of 1751, and with increased Apache raiding, a military garrison was established at Tubac. The Apache were relentless, and Tucson, "the post farthest out" was attacked repeatedly in those years; its unprotected population reduced by disease and warfare.

Following the Jesuit expulsion in 1767, the Franciscan priest Father Francisco Garces was assigned to Bac and the Tucson visita. Recognizing the importance of Tucson to closing the Apache frontier, Garces and Captain Juan Bautista de Anza helped the Tucson Indians construct an earthworks fortification in the center of their village. A church was built in 1772, which Garces named San Agustin del Tucson.

Tubac, some 50 miles south of Tucson, had been the northernmost Spanish fort in Pimeria Alta, but gave little protection to San Xavier del Bac and San Agustin del Tucson. Because of the vulnerability of these settlements and the plan to open a road to the California missions, King Carlos III ordered the realignment of the frontier forts. This task was assigned to Lt. Col. Hugo O'Conor, an Irish expatriate. O'Conor chose to move the Tubac garrison north to a new location on the east bank of the Santa Cruz River, opposite the mission of San Agustin del Tucson. On August 20, 1775, he marked the site for the Presidio San Agustin del Tucson.

Map -- Northern Pimería Alta, 1691-1767

Photos -- Mission San Agustin/San Xavier

For two years the presidio was no more than a camp. Finally in 1777, Captain Pedro Allande began the construction of a log fortress. In 1782, the Tucson presidio was attacked by upwards of 600 Apache seeking to destroy both presidio and mission. Repulsed by cannon fire, the attack ceased leaving the Tucson presidio to recover and begin the construction of a massive adobe-walled fortress. When completed, the walls were three feet wide at the base and ten feet high, with one main west gate. Today, this site is defined by Washington St. on the north, Church St. on the east, Pennington St. on the south, and Main St. on the west.

Relative prosperity characterized the late 1790s. The massive San Xavier church was completed, as was the San Agustin convento and chapel. A third mission, Santa Ana del Chiquiburitac, was built to the northwest of Tucson in the Aguirre Valley. Considered visitas of San Xavier, the Tucson and Santa Ana missions were eventually abandoned by the 1840s.

Mexican Independence

Knowledge of details about the Tucson Presidio is known to us only through sparse documentary resources and correspondence; however, the following first-hand account by Hilario Gallego, who lived within the Mexican garrison, is invaluable for understanding life on the frontier.

I was born inside the walled city of Tucson, January 14, 1850. Our house was a little one.... My father... had some land straight to the west of here. He was a farmer and had a few cows. Two little Apache Indian boys worked for him. There was a kind of peaceful tribe of Apaches that had a camp right out here a little way. Then there were the others, the wild Apaches, who were always on the warpath.... There was always a sentinel on the pointed hill ("A" Mountain) looking for the dust of the Indians. They were using that hill for a lookout place after I can remember.

The adobe wall about the city was about six feet high and two feet thick. There was an entrance facing west.., and there was always a guard of soldiers stationed there. On the east side.., was a small gate for people called the Gate of the Camp. At each of the entrances.., there was a cannon which was used when the Indians got too near the city. In the northeast corner of the wall, there was a round tower with portholes. Inside the east entrance... was an old ruined church. In the very early times, there was a cemetery inside the wall near this church....

There was a connected chain of little one-room houses all around the inside of the wall that had been built for the soldiers and their families and a few other people. There were no Americans here then. The houses had openings... and some of them had doors. A few had window openings. But most of them didn't even have holes for light; they were built just like a storehouse. None of those windows had glass....

Sketch -- Tucson Presidio

Map -- Tucson Presidio


Some of the doors were made of brush and sahuaro sticks tied together with twigs... or with rawhide. Some of the people lived outside of the wall, and there were a few stores on the outside. The women washed what clothes they had out in a ditch that ran along near the west wall. Whenever they went out to do their washing the guards always went with them. Inside the wall there was a well and folks had plenty of water to use.

We had church service once in four or five years -- just when the priest would come this way. The nearest church was at Magdalena. The San Xavier Mission was in charge of... caretakers, but there were no services held in it nor in the church (San Agustin) across the valley."

Hillario Gallego 1926

In the closing years of the 18th century, there was a notable decrease in Apache raiding due to the creation of "establishments of peace" that sought to settle Apaches near the presidios by providing them with food, clothing and other goods. The Tucson Apache settlement was located north of the Tucson presidio in the area of St. Mary's Rd. and the Santa Cruz River.

The period of relative prosperity was to be short-lived as New Spain was embroiled in its war of independence between 1810-1821. Always on the frontier, Tucson again fell victim to short supplies, disease, and an increase in Apache hostilities. Winning its independence in 1821, the Mexican Republic did not continue the missionary policies of Spain, and ultimately there would be no mission communities on the frontier. By 1841, San Agustin and San Xavier had lost their resident priests, and only the presidio chaplain remained. San Xavier del Bac would eventually revive as a community; San Agustin del Tucson would fall into ruin.

Sonoran Tucson

With the flag of Mexico now flying over its walls, the Tucson presidio struggled on much as before, as Apache raiding once again increased in intensity. Its population of 400 people of diverse ethnic backgrounds sought protection together within the walls. Outside contact was limited to occasional supply pack trains from other Sonoran towns and the few American frontiersmen and traders that ventured to this remote outpost.

Not everyone on the Sonoran frontier lived within the protected presidio communities. To encourage settlement, Spain offered large grants of land to potential farmers and ranchers. By expanding the frontier economy, Spain hoped to not only sustain its northward expansion but to create a tax base for itself. Mexico followed the same policy, and issued most of the land grants in southern Arizona between 1820 and 1833. Many of the land grants comprised former mission lands located in the Santa Cruz and San Pedro river valleys. With the deterioration of the presidio system and the increase in Apache raiding, most of the ranches were abandoned.

Rendering -- Tucson Presidio

Map -- Cultivated Fields in Tucson, 1862

War with Mexico

By 1846, Mexico and the United States began a war that resulted in the annexation of Texas by the U.S. and the loss of nearly two thirds of Mexico's former territory. The mission of the Army of the West under the command of Colonel Stephen Watts Kearny was to conquer New Mexico and California and establish American control over the entire Southwest. Tucson was never a battleground during this conflict, although it was a campsite for Lt. Col. St. George Cooke who passed through Tucson with the Mormon Battalion in 1846.

At the end of the war in 1848, Mexico ceded a vast territory to the United States comprised of what is today California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona north of the Gila River. As before, Tucson remained a frontier town and part of Mexican territory.

The discovery of gold in California in 1849 soon shattered Tucson's isolation, as gold seekers and adventurers sought their way westward to seek their fortunes.

Gadsden Purchase

With the discovery of gold in 1849, California was quickly made the 31st state in 1850. Recognizing the need for a transcontinental railroad, the United States government considered appropriate routes. Although the Gila Trail was far too rugged for a railroad, Cooke's wagon road to the south in Mexican territory posed few obstacles.

James Gadsden was sent to Mexico City to negotiate a land sale with the Mexican government for the purpose of securing a southerly railroad corridor. While Mexico needed money after the war with the United States, Mexico would consider selling only enough land to give the United States its southerly route. After considerable debate, the Gadsden Purchase was completed in 1854 for a sum of $10 million. Tucson and the Gadsden Purchase area were made part of Dona Ana County in the Territory of New Mexico.

Westward Expansion

In 1854, Tucson was still isolated from the rest of the New Mexico Territory and from California. Passenger and mail service were desperately needed. Described as "running from nowhere, through nothing, to no place," the first mail line began operation in 1857, ending Tucson's isolation. The following year, the Butterfield Overland Mail Company began bi-weekly service from St. Louis to San Francisco. The stage line opened Tucson to outside commerce and contacts as never before. The Tucson station was located at the southwest corner of Pearl and Pennington just outside the west gate of the presidio at Main and Alameda.

Map -- Gadsden Purchase

Photos -- Transportation in Tucson, 1880's early 1900's

The new prosperity created yet new raiding opportunities for Apaches, and the stages were frequently targeted -- the horses stolen, the passengers killed, and the coach and mail burned. With the impending threat of civil war and the losses sustained from Apache attacks, the last stage left Tucson in March 1861, when the route was moved to the north through Nebraska, Wyoming, and Utah. Tucson was again isolated from the outside world.

The American Civil War

The Civil War began in 1861, and like the rest of the Nation, Tucson was divided. Fearing that Union property might fall into Confederate hands, all government forts were ordered to be destroyed. In Tucson, mills, houses, storehouses, barns, a lumberyard, granaries, wagons, furniture, and livestock were destroyed as the troops left. Made bitter by the destruction of so much property and cut off from any military protection, Tusconans began to support the southern cause. When Lt. Col. John R. Baylor declared New Mexico and Arizona to be Confederate Territory, Tucson requested troops to fight the Apaches. Confederate troops were welcomed to Tucson on February 28, 1862.

In April 1862, the only Civil War engagement in Arizona was fought near Picacho Peak. Here, a Confederate patrol encountered a Union detachment. After a brief skirmish leaving three Union soldiers dead, both sides retreated. Word was out that the California Volunteers, some 2000 strong, under the command of Colonel James H. Carleton were heading for Tucson. The Confederate troops abandoned Tucson, and the Union again took possession of Tucson in May 1862.

Arizona Territory

"Tucson is quite a place of resort for traders, speculators, gamblers, horse thieves, murderers, and vagrant politicians. If the world were searched over there could not be found so degraded a set of villains as form the principal society of Tucson...." (J. Ross Browne 1864).

Lacking civil law, military courts were established in an attempt to bring law and order to Tucson. Congress voted to divide New Mexico Territory, and on February 24, 1863, President Lincoln signed the bill creating Arizona Territory. Several names for the new territory had been considered: Montezuma, Arizuma, Arizonia, Pimeria, and Gadsonia. Pima County was created as one of the four original counties, with Tucson its county seat. The old Tucson presidio was beginning to fall away, as Tucson became an important supply depot for the military forts that were established to fight the Apaches. The Civil War Post of 1862 lay west of Main St. and south of Congress. In 1866, the post, newly named Camp Lowell, was moved to a tract southeast of what is Scott and Congress streets. A soldier describes Tucson in 1867, as "... the largest place that I have Seen Scince I left Sanfranciso, but like all the Citys of Arizona that I have Seen it is made of mud. Arrizona is the most forsaken looking Country that Can be made."

Map -- County Organization, 1855 - 1860

Village of Tucson

By 1871 the population of Tucson had grown to 3000 people from 300 at the time of the Civil War. It was now the mercantile center of the territory as well as the capitol of Arizona Territory. New adobe buildings spread out from the original confines of the presidio walls. The Village of Tucson was finally incorporated in 1874, establishing property ownership and local government.

Tucson was rapidly moving toward better times in the 1870s. Schools had been started; the Apaches were quiet for the moment; civil law had been established; a jail and courthouse were built; stage and mail lines competed for business; fields were under cultivation; the ranching boom of the 1870s was underway; mining was growing; and leisure time could be spent at Carrillo Gardens or Levin's Park. As a consequence of persecution in Mexico, Yaqui Indians immigrated to Tucson and southern Arizona to seek refuge, further enriching the region's cultural mix. In 1880, the railroad was finally completed linking Tucson with the east and west coasts, bringing with it an era of even more rapid growth and change.

Isolated for most of its history, world events had always had little effect on the town. However, "war fever" erupted in 1898 with the Spanish-American war, and it was generally believed that the Spanish would be terrified of a regiment of Arizona cowboys. Volunteers came from all parts of the Arizona Territory. To lead Roosevelt's "Rough Riders," a flag was sewn overnight in Phoenix to lead the regiment to Cuba and home again to Arizona Territory.

Valentine State

"The time has now arrived when Arizona should be relieved from this state of tutelage and be endowed with the duties and responsibilities of statehood. The rapid increase in wealth and population, the energy and patriotism of her people are sure guarantees that she should wear the robes of state sovereignty with dignity and honor." (Governor Zulick 1889). The fight for statehood, begun in the early 1880s, would not be won until 1912.

Although a report to Congress in 1888 found Arizona to be "fitted for statehood," many members of Congress considered Arizona to be a "remote and backward region where English was seldom heard and the population... hardly fit for self-government." It was even suggested as late as 1901 that Arizona and New Mexico should be admitted as a single state. Outraged by this proposal, Arizona forced President Roosevelt in 1908 to recommend to Congress that the two territories be separated once and for all. Finally, President Taft supported statehood for the two territories.

Photos -- From Sentinel Peak, 1880's

Consequently, Arizona convened a constitutional convention, and produced a state constitution, but it was considered too liberal by President Taft who vetoed the statehood bill in 1910. Arizona temporarily deleted the controversial provisions, and President Taft signed the statehood bill on Valentine's Day, February 14, 1912, admitting Arizona as the 48th state. New Mexico had been made the 47th state only one month earlier, on January 6, 1912. Tucson, having lost the status of Territorial Capitol to Phoenix in 1889 and still resentful that the town had been abandoned to Apaches by the withdrawal of Union troops at the start of the Civil War, did not react with any great enthusiasm to statehood. The Tucson Citizen of that day noted the event, but pointed out that "Admission Day was also the 50th anniversary of Arizona's admission to the Confederate States of America."

State Flag

"I designed the flag that is known today as the State Flag, the only difference being that the first flag had a red bar entirely across the copper star, indicating our Indian Wars. Arizona colors are Blue and Old Gold. The old Spanish colors were Red and Gold. These colors had historical value, as they were the colors carried by Coronado. In considering something distinctive of Arizona, its copper industry was outstanding. In our connection with the Federal Union we were the last state to be admitted, so I decided to use something symbolic of the original colonies, so I used thirteen rays. I wanted to represent Arizona as a western state, ... and we used the setting sun. Superimposed upon the center of the flag is the copper-colored Star of Arizona. The flag in this way carries the state colors, the old Spanish colors, and the distinctive copper color of Arizona."

--Captain Charles Wilford Harris, 1911

Even with statehood, Arizona did not experience significant growth until after World War II. Long considered a kind of national sanitarium for health seekers, Tucson advertised itself through booster groups like the "Sunshine Club" who sought to capitalize on the region's climate and environment. With efforts to entice new residents to Tucson, the city's population grew rapidly from 5000 in 1890, to 40,000 by 1940, to about 400,000 in 1990. "Boosterism" and enticements proffered by "progressive" Tucson officials "offered to sell the desert to the Nation" and change Tucson's cultural character. A letter to the Daily Star, in the 1940s, expresses this sentiment:

We are ashamed of those districts where the poor ... are forced to crowd into the filth and dirt of those adobe houses.... We cheer for joy every time we see an old building torn down and a new one take its place. We are not proud of our "Mexican Town" ... we are looking forward to the time when we can wipe it off the face of our map.... We believe in progress.

However, not everyone believed tearing down the Old Pueblo was progress, and so began the debate of how to preserve Tucson's cultural character and record of the past while building for the future.

Photo -- Pearl Street

Photo -- Silver Lake

Cultural Resources and the National Register of Historic Places

The National Historic Preservation Act, passed in 1966 in response to the virtual destruction of the historic cores of many cities in the name of "progress," created the National Register of Historic Places and defined historic properties broadly. Throughout this document, the term historic and cultural property may be used interchangeably with historic resource, cultural resource, and heritage resource. In each case , the term refers to the variety of property types that span some 12,000 years of human history, and may be archaeological, architectural, historical, or cultural in nature, or combinations of these terms.

The National Register of Historic Places is the nation's official list or inventory of properties that are significant representations of American heritage, and may be considered a national census of historic properties.. The National Register of Historic Places includes buildings, sites, districts, structures, or objects that are considered significant for their historical, architectural, archaeological, engineering, or cultural values, that have attained importance in the last 50 years. Criteria for eligibility define the range of resources and kinds of significance that will qualify properties for listing on the National Register. These definitions are included below as standards to provide guidance to Pima County for classifications of its cultural resources.

The National Register Criteria for Evaluation:

The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering and culture is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and:

a. That are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of history; or

b. That are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past;or

c. That embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction;or

d. That have yielded, or have the potential to yield, information important in prehistory or history.

National Register Categories of Historic Properties:

The National Register of Historic Places includes significant properties, classified as buildings, sites, districts, structures or objects.

Building -- A building, such as a house, barn, church, hotel, or similar construction, is created principally to shelter any form of human activity. Buildings may include courthouses, houses, city or town halls, forts, schools, sheds, theatres, libraries, post offices, ranch houses, barns, industrial complexes, hotels, inns, railroad stations, and other types.

Site -- A site is the location of a significant event, a prehistoric or historic occupation or activity, or a building or structure, whether standing, ruined, or vanished, where the location itself possesses historic, cultural, or archaeological value regardless of the value of any existing structure. Examples include buildings and structures, battle sites, campsites and trails, natural features of the environment, land marks, archaeological sites, traditional cultural places, ceremonial sites, rock art, village sites, ghost towns, and other locations.

Districts -- A district possesses a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, buildings, structures, or objects united historically or aesthetically by plan for physical development. A district derives its importance from being a unified entity, even though it is often composed of a wide variety of resources, The identity of a district results from the inter-relationship of its resources, which can convey a visual sense of the overall historic environment or be an arrangement of historically or functionally related properties. Examples include areas that reflect one principal activity like an industrial mill site, mining, or ranching, or it can encompass several interrelated activities like a mill town or ghost town that includes industrial, residential, and commercial buildings, sites, structures, or objects. A district can also be a grouping of archaeological sites related primarily by their common components and patterns of land use.

Structure -- The term structure is used to distinguish from buildings those functional constructions made usually for purposes other than creating human shelter. Examples include bridges, canals, dams, earthworks, fences, water towers, kilns, railroad lines, tunnels, and other similar structures.

Object -- The term object is used to distinguish from buildings and structures those constructions that are primarily artistic in nature or are relatively small in scale and simply constructed. Although it may be by nature or design movable, an object typically is associated with a specific setting or environment. Examples include boundary marker, fountain, monument, sculpture, or other similar objects.

Another way cultural resources are often discussed and conceptualized is by broad categories of resources that reflect either time, artistic merit, and traditional use. While the National Register categories are official designations for listing, cultural resources may be more descriptively defined as follows.

Archaeological Resources -- Any material remains of past human life or activities which are preserved in their original setting, now an archaeological context, that are important in prehistory or history. These sites or districts may include occupation sites, work areas, farming sites, burials and other funerary remains, artifacts, campsites, hearths, rock art, intaglios, trails, battle sites, religious or ceremonial sites, caves and rock shelters, the architectural or other remains of structures of all kinds, such as pit houses, pueblo rooms, adobe or rock foundations, and other domestic features, usually dating from prehistoric or aboriginal periods, or from historic periods at least 50 years old, for which only archaeological vestiges remain. Examples include the Valencia Site, the Los Robles Archaeological District, the Tucson Presidio, and Mission San Agustin del Tucson.

Historic Resources -- Sites, districts, structures, objects, or other evidences of human activities that represent facets of the history of the nation, state, or locality. Also places where significant historical or unusual events occurred even though no evidence of the event remains, or places associated with persons significant in our history that have gained importance in the last 50 years. Examples include Agua Caliente, ranches and homesteads, El Tiradito, the battle site of Picacho Peak, the Juan Bautista de Anza Expedition Trail and campsites, and the Kino mission sites.

Architectural Resources -- Buildings, structures, landscaping, or other human constructions that possess artistic merit, are particularly representative of their class or period, or represent achievements in architecture, engineering, technology, or design that have gained importance in the last 50 years; such resources are often important for their archaeological and historical values as well. Examples include San Xavier Mission, the Pima County courthouse, Tucson Mountain Park, and Colossal Cave.

Rural Historic Landscapes -- Also considered cultural landscapes, that portion of the exterior natural environment that has been modified, influenced, or given special cultural meaning by people who shaped the landscape to serve human needs. A rural historic landscape is a geographical area that historically has been used by people or shaped or modified by human activity, occupancy, or intervention, and that possesses a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of areas of land use, vegetation, buildings and structures, roads and waterways and natural features. Historic landscapes may reflect the beliefs, attitudes, traditions, and values of these people. Examples include traditional ranch lands in the Cienega Creek and Altar valleys, the Sierrita Mountain Ranch area, the Silverbell Mountains region, Canoa Ranch, and Tumamoc Hill.

Traditional Cultural Places -- A traditional cultural place may be defined as an historic site or district that is important because of its association with cultural practices or beliefs of a living community that (a) are rooted in that community's history, and (b) are important in maintaining the continuing cultural identity of the community. The traditional cultural significance of an historic property is derived from the role the property plays in a community's historically rooted beliefs, customs, and practices. Examples include:

Historic Contexts, Current Research, and Conservation Issues

To qualify for the National Register, a property must be significant; it must represent a significant part of the history, archaeology, engineering, or culture of an area, which can be judged and explained only when it is evaluated within its historic context. Historic contexts are those patterns, themes, or trends in history, in a geographic location, and time period by which a specific site may be understood. Simply stated -- historic contexts are defined by theme, place, and time.

Historic contexts may also be defined at a variety of geographic levels or scales. A local historic context represents an aspect of the history of a town, city, county, cultural area, or regions or any portions thereof. Properties may be evaluated in a state context when they represent an aspect of the history of the State as a whole, and properties of national context significance represent an aspect of the history of the United States as a whole and may be considered National Historic Landmarks.

To assist in defining historic contexts for Arizona, the State Historic Preservation Office developed in 1996, the "Arizona Historic Preservation Plan" designed to identify what the public perceived as priorities for preservation. A public process involving surveys was undertaken to define these contexts. Generally, the public felt that the older and more unique properties were greater priorities for preservation and protection. However, a variety of themes were identified as important.

The following themes and time periods were ranked from highest to least important:
   Themes  Time Periods
 Highest  Archaeology  Prehistoric
   Architecture  Territorial
   Transportation  Exploration
   Community Development  Statehood
   Ethnic Heritage  Recent
 Lowest  Military  

The response demonstrated two important results: 1) that it is important to the public that representations of all time periods are preserved; and 2) that older resources should take priority over newer ones. Statewide planning for the identification and evaluation of historic resources are guided by the following context studies prepared thus far by the State Historic Preservation Office. Although these represent state contexts that have been identified as priorities, these studies also provide the basis for local evaluation.

Historic Context Studies:

Archaic & Paleo-Indian Periods in Arizona

Basques in Arizona, from Spanish Colonial Times to the Present

Chinese in Arizona, 1870-1950

Commerce in Phoenix, 1870-1942

Gold & Silver Mining in Arizona, 1848-1945

Historic Trails in Arizona from Coronado to 1940

Homesteading in Arizona, 1862-1940

Lithic Sites in Arizona

Prehistoric Irrigation in Arizona

Prehistoric Non-irrigated Agriculture

Prehistoric Rock Art in Arizona

Prehistoric to Historic Transition Period in Arizona, circa AD 1500-1700

Cattle Ranching in Arizona, 1697-1950

Transcontinental Railroading in Arizona 1878-1945

The United States Military in Arizona, 1846-1945

Vernacular Architecture in Arizona, 1863-1920

Current Research and Conservation Issues:

In recent years due to rapid and extensive suburban growth, cultural resource inventories and other studies sponsored by private, state, county, city, and federal entities prior to development and construction have resulted in a tremendous amount of new information. Consequently, great strides forward have been made in understanding the Archaic and Hohokam periods, and to a lesser extent, Territorial period settlement.

However, still lacking are any new data relating to Paleo-Indian period, and only slightly more information has been gained into the transitional period between the Hohokam late Classic period and Spanish contact and the earliest historic period defined by the first Spanish entradas into the Southwest. Inventories of historic properties in small communities like Ajo or Arivaca or historic ranches in rural areas have not kept pace with other cultural resource studies.

While the amount of cultural resource studies completed for regulated development has multiplied tremendously, no such studies are completed for unregulated or "wildcat" subdivisions. As a result, there are significant gaps in information for these areas which tend to be in rural areas where little, if any, cultural resource knowledge exists. Because inventory and mitigation are typically precursors to development, it must be understood that virtually all sites identified as a requirement for rezonings or development plan approvals, road construction and other public works projects have been since destroyed.

The greatest threats to cultural resources continue to be vandalism, new construction, lack of awareness, and no financial incentives. Attempts by developers to conserve sites have been minimal and largely unplanned. Only the large tracts of land set aside for conservation by land management agencies tend to retain their cultural values. Consequently, those sites that remain intact and undisturbed and retain their integrity of place and setting become increasingly valuable for their historical and cultural importance and merit a considerable effort in conservation.

Status of Cultural Resource Inventory and Site Protection

As early as 1988, an assessment of the status of cultural resource inventory in Pima County was undertaken by the State Historic Preservation Office. That report, "The Pima County Archaeological Inventory Project," concluded "that a deficiency exists in all areas of Pima County where information comparable to that from large-scale intensive and systematic surveys is not available." Similarly, cultural resource inventories on the Tohono O'odham Reservation, in rural areas, and in western Pima County are very limited, and there is a similar dearth of historic site and building inventories in rural communities. Because inventory and cultural resource studies are largely driven by where development occurs, only the urban and suburban areas of eastern Pima County have experienced the greatest amount of study.

National Register Properties in Pima County:

As noted in earlier sections, the National Register of Historic Places is the nation's official listing of cultural resources, which conveys recognition of their importance to the nation and the community and affords these properties some measure of protection from government actions. Because sites need only be determined eligible for consideration under historic preservation laws, in cases where site destruction is imminent these cultural resources are never actually listed on the National Register. Those sites and districts, which do proceed to being nominated and listed, are also those most likely to benefit from long-term conservation and management objectives, resulting in their long-term preservation and protection by federal land management agencies or private property owners in historic districts like El Presidio or Fort Lowell. A list of National Register sites and districts that are located throughout Pima County is attached.

More than 100 individual properties and districts are currently listed, many of them located within the urban limits of the City of Tucson or within the boundaries of Saguaro National Park and on other public lands. While this may sound like a substantial conservation effort, nearly 4500 individual cultural resources have been identified and recorded with the Arizona State Museum. Many of these sites are just as important as those actually listed on the National Register, but because of eventual development plans, they were not listed Unfortunately, many have been destroyed by the very development that caused them to be identified in the first place.

Arizona State Museum & the AZSITE Cultural Resource Inventory:

Over the past century, the Arizona State Museum has served as an archive for knowledge about the cultural resources of the state. One of the most useful resources for professionals doing federal, state, and locally mandated cultural resource management is the cultural resource Site Files Office.

Since the 1930s, museum researchers have compiled information on thousands of sites located throughout the state, and this information serves as a permanent record for researchers and cultural resource managers. Because the records were kept in a paper format, and because other state and federal offices in Arizona also maintain separate cultural resource files, using the records for their intended education, research, planning and management functions became cumbersome and unmanageable.

In recognition of the need to consolidate all historic property records electronically and in one institution, the AZSITE project, a collaboration among the Arizona State Museum, the State Historic Preservation Office, Arizona State University, and the Museum of Northern Arizona, began in 1995. Its goal is to computerize the various archaeological and historical site records in Arizona from more than two dozen federal, state, and private agencies. The AZSITE project consists of two spatially referenced electronic databases: sites and survey project areas. The data base contains information on approximately 58,000 sites and historic properties state-wide and several thousand surveys. When entered, these data will be Internet-accessible to all authorized land managers and cultural resource offices, including Pima County.

By the end of 1998, various funding sources have provided or committed over $500,000 in grant monies to the project. An initial planning grant came from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training through the National Park Service, and the Federal Geographic Data Committee provided funding for a benefits analysis of adding BLM and Forest Service data to the file. A major source of funding will come from the Arizona Department of Transportation, which has committed Transportation Enhancement funds for two years of work. The BLM has supported software purchases and the Arizona Heritage Fund administered by Arizona State Parks has provided planning and implementation grants. Access to these data compiled in the AZSITE system is anticipated in summer 1999.

Summary of Inventory and Surveyed Areas:

At present, the Arizona State Museum site files contain information on virtually all sites and survey records in Pima County, except for historic property inventory records and National Register property records housed at the State Historic Preservation Office. Nearly 4500 site records and 1200 survey records exist for eastern Pima County, and work is currently underway to computerize these data and make them available to Pima County through the AZSITE system. While these data will provide the basis for the assessment of the status of cultural resource inventory, assessment, and protection to be addressed in the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, it must be noted that we will never know what the entire universe of cultural resources was prior to urbanization. Prior to the 1960s, there was very little cultural resource survey conducted in southern Arizona by academic researchers and there were no requirements that cultural resources be inventoried and assessed before development occurred. Consequently, almost no information exists for the urban Tucson area.

Since passage of the various federal, state, and local historic preservation laws and policies beginning in 1966, the number of cultural resource inventories completed for "compliance purposes" has dramatically increased in number and scope. In addition, federal land management agencies like the National Park Service, BLM, Forest Service, and Bureau of Reclamation and the Arizona State Land Department have sought to fulfill their mandated requirements to inventory their lands and prepare management plans to ensure conservation. The 1980s in particular was a time of substantial efforts to inventory these public lands leading to large areal surveys, which served both the land management agencies and provided the basis for both academic research and "compliance" studies required in advance of development.

The following figure illustrates where these large areal surveys had been completed by 1986. Notable among these surveys are the Northern and Southern Tucson Basin surveys, the Los Robles survey, Catalina State Park, Schuk Toak, San Xavier, Santa Rita Mountain survey, various CAP surveys, and Saguaro National Park east. As a consequence of these efforts, a number of these surveyed areas were nominated and listed as National Register districts, which has served to acknowledge their importance and promote their conservation.

Following the large areal surveys completed by federal and state agencies, surveys for compliance purposes in advance of development and construction projects by agencies and the private sector greatly increased during the housing and real estate boom of the 1990s. From a total of about 800 surveys completed by 1986, which represents a period of more than 50 years of record keeping at the Arizona State Museum, the number of surveys completed in the just last decade has grown to approximately 1200, a 50 percent increase, which reflects our community's rate of growth.

A brief assessment of the total acreage or square miles inventoried presents a similar dramatic increase. In 1986, approximately 463 square miles had been surveyed, which included most of the large areal surveys. In terms of percent of the county inventoried, simple statistics indicate that by 1986 about 11 percent of the land area of eastern Pima County had been surveyed and only 5 percent of the entire county area had been surveyed. By 1995 with the substantial increase in required compliance surveys, the amount of surveyed acreage increased to 661 square miles, or 16 percent of eastern Pima County and still only 7 percent of the entire county.

The number of sites recorded reflects a similar dramatic increase occurring over the last 10 years or so. In 1986 there was a total of 2955 cultural resources recorded throughout Pima County, and some 2000 sites, or 68 percent of the total, recorded in the Tucson metropolitan area of eastern Pima County. By 1995, due to the substantial increase in compliance activity in the Tucson metropolitan area, this number increased to a total of nearly 4500 sites, an increase of 52 percent. Eastern Pima County accounted for some 3400 sites, or some 75 percent of the total number of cultural resources known in the county.

Map -- Tucson Basin Large Surveys

More than anything, compliance surveys and sites identified in response to the intensification of growth are the cause for the disproportionate amount of site records in the metropolitan area.

   Surveys  Area  Percent of County  Number of Sites  Sites/Sq.mi.
 Number  Sq.mi.  East  Total  East  Total  Total
 By 1986  800  463  11  5  2000  2955  6.4
 By 1995  1200  661  16  7  3400  4500  6.8


Because survey intensity ranges from full to sample coverage, the average number of sites is very likely to be in the range of 7-10 sites per square mile. However, as data become available from updating AZSITE, these statistics will be refined to more accurately reflect the status of site and survey information, where sites have been located, what cultural groups are represented, and when and how these cultural groups used the land. Deficiencies in survey coverage, the kinds of sites represented, and numbers of sites will also be identified. However, trends that are apparent in the last decade appear to be consistent and probably reflect reasonably accurately how growth and development have served to increase our knowledge, but at the same time reflect how this growth is impacting the very heritage we have just identified. It is no accident that the Tucson Basin, with its history of available water, was intensively occupied throughout its history. Because of this focus of occupation, the cultural resource sensitivity in portions of eastern Pima County is extremely high. This area is also the focus of intensive development today.

Sites Protected -- Sites Destroyed

Unlike the large areal surveys completed for land management agencies whose purpose was the protection and long-term conservation of cultural resources, large proposed development projects resulting from specific plans and other large rezoning projects completed cultural resource surveys in anticipation of site destruction. Notable among these large developments are Midvale Farms, Continental Ranch, Rancho Vistoso, Rancho Romero, La Paloma, Red Hawk/Dove Mountain, Sabino Springs, Rocking K, Vail Valley Ranch, Corona de Tucson, Rita Ranch, the proposed Canoa Ranch, and Fairfield Green Valley, among others.

While further analysis of the AZSITE data is needed to accurately quantify how much destruction has occurred, it is reasonable to assume that nearly all sites found within these development areas are or will be destroyed, some with the benefit of data recovery or documentation and many others with none. It is fortunate certainly that these subdivisions were regulated and that mitigation studies were done to retrieve the cultural information. However, "controlled destruction" is still destruction.

Today in eastern Pima County, there are currently 4742 subdivisions covering some 161,000 acres or 252 square miles, which represent the urban area's regulated growth. At an average of 7-10 sites per square mile, regulated growth has probably destroyed some 1800-2500 cultural resources. However, how many unrecorded and undocumented historic and cultural properties have been destroyed by unregulated or wildcat subdivision is likely to be significant and cannot be accurately quantified. Moreover, because Pima County does not yet require demolition permits, it is not known how many historic buildings and structures have been lost through demolition. Efforts to identify these historic properties are necessary to attempt to prevent such losses in the future.

Later AZSITE data analyses will be necessary to bear this out, but it is likely that virtually all sites identified in the 1980s due to compliance activities for development and many other sites in the metropolitan area that were recorded in earlier times have since been destroyed. Using map overlays and simple statistics and data that are currently available, it may be estimated that between 40 to 60 percent of cultural resources in eastern Pima County have been destroyed or severely impacted from construction and development. Additional impacts from "wildcat" or unregulated subdivision and development will undoubtedly drive this percentage even higher.

Those cultural resources that remain relatively undisturbed in the urban metropolitan area are now rare representations of the former cultural landscape that once characterized the Tucson Basin. Notable among these few remaining sites in the urban area are the Valencia Site, Los Morteros, the Marana Mound, University Indian Ruin, Sabino Canyon Ruin, and Tumamoc Hill. Historic sites and districts are largely within the City of Tucson, but a few historic sites like Agua Caliente Ranch, Tanque Verde Ranch, Colossal Cave, and Robles Ranch located on the suburban fringe remain as representations of the Territorial period. Many Spanish and Mexican period sites like the Tucson Presidio and Mission San Agustin are located within the urban core and have been heavily impacted by development and urban renewal in the 1960s.

Areas where the greatest protections have been achieved for cultural resources include the National Register sites and districts that resulted from land management surveys and conservation policies and plans adopted in the 1980s. A list of these locations follows. While not all large areal surveys resulted in National Register nominations and listings, project areas that are listed in the National Register include:

Map -- Regulated Subdivisions and Parcel Boundaries

Pima County Historic Preservation Bond Projects:

In addition to federal and state land management agencies, Pima County itself began an open space acquisition program in 1986, which supplemented large preserves already under county management for conservation and limited recreational uses. These areas include Tucson Mountain Park, Colossal Cave and Posta Quemada Ranch, Cienega Creek, and other lands. While these county lands complement conservation by federal and state agencies, significant tracts of environmentally and culturally sensitive lands were nonetheless being developed in the 1980s and 1990s at a rapid rate in areas adjacent to these preserves, resulting in impacts to pristine desert habitat, wildlife, unspoiled views, and cultural resources. Intensive development was impacting the very quality of life issues that people come to Tucson to enjoy.

Consequently, in response to rapid growth and the loss of open space and its natural and cultural values, Pima County voters in 1997 overwhelmingly passed the Open Space and Historic Preservation bond question, which provided $6.4 million for specific properties to be acquired for conservation purposes and for the rehabilitation, restoration, and interpretation of historic and cultural properties identified for conservation through a public process of nominations. Those properties that were consistently nominated include both properties already owned by Pima County and other properties that should be acquired for the purpose of conservation. At this time, there are eleven candidate bond projects that have been selected for their historical and archaeological significance and for their potential to provide the broadest public benefit.

Historic Properties: These projects include National Register properties already owned by Pima County that are in need of restoration to ensure these sites are preserved for the enjoyment and benefit of future generations. Some of these sites include Colossal Cave Visitors' Center and Museum and the Agua Caliente Ranch buildings. Other projects would seek to acquire significant historic properties for public use, such as the San Agustin Mission Site, which is known as the "Birthplace of Tucson," Robles Ranch in Three Points, and establishment of the Anza National Trail in cooperation with the National Park Service.

Archaeological Sites: These projects include significant archaeological and cultural properties that would be acquired for protection and interpretation in public parks and open space. As growth in Pima County has intensified, there has been a significant loss of archaeological and cultural properties. Sites that could still be protected for future public appreciation include Tumamoc Hill, the Valencia Site, and Los Morteros.


Map -- Anza Expedition

The historic preservation bond projects approved by voters in 1997, and adopted by the Pima County Board of Supervisors include:

Colossal Cave - Restoration and rehabilitation efforts planned for historic buildings used by the public at Colossal Cave owned by Pima County. This site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Restoration involves removing inappropriate modifications to buildings, reconstruction of roofs to correct structural deficiencies, and restoration of architectural design integrity.

Agua Caliente Ranch - Restoration and rehabilitation of historic ranch buildings owned by Pima County. This site has been determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, and restoration will allow for adaptive reuse for public programs such as classes, park orientation, lectures, and other special events. Restoration will benefit the public by allowing continued use of original historic buildings for educational and park uses.

Empirita Ranch - The original ranch buildings owned by Pima County may be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Building assessments and restoration of buildings are planned to allow preservation and continued use of historic structures by the public.

Robles Ranch - Residents from Three Points (Robles Junction) have requested that this original building that literally began the settlement of Robles Junction in 1883 be obtained and restored as a community building for the residents in this rural area. The restored ranch buildings would function as a community center, Sheriff's substation, offices for various social services, and as a meeting and recreation center for the community. This historic ranch has been determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Mission San Agustín - Acquisition of the "Birthplace of Tucson." This site at the base of Sentinel Peak or "A" Mountain has been occupied since prehistoric times and first noted by Father Kino in the 1690s as San Cosme de Tucson, the site of an historic Piman village known as "stjukshon, which gave Tucson its name. Ruins of the San Agustín Mission, Convento, and Mission Gardens dating from the 1700s remain, as well as prehistoric features. The site has been determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, and a public park commemorating the historic beginnings of Tucson is planned.

Canoa Ranch - Restoration and rehabilitation of the historic Canoa Ranch complex is planned for public use following acquisition through donation or purchase. The ranch complex is comprised of 12 buildings and other structures that were built in the period from about 1880 - 1930. The complex includes two compounds enclosing a number of residences, a bunkhouse and smaller quarters, a former school house, stables, corrals, and other outbuildings. The ranch buildings would be restored for public use and enjoyment to preserve and showcase an important historic property in the middle Santa Cruz Valley.

Anza National Trail & Campsites - The Anza National Historic Trail extends for 1200 miles from the Mexico border to San Francisco. Acquisition and interpretation is planned for public access and enjoyment of approximately 60 miles of the Anza National Trail and six campsite locations along the west bank of the Santa Cruz River in Pima County. The Anza Trail has been nominated as a "Millennium Trail" and the site for the celebration of Spanish contributions to the settlement and development of the United States.

Tumamoc Hill - Acquisition of this significant and extensive prehistoric dry-farming site comprised of 320 acres on the western slopes of Tumamoc Hill is planned to preserve this National Historic Landmark, that is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as open space and to protect its natural and cultural values.

Los Morteros - Acquisition and interpretation of this Hohokam ballcourt village site along the north end of the Tucson Mountains is planned for public enjoyment and protection of this important site. This site is not only important for its extensive Hohokam village but also for the 1775 campsite known as "Llano del Azotado" of the Anza Expedition and the 1858 "Point of the Mountain" Butterfield Stage Station. Creation of Los Morteros Heritage Park is planned to commemorate this site.

Valencia Site - Through acquisition and interpretation, this significant Hohokam ballcourt community in the southern Tucson Basin could be preserved and protected for future public appreciation. This National Register site represents some 500 years of Hohokam occupation, and there is evidence for earlier Archaic settlement here as well. Creation of the Valencia Site Archaeological Park is planned.

Pantano Townsite - Through acquisition of this parcel located along Cienega Creek, the ghost town of Pantano could be preserved for public interpretation. Pantano was once a substantial railroad community along the Southern Pacific Railroad between 1887 to the 1950s when it was abandoned. Only foundations and the town cemetery remain. Incorporation of the parcel into the Cienega Creek Preserve is planned together with stabilization and public intepretation.

In addition to the approved bond projects that have received funding, three alternative historic preservation projects have been identified for possible funding in the event that any of the approved projects cannot be completed.

Plan -- Fort Lowell

The alternative projects are located in the City of Tucson, and they have been proposed either by Mayor and Council, City staff, or various preservation groups for consideration in the Pima County Historic Preservation Bond Program.

Drachman School - Feasibility studies are currently underway by the City of Tucson for the preparation of adaptive reuse plans for the 90 year old Drachman School that would benefit the Santa Rosa Neighborhood and Barrio Historico. Funding would assist in the restoration of this historic building for community use as compatible neighborhood housing for the elderly.

Fort Lowell Park - Acquisition of a parcel comprising the southwest portion of the original fort complex would serve to expand Fort Lowell Park for the public benefit and protect some of the best-preserved original buildings.

Tucson Presidio - The Tucson Presidio 1775-1856 once protected this Spanish Colonial mission and settlement. Today, the Presidio area is bounded by Church, Washington, Main, and Pennington. Only one undeveloped parcel remains at the corner of Church and Washington, which contains the northeast corner of the Tucson Presidio. Acquisition and commemoration of the Presidio for the benefit and enjoyment of the public are planned.

Santa Cruz River Restoration & El Paseo de las Iglesias:

Also consistent with the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan are plans to restore the riparian habitat and conserve, protect, and interpret cultural resources along the segment of the Santa Cruz River from San Xavier Mission to Mission San Agustin del Tucson, a distance of some 8-9 miles. This historic travel corridor between the two 18th century Spanish missions followed the route of the Camino Real, which extended from Spanish Colonial cities in what is today Mexico to Tucson the northern-most outpost of Colonial New Spain. When encountered by Fr. Kino in the 1690s, the segment of river between the two missions was a virtual oasis in the desert with great potential. Kino observed:

The fields and lands for sowing were so extensive and supplied with so many irrigation ditches running along the ground ... they were sufficient for another city like Mexico.

Historical accounts of Tucson indicate that the river flowed perennially at Mission San Xavier del Bac and near downtown Tucson at Mission San Agustin. If we are to trust these historical accounts, the flow of the Santa Cruz River prior to 1890 was at the very least dependable, if not truly perennial.

Photo -- Santa Cruz River, 1904

Numerous sites cultural sites important to Pima County and Tucson are located along the historic corridor of the Santa Cruz River, especially where water was once abundant. Some of these sites include: San Xavier del Bac, the Anza National Trail and Camino Real, the Hohokam Valencia Site, the Julian Wash Site, Silver Lake and its hotel and mills, Warners Lake and Mill, the Solomon Warner House, Tumamoc Hill, the Tucson Presidio, and Mission San Agustin, also known as the "birthplace of Tucson."

The basic features of the Paseo de las Iglesias project to restore the riparian habitat and cultural landscape of the Santa Cruz River demonstrate the conservation ethic embraced by the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan and the integration of its natural and cultural elements:


Partners in Preservation:

As a basis for planning for the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, the system of preservation of historic resources relies on the efforts of a varied array of governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. While Pima County is attempting to provide the goals and guidance for cultural resource conservation, the cooperation and partnership of those who have a stake in the preservation of the past and who share these conservation goals will be key to the Plan's successful implementation. Moreover, participation in the implementation of the Historic Preservation Element of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan should serve to establish stronger links between these varied interests.

The following is a listing of some of the key partners who have a stake in the preservation of Pima County's heritage resources and whose knowledge and guidance will be sought to implement the Plan:

Tribal Interests:

Federal Government Partners:

State Partners:

Local Advocates:

Local Government Partners:

As a consequence of these preservation partnerships and the results of the planned AZSITE analyses, it is anticipated that recommendations and goals for cultural resource inventory and conservation will be brought forward in a regional perspective offered by the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan. Implementation of these recommendations will take even greater consensus-building and inter-jurisdictional cooperation regarding conservation, historic site designation and zoning and the protection and consistent treatment of archaeological sites.

Members of the Historic Preservation Technical Advisory Team, with assistance from our preservation partners will be instrumental in preparing technical reports that expand on this report, provide for data compilation, recommend additional studies, conduct data analyses, prepare synthetic statements about the status of our heritage resources, and finally make recommendations about how to conserve and protect the remaining historic and cultural resources in Pima County.

Recommendations for Revisions to the Pima County Historic Zone Ordinance

Various elements of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan call for the preservation and protection of lands that contain unique or significant environmental, historic or cultural resources. As discussed in the plan, one method to ensure preservation is acquisition, another is land use regulation to ensure compatible land use, and another is conservation incentives for property owners. While acquisition of certain key parcels has been approved through the Open Space and Historic Preservation Bond projects, it will not be possible or desirable to purchase for conservation purposes the very large tracts of land that might be considered natural and cultural landscapes.

The remaining conservation measures are really land use policies that allow for historic designation through zoning and incentives for property owners to designate and protect their historic properties. Although Pima County has had an Historic Zone (Chapter 18.91 of the Pima County Zoning Code since 1972), only two historic districts, one around San Xavier Mission and a second near Fort Lowell, have been designated. The current ordinance only addresses "districts" and does not allow for any other designation of historic property types as discussed earlier in this document. Moreover, an overlay zone does not exist for the protection of archaeological resources or traditional cultural places like ranches and their land base. As a consequence of these deficiencies and direction from the Board of Supervisors in January 1999, it is recommended that the current Pima County Historic Zone Ordinance be revised to comprehensively address a wide range of archeological, historical, and cultural properties that include:

Two levels of historic site designation are possible: listing on the National Register of Historic Places and local Historic Zoning, together with incentives for designation and protection. As tangible links to its past, historic buildings reflect the unique character of a community neighborhoods and rural areas. Consequently, various federal and state laws have been enacted to support the preservation of these buildings through tax reductions and other incentives. Arizona's historic property owners can benefit from these programs if their properties meet certain criteria, principally eligibility and listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

The second part of this document provides an analysis of various historic preservation ordinances either in effect or proposed, and makes recommendations for revisions to the existing Pima County Historic Zone.

The State Historic Property Tax (SPT) Program:

For non-income producing (residential) properties, this part of the SPT program offers a reclassification of property effectively reducing up to 50 percent the property tax assessment for owners of properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, either individually or as contributor to a National Register district. This is a 15 year agreement during which the property is maintained according to federal and state standards to protect its historic qualities, and it must be used wholly for non-income producing purposes. Brief reports and photo must be filed annually to maintain eligibility for the tax reduction. Primary participants in the program are owner-occupied residential properties. The program us administered jointly by the County Assessor and the State Historic Preservation Office.

The commercial property component of the SPT is available to qualified historic, commercial, income-producing properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Under this part of the SPT program, the owner of a historic commercial building may request to enter into a 10 year program whereby the building's first year tax is assessed as before (the temporary tax classification does not necessarily change the current base assessment), while any modifications and improvements intended to restore or rehabilitate the property are assessed at only 1 percent of their full cash value. The intent of this program is to provide the owner an opportunity to make the building presentable to potential tenants and allow the owner and tenants the opportunity to make improvements without the threat of significant tax increases. Primary users of this program are owners of commercial, industrial, or rental residential properties. The program is administered by the County Assessor and State Historic Preservation Office.

The Federal Investment Tax Credit Program (FITC):

The FITC program is oriented toward investment properties. The FITC authorizes a 20 percent investment tax credit for substantial rehabilitation of historic properties, together with accelerated depreciation for income-producing properties. Like the State program, properties must be listed individually or as contributors within an historic district listed on the National Register. Application for the program is made through SHPO, and if approved, it is forwarded to the National Park Service for certification.

Other Economic Incentives:

Historic designation, whether listing on the National Register or local zoning, almost always has a beneficial effect on property values, commercial revitalization, business investment, and increased tourism. This was confirmed by a number of national studies in the mid 1990s. Studies in Denver and Virginia concluded that historic preservation provides for economic growth and development.

Denver, like many western cities suffering from flight to the suburbs and sprawl, saw its urban core being abandoned and severely affected by disinvestment. In its lower downtown section before historic designation, nearly 40 percent of the buildings were vacant, and 30 percent of the properties had been foreclosed. Properties values plummeted and blighted conditions worsened, but city leaders took the initiative and designated the Denver Downtown Historic District, despite property owners fear of a loss of property rights and a further erosion of property values. However, just the opposite happened ‹ occupancy rates increased to 90 percent, reinvestment fostered new compatible development, and property values doubled. It was concluded that scarcity (historic character) and certainty (assurances about compatible development) create value.

In Virginia, a state-wide study assessed the economic impact of historic preservation on tourism, job creation, property values, and downtown revitalization. The study found that 70 percent of tourists visit historic sites, and those with an interest in history stayed longer and spent 2.5 times more than other visitors. Preservation work on 900 buildings in Virginia was credited with creating more than 12,000 jobs and $270 million in household income, and the study found that property values appreciated more within designated historic districts than elsewhere in the city. In addition, preservation activities in small communities throughout Virginia resulted in substantial downtown revitalization.

In Pima County, heritage tourism is an important economic opportunity that has been confirmed by recent studies conducted for the Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau in 1995-96 and the Arizona Office of Tourism in 1998. National tourism studies confirm the trend.

In Pima County, some of the most popular recreational pursuits were hiking and sight-seeing, visiting historic sites, and visiting museums, and interestingly, only 11 percent played golf. Overall, tourism generated 36,500 wage and salary jobs or 12 percent of all jobs in Pima County, and 2.5 million visitors generated $17 million in tax revenues to Pima County.

The State study indicated similar results and interest in heritage tourism. State-wide, tourism is a $10 billion industry, providing more than 270 thousand jobs, and it attracts more than 26 million visitors who visit the state because of its natural and cultural attractions.

National studies confirm the important role that heritage sites and museums play in travelers' decisions about their destinations. Nearly 46 percent of the 200 million US adult travelers included a cultural, arts, heritage, or historic activity while on a trip of more than 50 miles during 1998, and the survey found that visiting an historic community or building was the most popular cultural activity.


To conclude this report on the Historic Preservation element of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, it is worth summarizing some of the key points made:


Photos -- Pima County Courthouse Fountain


Rewriting the Pima County Historic Zone:
Analysis and Recommendations

Pima County Cultural Resources Program
May 14, 1999


Pima County is blessed with an abundance of cultural resources that reflect a rich and proud heritage. Each period in the county's history is represented within its borders from the earliest Native American occupations of the land, through the Spanish Colonial and succeeding Mexican periods, followed by the American territorial era culminating in Arizona's statehood, and finally, to the present day. Pima County's archeological sites, its buildings, churches and shrines, its ranches and railroads, its rural historic landscapes, are all a part of this legacy that together remind us of how deep our heritage goes and how important it is to who we are and where we live. Even so, there is a tendency to take these historic places for granted - until they are threatened or lost.

During the 1960's, a massive federal development program to revitalize the downtown centers of the nation's cities prompted a public hue and cry as old neighborhoods were razed and a new vision of the future was literally and figuratively imposed on the record of the past. In reaction to this "urban renewal," the voters began to demand that the old be considered while planning for the new and this resulted in the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966. States and local communities all across the country followed the federal lead and established their own laws and regulations to provide a means of identifying, evaluating and treating the effects of government funded or authorized development on cultural resources. In Tucson, the construction of the Government Plaza in the early to mid 1970s set in motion the same forces as elsewhere culminating in the passage of local laws to protect places of historic importance to the citizens of both the City of Tucson and Pima County.

In 1972, Pima County passed an ordinance amending the Zoning Code to establish overlay requirements recognizing and protecting cultural resources defined as historic districts. The Historic Zone ordinance created a mechanism for defining districts and for reviewing development plans that propose to alter or modify the historic characteristics of the district through renovation, new construction or demolition. Two historic district zones were established by this process, the Fort Lowell historic district zone and the San Xavier environs historic zone, and in 1979 the ordinance was amended to add specific regulations for each of these areas. Since 1985, these districts have been annexed by the City of Tucson either in whole (Fort Lowell) or in part (Sac Xavier) as the city has expanded into Pima County. Although in years past the Binghamton and Foothills areas have expressed interest in forming historic districts, no other districts have ever been formed since the ordinance was first adopted almost thirty years ago.

As more the Tucson metropolitan area develops and pushes into the unincorporated portions of Pima County, more of the county's cultural resources will be threatened and eventually lost. The county's citizens are beginning to see this problem and want to do something about it. Voter approval of the 1997 historic preservation and open space bond question is an indicator of the public's support for historic preservation. Rural historic communities like Ajo and Arivaca have recently requested assistance in establishing historic districts and contain many historic ranches and significant archaeological sites that are worthy of designation. Pima County has formally recognized the value of preserving its cultural resources in its laws and policies; however, an important means of achieving this goal, the Historic Zone, is not functioning as originally intended. It is time therefor to revise this chapter of the Pima County Zoning Code and make it a comprehensive and effective tool for historic preservation in Pima County.

In taking this step, the county should also become a partner with the National Park Service through its Certified Local Government Program. This federal aid program is designed to assist local governments with historic preservation planning and is administered through the State Historic Preservation Offices in each state and territory. Becoming a certified local government will allow Pima County to compete for historic preservation grant dollars that are available only to CLG members. It will also link the county to over 1150 other local governments across the country, 19 of which are in Arizona, that have met the requirements for certification.

Finally, rewriting the Historic Zone will enable the county to integrate historic preservation with other countywide planning efforts including the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan and the Comprehensive Plan. All of these goals are achievable by rewriting this chapter of the Code.

This report compares and analyzes seven historic preservation ordinances: four local to Arizona (including Pima County's), two that are regional to the Southwest and one that is a national example. These ordinances were selected to show how other communities protect their cultural resources from the same kinds of development pressures that Pima County is currently experiencing. Following this comparison, the strengths and weakness of the models are discussed and general recommendations for changing the current Historic Zone are presented. Finally, an outline of legislation that will achieve a comprehensive rewrite of the existing Historic Zone is proposed.

Ordinance Comparison

Appendix A contains information on each of the seven ordinances analyzed and is presented in table form. For each law, the local community, the date the law was originally enacted, the type of resources that are covered, and the review entities are identified. Then an outline is presented of the review process for nominating and designating historic properties, as well as the process used to review alterations to, and demolitions of, those properties. Whether the law provides for economic hardship, contains incentives to encourage preservation, and has enforcement provisions that are specific to the ordinance is also discussed. The process by which appeals are handled is also briefly examined. Lastly, a note is included on whether the local government is a CLG, and if so, when it was certified.

I. Pima County, Arizona

Pima County enacted its ordinance in 1972. It is specifically designed to function as an overlay zone in that a new set of requirements is added to the land uses that are permitted in the underlying zone. The Board of Supervisors (BOS) has ultimate decision making authority and is advised by the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z). Pima County and the City of Tucson are unusual in that they share a preservation commission that was created not through their respective preservation ordinances, but by means of a joint City/County Resolution in 1974. However, the Tucson Pima County Historical Commission is not mentioned and has no role in the county's Zoning Code. Historic sites, structures, objects, landscapes or spaces may be nominated as Historic Districts if they meet certain criteria based upon the requirements for listing properties in the National Register of Historic Places maintained by the National Park Service. The National Register criteria are used for this purpose by each of the laws examined for this study.

Properties may be nominated as a Historic District Zone (HDZ) by not less than 51% of the property owners or the P&Z. A citizens Historic Advisory Board must be established by the Board of Supervisors for each district upon nomination to assist with the designation of the district and to advise the P&Z on development actions that occur within the Historic District. Alterations to, or demolition of, existing structures within an HDZ, or new construction within an HDZ, are subject to review and public hearings and must follow design criteria specified in the ordinance. Pima County cannot deny a demolition permit; it can however delay issuance up to 180 days. Economic hardship is provided for if the applicant can demonstrate that preservation is "economically unfeasible," but what this means and how it is to be demonstrated is not specified. There are no incentives for preservation, such as tax credits, and no specific provisions for enforcement or penalty for violation contained within the ordinance. Enforcement is handled through another section of the Code (chapter 18.95). Pima County is not presently a Certified Local Government.

The greatest strength of the Pima County ordinance lies in its recognition of the need for local involvement in decisions regarding development proposals that may affect a Historic District Zone. The historic advisory boards build local participation into both the designation process and the development review process and gives the citizens some say over what happens within these districts.

Despite this advantage, the ordinance is not working. It is designed to preserve multiple historic structures within zoned areas but does not provide for individual landmarks of any kind, nor is it useful in preserving archaeological sites or other cultural resources. The Tucson Pima County Historical Commission has no responsibilities in the ordinance and thus the county's official source of advice on historic preservation is shut out of the process by which historic district zones are created and managed. Similarly lacking is any means of formally listing historic properties in a register of historic places that would highlight their importance and give official recognition to their contribution to Pima County's history and culture. Lastly, the lack of incentives, financial or otherwise, plus the hardships inherent in forming a historic advisory board and then creating a district may actually have encouraged against district nomination. The fact that only two historic districts have been created since 1972, indicates that the means by which Pima County has to recognize and preserve important cultural and historic places under county law is in need of revision.

II. City of Tucson, Arizona

Tucson also adopted its Historic Preservation Zone ordinance in 1972, which is a part of its land Use Code. It too is explicitly an overlay zone and functions in much the same way as the Historic Zone in Pima County. The Tucson Pima County Historic Commission (TPCHC) is given an explicit advisory role with review responsibilities in the ordinance, however. The City's ordinance also establishes the Planning Director as the review authority within the City and identifies the Mayor and Council as the ultimate authority on property designation and appeals. In addition, the law creates a separate review process for pending districts in anticipation of development actions that may occur in an area that is being considered for historic designation. Nominations may be proposed by the property owners, by the TPCHC or by the Mayor and Council. If a historic district is being proposed, a majority of the property owners by area (51%) or by count (65%) may also initiate the rezoning. The process of nominating and designating a property as either a landmark or district is quite involved and requires a number of steps with public hearings along the way. For districts, The Mayor and Council appoints a citizens Historic Advisory Board (HAB) that then acts to define and report upon the significance of the area to be designated. The city currently has six local districts and two residential areas have expressed interest in becoming districts.

Development criteria for all development and improvements affecting a designated property must be followed whether or not a building permit is also required; these criteria are clearly presented and affect height, aspect, proportions, setbacks, roof type, etc. Review of design plans differs depending whether the work that is being proposed is a renovation of, or improvement to, an existing building, new construction within a district boundary or demolition. The essential distinction made in the city ordinance, however, is the kind of property that will be affected. Landmarks and properties that contribute directly to the designation of a historic district are afforded greater protection by means of decision making at the level of the governing body. Sites, structures, and non-contributing properties within historic properties are subject to a lower level of decision making through the Planning Director. In each case, however, the Tucson Pima County Historic Commission is given a review role. Another interesting aspect of this ordinance is that it creates separate review requirements for development actions that are minor (as defined) from those that have a more substantial impact to cultural resources. In the former case, the process is expedited and decisions are made administratively.

In 1989 The City amended its Historic Preservation Ordinance to meet the State of Arizona's requirements for membership into the National Park Service's Certified Local Government program. The amendment establishes development standards that include a listing of all sites, structures, landmarks and districts, with their contributing and non-contributing properties. It also more clearly defines the roles of the TPCHC, the HAB and the Planning Director for development review.

Overall, the City of Tucson's preservation ordinance has a high degree of flexibility built into it that makes it useful as a planning tool. It clearly identifies those kinds of properties that are of highest priority (landmarks and contributing properties), and establishes a higher level of review for these properties. It imposes meaningful sanctions for violation in the ordinance including fines, permit restrictions and even denial, and may also be used to require reconstruction of historic properties affected without approval in violation of the Land Use Code. There are no incentives for historic preservation, however. Despite its nod to archaeological resources as an important part of the city's heritage, the ordinance was not designed with these kinds of resources in mind. One final note: the organization of the Tucson Historic Preservation Zone Code is highly fragmented making it difficult to follow.

III. City of Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix passed its preservation ordinance into law in 1986. Like Tucson and Pima County, the ordinance is structured as an overlay zone to achieve both property designation and development review and compliance. The ordinance establishes the citizen review entity in the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC), but also creates the post of the Historic Preservation Officer (HPO) as the city's staff person on historic preservation related matters. The HPO is given review and decision making responsibilities for property designation, alterations, new construction, and demolition. Currently, the HPO has a staff of two full time planners, two half time specialists, and an administrative secretary.

Three types of resources are covered in Phoenix's ordinance: Landmarks, districts, and archaeological resources. Landmarks may be separately designated within districts to call out their extraordinary importance - a useful means of establishing multiple layers of significance for individual properties. The process of designation is lengthy involving the HPO, the HPC, the Planning Commission and finally the City Council and at least two, possibly three public hearings. Once approved, the HPC is charged with adopting design guidelines and standards for the property(ies) to guide subsequent decisions on effect and how to treat the effects of development on the property.

Alterations and new construction require one of two certificates issued by the HPO before the Building Official can give authorization for a proposed action within or involving a district, landmark or site. Certificates of No Effect are issued for proposals that have minor or no impacts to historic properties. If the HPO decides that more substantial effects will occur, a Certificate of Appropriateness is required, which has a higher compliance standard that the applicant must meet. The HPO can approve, deny, or condition the approval of this certificate and thereby control development to ensure that effects that are inconsistent with the standards and guidelines for the property are not approved.

Demolition is handled in much the same way and requires a Certificate of Demolition also issued by the HPO. Phoenix, too, recognizes the special problems that can arise with requests for demolition in an area where designation is pending and the ordinance contains provisions for this kind of situation. Phoenix also requires that in certain cases of demolition, the proponent submit a reuse plan indicating how the land will be used after demolition occurs. Economic hardship may be claimed in cases where demolition threatens a designated property and a distinction is made between property that is income producing and non income producing; however, there is no specific requirements for financial disclosure and how this issue is decided is ambiguous.

There are no incentives in the ordinance. Enforcement is provided giving the HPO the authority to issue Stop Work Orders and the city to enforce these through injunctions. Additional enforcement is undoubtedly available through the Zoning Code. Appeals are built into each section of the ordinance where appropriate and follow a process beginning at the HPC, then going to the Planning Commission, and finally ending with a hearing before the full City Council.

Phoenix is a Certified Local Government and has been since 1988. At present, the city has 93 individually listed properties and 30 districts.

This ordinance is highly effective, simply laid out, and easy to follow. Its use of certification for alterations and demolition is a common approach to historic preservation in many other parts of the country. The most important aspect of this ordinance is the role of the Historic Preservation Officer as the administrative authority on historic preservation for the city. The HPO both advises the governing body and has review responsibilities and decision-making authority. An important part of the duties of the HPO is to assist and inform the public about the city's cultural resources. The ordinance does have its drawbacks, the most notable of which is its failure as a tool for preserving the archaeological record. Despite its recognition of the value of archaeological sites, only two out of 93 properties have been designated.

IV. City of Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale is currently in the process of drafting a historic preservation zoning overlay ordinance and has been working on a draft for several years. The city is doing this for many of the same reasons that Pima County is now considering an ordinance: to provide a means of protecting historic resources and archaeological sites in the face of growing development pressure, and to become a Certified Local Government. Scottsdale has examined many other ordinances but has chosen to model its effort on Phoenix's example and their draft reflects this emulation. Like Phoenix, Scottsdale creates a Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) and establishes its duties and composition. It creates the position of the Historic Preservation Officer (HPO) and assigns this office with considerable responsibility. It also creates the position of the City Archaeologist, a significant recognition of the need to have someone on staff who is an expert in archaeological matters. This position is created because the ordinance contains a separate set of review requirements for development actions that may affect archaeological sites that are not designated properties. A historic register is also formerly established under the ordinance and this is the official listing for properties that are designated as Historic Districts, Historic Resources, and Historic Landmarks.

Any one of a number of sources including the property owner, the Historic Preservation Commission, the Planning Commission, or the City Council itself may nominate properties for designation. District nominations, may also be nominated by more than 75% of the property owners. A designation report explaining the significance of the property is required, but the ordinance does not specify who is to prepare this document. Designation is more involved than in Phoenix requiring at least three public hearings, whereas Phoenix requires only two (although a third may be held at the level of the City Council). If the Scottsdale City Council approves a designation, then a Historic Preservation Plan is required. The applicant and the HPO are to prepare the plan. This document establishes standards and guidelines for the property that will enable the HPO and the HPC to assess the effects of any proposed development on the property's historic character and integrity. Note: a time period within which the Historic Preservation Plan must be prepared is not specified nor are the consequences of a failure to prepare such a plan.

The review process for alterations and new construction, as well as that for demolition, is much the same as in Phoenix. Scottsdale also proposes to use certificates of No Effect for minor alterations that do not impact the integrity of a designated property, as well as Certificates of Appropriateness for more substantial proposed changes. The HPO makes decisions about the former and the HPC decides on the latter. All appeals go to the City Council. The Historic Preservation Commission also reviews requests for demolition, but unlike Phoenix, the Scottsdale ordinance allows for this approval to be conditioned so that mitigative measures can be employed as part of the demolition process. Scottsdale borrows the Reuse and Replacement Plan idea from Phoenix requiring that if a property within a Historic District is to be demolished the proponent present a plan for what will replace it.

Economic hardship is provided for, but like Phoenix, the requirements for demonstrating this are not specified. There are no incentives for preservation. The enforcement provisions are substantial, however, involving the power to issue Stop Work Orders and to seek injunctions to enforce an order. Civil and criminal penalties, fines, denial of permits and the revocation of licenses for a defined period where appropriate are all available options under the law. The process for appeals is inserted throughout the ordinance where applicable. Like Phoenix, Scottsdale builds into its draft ordinance a process whereby proposed demolition within areas that have been nominated as historic districts, but not designated as such, can be reviewed.

The Scottsdale draft Historic Property Zone ordinance is very comprehensive, broad in scope, and carefully structured to anticipate the community's preservation needs. The inclusion of both a Historic Preservation Officer and a City Archaeologist is bold. Archaeological sites are often included in general statements about the importance of a community's history but are often ignored in a procedural sense. The Scottsdale draft ordinance makes these resources equally important as those in the built environment.

V. City of Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico, located in northern New Mexico, has taken a different approach to historic preservation than the other communities reviewed thus far. Their ordinance was adopted in 1957 making it one of the oldest preservation ordinances in the country. Five Historic districts exist within the city limits, each of which was created as the result of a separate ordinance amending the City Code. The first district was established with the passage of the original ordinance and the remaining four were created in 1983. All districts are in effect zoning overlays that add preservation requirements to the existing limitations to land use.

Santa Fe's ordinance recognizes historic districts, contributing properties within districts, and landmarks, which by definition are individual properties outside of a district boundary. The ordinance creates the Historic Design Review Board (HDRB), a voluntary citizen oversight committee, as the main decision making body subject only to the Santa Fe City Council. The Planning Department advises the Board on historic preservation related matters and to this end it has a professional historic preservation planner on staff. The Board maintains a listing of properties, which serves as a municipal historic register and the criteria for designation is based on the National Register criteria as it is elsewhere. To nominate a property or district the City Council, the HDRB, or an unspecified petitioner may initiate the proceedings. This requires submitting a statement of significance, proposed boundaries, and design standards for the property. The nomination process is not specified in the historic district ordinance but does follow the city's rezoning procedures involving a series of public hearings and a final approval of the City Council.

Alterations or new construction must be approved by the HDRB and must adhere to specific design standards established in the ordinances for each district. The application is required to go through two hearings before the Board: a preliminary hearing, where a decision is made whether the proposal has merit and is in order; and, a final review, during which the proposal may be granted, denied or conditioned. Appeals go before the City Council.

Demolitions are handled in the same manner. The applicant submits a request to the HDRB, which then asks the Planning Department and other departments in the city to review the request and provide recommendations. Within 65 days the HDRB must hear the proposal and render a decision. The request may be granted or denied and appeals go before the City Council.

There are no provisions for economic hardship or specific incentives for preservation. Enforcement is handled through the existing zoning requirements. The appeals process is addressed in a separate section within the body of the ordinance.

Of note is the City's emphasis on preserving the exterior and visible portions of buildings and imposing a restricted range of building styles and façade treatments within district boundaries. A great deal of attention is given in the ordinances to signage and their restrictions. Maintenance of the exterior appearance of buildings is also required and can be enforced. The city acknowledges the importance of archaeological resources to its history and a whole separate ordinance with development review requirements was adopted in 1987. Santa Fe is a Certified Local Government and has been since 1986.

VI. Boulder County, Colorado

Boulder County, in northwest Colorado, is another regional example of a local government that has a preservation ordinance in effect. The law was enacted in 1992, and a year later, Boulder County became a Certified Local Government. Its preservation requirements are added to the county's Land Use Code and are tied to the issuance of building permits

Boulder County established a citizen Historic Preservation Advisory Board (HPAB) to be the main source of decision making on matters related to historic preservation in the county. It is answerable to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) and serves in a voluntary capacity like other citizen boards and commissions. The county has one designation that of Historic Landmark, but this can include sites, structures, as well as districts. The owner, the HPAB, and the BCC can nominate a property; however, owner consent for designation is required for all individually owned properties. Sites and districts with multiple owners must have the approval of 67% of the owners to be designated as a Historic Landmark. Two hearings before the HPAB are needed to designate a property: a first review of the application, and then a final review. Boulder County also established a Historical Site Survey to identify historic properties within the county and this forms the basis for their ongoing inventory of cultural resources. The criteria for Landmark designation follow the National Register criteria, as it does elsewhere.

If upon final review, the HPAB recommends the designation of a property to the Board of County Commissioners, then the HPAB prepares a designation report that contains standards and guidelines for the particular property. This will then be used to assess effects to the Landmark if and when development is proposed that may impact its historic character. The BCC reviews the designation proposal and makes a decision; acceptance requires a Resolution of Approval, which also contains the standards and guidelines for the property.

Reviews of all alterations, new construction, and demolition affecting a Landmark goes through the HPAB, which has the authority to approve or deny issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness. A denial can be reconsidered with changes to the proposed action. There is no Certificate of No Effect for minor alterations, as there is for Phoenix and Scottsdale; however, exceptions to a Certificate of Appropriateness are built into the ordinance. It is also worth noting that there is no intermediate review step involving a planning commission between the HPAB and the BCC. The HPAB reviews the application by evaluating the proposed action against the standards and guidelines contained in the Resolution of Approval.

Boulder County reviews demolitions in a manner that is unique among the preservation ordinances reviewed for this analysis. Applicants proposing demolition affecting a Landmark must go through the same process as for alterations discussed above. However, if the property is not designated, and it is greater than 50 years in age, then the applicant must still go through the HPAB for a building permit for demolition. The HPAB then determines whether the property could be listed as a Landmark. If so, then the demolition can be stayed for up to 120 days but cannot be denied. This provides time for discussions with the owner about other options to the proposed demolition including preservation as a Landmark.

Economic Hardship can be claimed and the ordinance contains recommended information that the HPAB would likely need to approve such a claim; however, submittal of this information is not mandatory. There are no incentives or enforcement mechanisms specified in the ordinance. The appeals process is outlined in a separate section and all appeals go to the BCC.

This is a simple, workable, preservation ordinance that minimizes the number of steps that are required for designation, as well as for approvals of alterations, new construction, and demolition. Much of the authority is concentrated in the hands of the Historic Preservation Advisory Board, which may also create separate citizen advisory committees to represent the interests of specific geographic or thematic areas. These boards are similar in concept to Pima County's Historic Advisory Boards, only they are not required for designation. The provision for reviewing building permits for properties greater than 50 years old and assessing them for their eligibility for Landmark designation is an effective way to build inventory and designation into the review process. However, the ordinance does not allow for the denial of a demolition permit for a property that could be listed. This limitation and the lack of any mention of archaeological sites detract from its overall strength.

VII. Dade County, Florida.

Dade County is located in southern Florida and contains within its borders the City of Miami. The county has had a preservation ordinance on the books since 1981 and has been a CLG since 1987. The ordinance covers sites, districts and archaeological zones. It is one of the few communities in the country to explicitly recognize the value of archaeological resources as historic properties and to include them in the regulatory process. It is worth noting that this law gives a deadline (July 1,1982) by which time all municipalities within the unincorporated areas of Dade County were to have passed their own ordinances complying with the provisions of this section of the Dade County Code.

The ordinance establishes the citizen oversight authority, in this case the Historic Preservation Board (HPB) and gives it authority to function to protect the county's cultural resources. While there is no register specified, one of the duties of the HPB is to maintain an inventory of historic properties called the Historic Survey. The County Manager is recognized in the ordinance as the administrative authority and provides staff support to the HPB. As such, Dade County has created a Historic Preservation Office with a staff of five to meet the Board's needs. The Board of County Commissioners (BCC) is the elected governing body and is the source of all appeals.

The criteria for designating a historic property are the same as those established by the federal government, and the ordinance borrows much of the same language from the National Register of Historic Places. A property can be nominated by the owner or the HPB, whereupon a designation report is prepared by the preservation office. Note: the HPB need not have the owner's consent if it chooses to designate a property on its own. The designation report must include a statement of significance, the boundaries of the proposed property and a recommendation as to the standards that should be adopted to permit regulatory review of proposed development. Dade County uses these recommendations in conjunction with generalized design standards and guidelines but does not require that standards be prepared for each individual property, as is the case elsewhere. A hearing is held before the HPB and it decides to approve or not to approve the proposed designation. During this review, a moratorium on development is placed on the property thereby preventing a rush to alter or demolish before a decision on designation can be made.

Alterations, new construction and demolitions require approval via a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA). This ordinance distinguishes between regular COAs and special COAs where the difference depends on whether the proposed changes are minor or more substantial. This is similar to the provisions for Certificates of No Effect and Appropriateness that Phoenix makes and that Scottsdale is considering in its ordinance. Minor changes are reviewed by the HPB without a hearing whereas more substantial alterations require full review by the HPB at a public hearing. In both cases, the HPB must make a decision within 60 days and may approve, deny or condition its approval. Requests for demolition are handled as a case requiring a special COA and go through a public hearing. There are additional criteria, however, that must be considered by the HPB in reviewing a request for demolition and the HPB has the option of approving a request but delaying its implementation for up to six months.

The Historic Preservation Board may grant a finding of economic hardship and the ordinance has strict financial disclosure requirements. There is a county property tax credit for the improvement of historic properties contained in the ordinance making Dade County the only local government reviewed in this analysis to include a specific financial incentive for historic preservation. Enforcement includes provisions for Stop Work Orders, as well as civil and criminal penalties and fines, including an option to require restoration. Again, all appeals go to the BCC and the appeals process is contained in a single section in the ordinance.

This ordinance also has provisions for considering the effects of new construction on archaeological sites. Development proposed within the limits of an "archaeological zone," defined as an area that is likely to yield information on the history and prehistory of Dade County, requires a Certificate to Dig. Archaeological zones may contain known sites as well as areas with a high potential for containing sites. The issuance of this certificate cannot be denied, but it can be conditioned giving Dade County the means to stipulate a plan to treat effects prior to construction approval. This must occur within a 60 day time period unless the HPB decides to have the property designated as a site or district.

Dade County has an extremely effective ordinance (see Appendix C) that gives the county firm control over public approval of private actions that may affect cultural resources. The power of decision making is clearly vested in the Historic Preservation Board. The Board of County Commissioners is acknowledged as the ultimate sources of decision-making and appeal but procedurally the HPB handles the bulk of the public review. Dade County also has a historic preservation staff that was created after the ordinance took effect when county officials realized that special expertise was needed on staff to serve the Board and to be the contact point for the public coordination of historic preservation. The staff has both architectural and archaeological personnel and handles the full range of preservation planning activities.


Each law that has been reviewed has the same basic components. They all establish a historic preservation commission or some citizen advisory committee that is the regulatory source of advice to local government on historic preservation related matters. They all have a process for nominating and designating historic places that are subject to the requirements of the law. They all contain the mechanisms needed for reviewing and deciding upon the acceptability of proposed changes to, or demolition of, designated historic properties, as well as new construction that may either directly or indirectly affect such properties. Each contains a process for appealing decisions affecting the use of registered properties. There are significant differences beyond these basics that reflect the values and political realities of each community. In the following discussion, some of those differences are highlighted to illustrate how these communities have chosen to meet their preservation objectives.

The most obvious difference among the laws, is the lack of a preservation commission or board cited in the ordinance for Pima County. Even Tucson references the Tucson Pima County Historic Commission in its law and the lack of this reference means that by law there is no one source of expertise on historic preservation in the County. Instead the Planning and Zoning Commission is dependant upon the advice given to it by the individual Historic Advisory Boards. No property can be designated without the formation of a Board, which only adds to the threshold that must be achieved in order to make designation a reality. Santa Fe, Boulder County, and especially Dade County have powerful preservation commissions that handle much of the decision making in their jurisdictions. This serves to elevate historic preservation as a valued objective within the community. Santa Fe has further committed itself to historic preservation by hiring a professional preservation Planner; however, both Phoenix and Dade County have gone further and created staffs of preservation experts to handle a wide spectrum of review, planning, and educational needs.

Pima County also suffers from a lack of an official register of historic places. Not every community has created such a register through their ordinance but they do have an official listing of historic properties that achieves the same purpose, in Tucson and Santa Fe for example. Others, such as Scottsdale create the register right in their ordinance. The advantage of the register is that it confers formal recognition by the community on properties that have been designated in a way that is more than just a technical tally for zoning purposes. This formal recognition can then be tied into similar state and national registers conferring added protection to a property.

The process of nominating and designating properties varies considerably. Those who may nominate include the property owner, and usually the preservation commission and the governing entity; however, how many owners can nominate and whether their consent is required for designation differs. In Dade County, the owner(s) and the Historic Preservation Board may nominate a property, but the owner's consent is not required for the actual designation. In Boulder County, nominations for an individual property can be made without the owner's approval, but the owner must approve for the property to be designated. For districts, where multiple properties are affected, Boulder County can only approve a designation if the owners of more than 67% of the land to be included in the district agree to the designation. Other communities establish who can nominate but do not address the issue of consent. In Pima County, a proposed historic zone may be initiated by greater than 51% of the property owners by area. Tucson's ordinance states that a historic zone may be proposed by either more than 51% of the owners by land area or more than 65% of the owners by count. Scottsdale recommends a supermajority whereby a proposal to create an historic district may be initiated by more than 75% of the owners with land in the district.

In some cases, nomination requires public hearings too, such as in Tucson where the Mayor and Council must hear requests to initiate the process of designation. In other places, however, nominations are not reviewed by the governing body but are processed at a lower decision making level, such as the preservation commission in Boulder County, Colorado. Tucson, as well as Phoenix, Scottsdale, Santa Fe, and Dade County all require that as part of the nomination process a statement of significance or designation report be prepared. This document identifies what is to be designated, where it is located, how it will be bounded in space, and why it is believed to be worthy of preservation. Designation reports are often prepared by "staff" but exactly who on staff is not specified. In places where there is a Historic Preservation Officer, such as Phoenix, the HPO puts together the designation report. In Pima County and in Tucson, the Historic Advisory Boards formed for each designation have this responsibility.

The process of designation is also variable. This is generally a more arduous process in all cases because designation has real implications for property owners and assigns responsibilities on the local government to uphold regulations that pertain to the designated property. This can range from the simple to the very complicated. Dade County holds a hearing and the Historic Preservation Board makes a decision. On the other hand, The Scottsdale ordinance has a four-step process with three public hearings involving the Historic Preservation Office, the Historic Preservation Commission, the Planning Commission, and finally the City Council.

Some communities also require that design standards and guidelines be prepared for each property or district to be designated either before designation (Boulder County) or after designation (Phoenix and Scottsdale). Others use standards that are more generic in nature and are included in the preservation ordinance itself (Pima County, Tucson, Dade County, and Santa Fe). In all cases, these standards and guidelines are prepared to guide future decision making, if and when, development that may affect the designated property is proposed. This enables the reviewer to determine whether or not the proposed change will have an effect, whether the effect is minor or substantial, and what kind of treatment should be required should mitigation be necessary. The standards and guidelines are therefor a critical factor in making preservation work in any community.

Beyond designation, the two most important steps in any preservation law involve alterations to and demolition of historic properties. The review process for each involve decision making that results in an approval or denial, where permitted, and in some cases an opportunity to condition an approval. This is where public control over private actions for the purposes of historic preservation becomes real in legal and political terms. Each community has a slightly different process for making these decisions that is tailored to its individual decision making apparatus.
In Tucson, a distinction is made between proposed alterations that are minor from those that are more substantial. Minor alterations are defined in the ordinance and include changes that do not require a building permit and that will cost less than $1500 dollars. The local Historic Advisory Board and the Tucson Pima County Historical Commission review the plans and then make their recommendations to the Planning Director who either makes a decision to approve the plan or can require a full review. Minor changes require minimal documentation and the reviews are expedited within a matter of days. Major alterations require far more documentation and take much longer. Both Phoenix and Scottsdale make a similar distinction between minor and major alterations. They certify their decision by way of Certificates of No Effect for minor alterations or a Certificate of Appropriateness for the approval of more substantial changes. The utility of certification is that approval can be conditioned, where appropriate, in order to direct development in a way that maintains the historic character and integrity of the property. Boulder County and Dade County also use certificates to approve alterations, new construction, and demolition and this is a very common approach to review approval across the country.

It is demolition that prompts the greatest scrutiny from local government, as it should, since demolition is by definition destructive and irreversible. When is comes to demolition, Tucson makes a further distinction between properties that are either landmarks or properties that directly contribute to the historic character of a district, and properties that are either intrusive to a district or are not individually worthy of merit. How applications for demolition are reviewed and by who varies on how important the city determines the property to be.

In some cases, however, an application to demolish a designated property cannot be denied. This is true in Pima County. Boulder County can deny demolition if the property is designated; but if it is not, then even if it could be designated demolition cannot be denied. Provisions in the ordinances of each community are included that may delay approval up to a set time limit during which efforts can be made to save the property from destruction. In Santa Fe, the Historic Design Review Board can deny demolition, as can Dade County's Historic Preservation Board. The Phoenix ordinance requires that the Historic Preservation Officer make the decision one way or another, but in Scottsdale demolitions must be approved by the Historic Preservation Commission. Both of these communities have an interesting added requirement in cases where a historic property will be torn down; they stipulate that the proponent must submit a reuse plan that shows what will be constructed on the property after the demolition occurs. Each law specifically provides for emergency demolition as a matter of public health and safety. Similarly, each law has a process for appealing decisions on both alterations and demolitions that involve the local governing body.

Economic Hardship can be claimed in every case studied except for Santa Fe. This applies only to demolition where the owner can claim that maintaining a building instead of demolishing it would result in a financial loss. Pima County requires only that the Planning Commission find that preservation is "economically unfeasible;" however, there is no discussion of how this decision is to be made or what it should be based upon. Dade County requires that the owner submit to the Historic Preservation Board a full financial disclosure to demonstrate that preservation will cause economic hardship. Boulder County avoids the heavy handed approach of Dade County by only recommending that the owner submit certain financial information sufficient for the Historic Preservation Advisory Board to decide the issue.

Incentives and enforcement are the carrot and the stick that historically have been used to make historic preservation work. With one exception (Dade County), however, incentives are not addressed in these ordinances and all of the attention is given over to enforcement. Dade County's ordinance contains a provision for setting aside funds for the preservation of designated properties contingent upon funding. It also contains a provision for deducting 100% of the cost of improvements made to a historic property from taxes levied by the county.

Enforcement, like other aspects of these seven laws, varies from those ordinance that contain specific enforcement provisions to those that do not, and from those that provide a variety of enforcement tools to those that are more limited in their treatment of violators. Boulder County, Pima County and the City of Santa Fe have no specific enforcement provisions in their ordinance relying instead on what is already contained in their zoning regulation or development codes to address infractions. Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Dade County all have provisions in their ordinance to issue Stop Work Orders that can be backed up by injunctions. All four of these communities can levy fines and criminal penalties are possible. Scottsdale and Tucson have the ability to deny permits to an individual for future actions within a set time period, and to impose a requirement to restore historic properties that have been affected by an unauthorized action.

Lastly, few of the ordinances in this analysis provide a mechanism for preserving archaeological sites. Every ordinance has within it a reference to "sites," but it is clear from the way the laws are written and how the regulatory process works that archaeological sites are at best an after thought. Phoenix is a good example of this problem. The Historic Preservation Office does not handle archaeological issues as a matter of practice; the Pueblo Grande Museum has an archaeologist on its staff who, despite any regulatory authority, has developed a working relationship with developers in the Phoenix area. On occasion, these developers agree to avoid archaeological sites or allow for data recovery. Scottsdale is clearly trying to avoid this problem by working in a review process that includes archaeological sites. The City of Santa Fe has a whole separate archaeological ordinance that creates a process whereby development review and approval is conditioned upon completing any necessary archaeological studies, much like Pima County's rezoning and grading requirements. Dade County has decided to specifically recognize the value of archaeological sites and includes this kind of cultural resource with other historic property types in its historic preservation ordinance.

In sum, there is basic agreement among these seven laws as to the goals and objectives of historic preservation. In all cases, there is a recognition that preservation means being able to control private actions through public law when those actions may adversely affect a valued cultural resource, the preservation of which is deemed in the public interest. It is apparent that there is a lot of borrowing from one community to the next as each becomes aware of the need to protect their cultural resources and looks elsewhere for guidance. What differs between them is the specifics of how this is achieved. This analysis provides examples of what other communities have done, and are now doing, so that Pima County may take advantage of ideas that are legally sound and effective in meeting its own preservation needs.

Those needs revolve around the present and future losses of cultural resources due to development pressures that are being experienced now and are expected in the coming years. These resources include individual structures of exceptional importance, multiple properties from historically important areas, historic and prehistoric archaeological sites, and the vast open spaces created by the historic use of the rural landscape for ranching over the past 150 years. An ordinance designed to capture publicly approved private developments that may affect these cultural resources must be comprehensive but must also find the right balance between protecting private rights and the public interest in preserving Pima County's cultural resources.


Pima County has the opportunity to revamp its Historic Zone and replace it with a set of regulations that will be more effective in preserving cultural resources for its citizens. There are two main objectives to these recommendations: A) create a comprehensive preservation program within the Zoning Code; and B) establish Pima County as a Certified Local Government by meeting the State of Arizona's requirements for acceptance into the National CLG program. The following are the elements recommended for inclusion in a revision of Chapter 18.63 (Historic Zone) of the Zoning Code. These elements will form the basis for an outline of legislation included at the end of this paper.

Please note that specific review processes and requirements have yet to be developed but will be prepared during the legislative drafting stage of the ordinance. All proposed changes will be designed to be consistent with other chapters of the Zoning Code.

Definitions: The definition section of the ordinance must be expanded to clarify the meaning and use of new terms and concepts. Five types or categories of properties are recommended: Historic District, Historic Landmark, Historic Rural Landscape, Archaeological Site, and Archaeological District. It is also recommended that these terms be defined so that a property can be nominated under multiple designations, i.e., a landmark may be within a district or historic rural landscape; a district may be listed containing both historic structures and archaeological sites.

Historic Commission: The existing Tucson Pima County Historical Commission (TPCHC), created by a joint city/county resolution, must be formally linked to the Zoning Code. This is needed to establish the commission as the Board of Supervisor's citizen advisory body and to give it review authority within the code. Creation of a historic commission with a review function is one of the four requirements of the Certified Local Government program. Since the TPCHC already exists, all that may be needed to tie it to the Zoning Code is a reference to the existing city/county Resolution, as amended.

Historic Preservation Officer: A Historic Preservation Officer should be created to give formal recognition to the existing Cultural Resources Manager as the staff contact for historic preservation in county government. This position should be given responsibilities similar to that envisioned by Scottsdale whereby the HPO assists in the preparation of documents and report needed for nomination and designation and can provide comments and recommendations to the review entities. Other duties should include outreach and education, grant writing, and technical assistance to other government staff and the public.

Register of Historic Places: A formal Pima County Historic Register should be created as an open-ended list of designated properties. Upon formal designation, a property will be listed in the Register. Maintaining this list and identifying properties that may be listed should also be a responsibility of the HPO.

Historic Zones - General: It is recommended that a section in the ordinance be created that establishes the general requirements for the nomination and designation of properties as Historic Preservation Zones, as well as the review processes for alterations, new construction, and demolition that may affect designated properties. Another section will contain specific requirements for the different types of properties that may be designated, as outlined below. General requirements would include the following subjects

Designation Criteria: The criteria for designating historic properties should be modeled after, and consistent with, the criteria for listing on National Register of Historic Places and the Arizona State Register of Historic Places. The language is readily available and can be borrowed as needed.

Nomination/Designation Process: The nomination process should be structured so that the property owner(s), the Tucson Pima County Historical Commission, or the Board of Supervisors are able to nominate a property; however, owner consent should be required for designation if the property is an individual site or structure. If multiple owners may be affected, then a majority of owners (to be defined) should consent to designation before a rezoning proposal is acted upon. Both nomination and final designation should go through a review process that involves decision making through public hearings before the appropriate review entities but ultimately should be approved by the Board of Supervisors. The HPO can assist proponents in the preparation of nominations and management plans needed for designation. The TPCHC should have an opportunity to make comments and recommendations, and the Planning and Zoning Commission should have a similar review role once the designation process becomes a formal request for rezoning.

Historic Advisory Boards: These boards need not be mandatory, as they are now, especially if the TPCHC is to be formally recognized as the advisory body to the Pima County Board of Supervisors. Instead, creating a Historic Advisory Board should be optional for any of the five property type designations. The duties of the HAB will need to be established in relation to the TPCHC; however, as envisioned, HABs can be formed to assist the proponent and the HPO with designation of a particular property, and to advise the historical commission about proposed developments that may affect the property once designated. In practical terms, it is more likely that a HAB will be formed for historic and archaeological districts, and to a lesser extent for individual properties and landmarks. This option to form a HAB will enable local participation in decision making, where that is desired, without making this a requirement of designation, a process which can be a major obstacle to creating a Historic Zone.

Review of alterations or new construction: Alteration (as defined) involving a designated property or any new construction within the limits of a designated property or district should require approval. The county should consider provisions for an expedited review of minor alterations (as defined) similar to the processes utilized by the Cities of Tucson and Phoenix. More substantial alterations and new construction should go to the TPCHC and the HAB (if formed) for review and comment with their recommendations to be passed on to the appropriate review entity(ies) for decision making at public hearings.

Review of demolitions: As in the case of alterations, demolitions should also require approval by means of a review process involving public hearings before the appropriate review entities. It is appropriate that the TPCHC review these requests and make comments and recommendations. Ultimately, the request for demolition should go before the Board of Supervisors at a public hearing for final decision. Provisions must be made for the County Building Official to approve an emergency demolition to protect the public health and safety.

Economic Hardship: It is recommended that the ordinance provide an opportunity for property owners to request demolition approval by the Board of Supervisors based on the argument that to deny demolition of a designated property(ies) would impose an economic hardship. A decision on the merits of the argument should be based upon the submittal of financial information to the BOS of sufficient detail for the Board to make an evaluation. What that information should consist of will be defined in the ordinance.

Historic Zones - Specific: The code should contain a section for each of the property types that can be zoned as a Historic Preservation Zone. i.e., Historic Districts, Landmarks, Historic Rural Landscapes, Archaeological Districts, and Archaeological Sites, to establish any special criteria needed for designation and management that are in addition to the general requirements. This will enable the county to identify particular characteristics that must be included in a designation for a particular property type, and to direct in the preparation of a management plan needed to assist reviewers in determining the effects of any proposed development and the treatment of those effects. The utility of this approach is that it avoids the "one size fits all" approach to preservation planning and recognizes the differences between the various property types and the threats that they may experience.

Appeals: The ordinance should contain provisions for appeals to be located in one section in the ordinance. That way the reader can go to this section to see how appeals can be made and to whom and under what circumstances. All appeals should ultimately go to the BOS for resolution if they cannot be resolved at a lower levels within the decision making process.

Incentives: As mentioned above, incentives are given short shrift in other preservation ordinances. It is recommend that the county strongly consider providing county property tax credits to cover all or part of the costs of preservation related improvements to designated properties. What can be covered, to what extent, and how the costs must be documented can be defined in the ordinance. There are several state models that can be used for this purpose. The county can commit to providing the public information on other tax programs available through the state and federal government, as well as grant moneys that may be available through the Certified Local Government. Providing this information and other kinds of technical information on historic preservation should be a part of the duties of the Historic Preservation Officer.

Enforcement: Making the Historic Zone requirements enforceable must be an important element of this ordinance to demonstrate that Pima County is serious about historic preservation, and that there are consequences for violating the requirements of the Zoning Code. At present, zoning violations are addressed under Chapter 18.95 "Compliance and Enforcement" of the Code. This chapter already provides for the denial of permits, fines, and injunctions for violations. The county should consider other mechanisms, such as Stop Work Orders, that may be within the County's existing legal authority, to bolster enforcement and make it an effective tool for enhancing the protection of designated properties.

Certified Local Government: Pima County should also take this opportunity to meet the requirements for certification as a Certified Local Government.

The benefits of becoming a CLG are numerous. Pima County will be eligible for state matching grants such as: architectural and archaeological surveys; state and National Register nominations; writing historic contexts; preparing needs assessments, reuse and rehabilitation feasibility studies, and preservation plans; publishing inventories and tour guides, drafting ordinances, etc. The county can also receive technical assistance and training through the SHPO and the National Park Service, including information and publications, technical advice, and planning assistance. Becoming part of a national preservation program with access to the full range of planning and resource management services will be enormously beneficial to Pima County as well. There are currently 1151 CLGs across the country, each of which is a local government, including counties, many of which are grappling with the same growth related problems as Pima County. These other communities represent a pool of potential information and advice on a wide range of historic preservation related topics. Finally, becoming a CLG can provide rural unincorporated communities in Pima County the opportunity to become involved in historic preservation. Unincorporated communities cannot pass their own laws and so cannot become CLGs. However, Pima County can assist these communities in developing programs that can be funded through grants that Pima County submits on their behalf.

The State of Arizona has four basic requirements for becoming a CLG. These are:

1) Enact and enforce an ordinance for the protection of historic properties

2) Establish a historic district commission with powers of review over development projects that may result in alterations to, relocations, or demolition of historic resources individually, as well as any new construction within the limits of historic districts.

3) Maintain a system for survey and inventory of historic properties.

4) Provide for adequate public participation in preservation planning.

The changes to the Historic Zone as outlined above will satisfy these requirements. Once an ordinance is enacted, then Pima County can apply for certification from the Arizona SHPO. This will require approval by the Board of County Supervisors.


Pima County has the good fortune of having an active citizenry who supports protecting the places and things that are emblematic of a rich and proud history. The current Historic Zone could not have been passed into law were this not so. However, this law, once intended to recognize and provide protection to places of historic importance is not doing the job for which it was intended. As the greater Tucson area experiences increased growth pressures and more of the rural countryside is developed for residential, commercial, and industrial uses, more of the county's cultural resources will be threatened with destruction. The need exists therefore to take steps to anticipate these threats and to protect notable and important properties of all kinds for the benefit of the citizens of Pima County. Rewriting the Historic Zone and using the Zoning Code to this end is a viable way of achieving this worthy goal. This is consistent with the on going planning efforts to develop a Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan for the long term health of Pima County's natural, cultural, and economic environments.

To assist in drafting the proposed historic preservation legislation needed to revise the present Historic Zone, an outline is included in Appendix B.

Historic Preservation Sources Consulted

Arizona State Parks
1996 Arizona Historic Preservation Plan. State Historic Preservation Office, Arizona State Parks Board, Phoenix.

Charney, Alberta and Julie Leones
1997 Tourism in the Tucson Metropolitan Area. University of Arizona College of Business and Public Administration and College of Agriculture, Tucson.

Cosulich, Bernice
1953 Tucson. Treasure Chest Publications, Tucson.

Dart, Allen and William H. Doelle
1988 The Pima County Archaeological Inventory Project. Institute for American Research Technical Report No. 87-11

Dobyns, Henry F.
1976 Spanish Colonial Tucson. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Keller, J. Timothy, and Genevieve P. Keller
1987 How to Evaluate and Nominate Designed Historic Landscapes. National Register Bulletin 18. National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, Washington, D.C.

King, Thomas F.
1998 Cultural Resource Laws & Practice. AltaMira Press and Sage Publications, Walnut Creek, CA.

McClelland, Linda Flint, J.Timorthy Keller, Genevieve P.Keller, and Robert Z. Melnick
1990 Guidelines for Evaluating and Nominating Rural Historic Districts. National Register Bulletin 30. National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, Washington, D.C.

National Park Service
1983 The Secretary of Interior's Standards for Archaeology and Historic Preservation. Federal Register 44716-68.

1996 Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, Comprehensive Management and Use Plan, Final Environmental Impact Statement. US Department of Interior, National Park Service, Washington, D.C.

1999 Cultural Resources and the Interior Department. Cultural Resource Management, Volume 22, No.4. National Park Service, Washington, D.C.

National Register of Historic Places
1990 Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Traditional Cultural Properties. National Register Bulletin 38. National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, Washington, D.C.

1991 How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. National Register Bulletin 15. National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, Washington, D.C.

Officer, James E.
1989 Hispanic Arizona, 1536 -1856. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Pima County
1994 Pima County Comprehensive Plan. Pima County Development Services Department, Planning Division, Tucson.

Rypkema, Donovan
1998 The Economics of Historic Preservation. National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, D.C.

Sonnichsen, C.L.
1987 Tucson: The Life and Times of an American City. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.

Turner, Teresa, Edward H. Spicer, and Rosamond B. Spicer
1982 The People of Fort Lowell. Fort Lowell Historic District Board, Tucson.

Walker, Henry and Don Bufkin
1979 Historical Atlas of Arizona. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.