Miracle Mile Open House & Tour
The 5th Annual Historic Miracle Mile Open House and Tour will take place on Saturday,April 28, from 9 a.m. to Noon, with a pre-tour beginning at 8 a.m. Free parking, free event information, free talks, and free shuttles to free tour sites will be offered at the Pima Community College’s Downtown Campus, located at Speedway Boulevard and Stone Avenue. This half-day event celebrates the history and ongoing revitalization of the Historic Miracle Mile area.
Talks, supported by the Arizona Humanities Council, on the historic significance of the area, with particular attention to the contribution of the neon to the character of the historic mile, will be given at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 am. Presenters include Dave Devine, local historian; Carlos Lozano, founder of Vanishing Tucson; and Demion Clinco, President, Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation. Site tours will feature a mix of old and new. Historic motor courts will include the Monterey Court, adapted as artists’ studios with cafe; the always popular renovated Ghost Ranch; and theWayward Winds serving as the Gospel Rescue Mission for women and children. Also included will be the historic adobe Matus-Meza House currently under restoration as a cultural center for the San Ignacio Yaqui Neighborhood; the new Blue Moon Community Garden, a combination of pocket park and accessible garden; and four salvaged and restored neon signs installed this month on Drachman Street along the northern boundary of PCC’s Downtown Campus to mark the southern terminus of Historic Miracle Mile.
This year’s event includes three bonus activities. The first is a guided tour of the oldest areas of Evergreen Cemetery, which will be led by historic preservationist Ken Scoville from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. This tour will begin just inside the cemetery entrance where Fort Lowell Road ends at Oracle Road.
The second is a guided tour of the Tucson Police Department’s new Crime Lab next to TPD’s Westside Station, 1310 W. Miracle Mile. On the Crime Lab tour, visitors will learn about the history of the program and the new building, trace and explosives, DNA analysis, drug analysis, and more. The tour will be repeated at 10 am, 11 am, and Noon; each tour will be limited to 15 people on a first come, first served basis.
Finally, while at the PCC Downtown Campus, participants may view a photographic exhibit of some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians as they traveled the globe in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Included are musicians who played at the Blue Moon Ballroom once located nearby.
This free Open House and Tour is a collaborative effort of the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation, Ward III, City of Tucson, and Pima Community College and complements the public event taking place on the evening of Friday, April 27, during which the iconic neon signs salvaged, restored, and installed on Drachman Street between Oracle Road and Stone Avenue will be turned on.