Following WWII, Tucson began an expansive transformation triggered by population growth. New neighborhoods and subdivisions were designed; construction fueled by the GI bill, robust financing tools and a new American optimism. Innovative and original architectural styles emerged with an emphasis on materials and form – a seismic departure from the traditionalist revival styles of the first half of the twentieth century. As the population increased, the footprint of Tucson expanded in every direction. New commercial and cultural infrastructure developed to meet intensifying needs. Schools, liberties, shopping centers and religious buildings emerged along the edges of the new neighborhoods in an array of popular design trends. These sacred spaces beautifully captured the tone and new direction of American architectural design during this era.

  • Dove of Peace Lutheran Church, Architect: William Kirby Lockard, 1968, 665 W. Roller Coaster Road
    photo: Jude Ignacio & Gerardine Vargas
  • Our Lady of Fatima Church, Architect: Taliesin West (William Wesley Peters) 1975, 1950 W. Irvington Place
    photo: Jude Ignacio & Gerardine Vargas
  • Temple Emanu-El (Sanctuary) Architect: Friedman Jobusch (Swaim, Lockard), 1961 225 N. Country Club Road
    photo: Jude Ignacio & Gerardine Vargas

In October 2014, Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation as part of a continued program to understand to document the region’s modernist architecture published Holy Modern: Celebrating Tucson’s Mid‑century Modern Sacred Spaces.
Photographs for the project were taken by Jude Ignacio & Gerardine Vargas.

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