October 13, 2017 5:30 pm - 6:15 pm Catalina American Baptist Church, 1900 N. Country Club Road, designed by Charles Cox, 1961

This free featured lecture requires reservations. Seats are limited.

Through its Progressive- and Modern-period architecture and streetscapes, the Downtown Tucson Historic District conveys the evolving commercial character of a twentieth-century central business district in a desert Southwest city influenced by transportation, commerce, and tourism. The story of Tucson’s architectural evolution is written in the facades of commercial buildings from seven decades of entrepreneurial dreams aboard an economic roller-coaster. Community image and communal memories are sparked by the stories and people associated with these Downtown landmarks.

Located in the heart of Arizona’s second-largest city, Downtown Tucson’s street patterns harmonize Anglo American development with Spanish Colonial roots. Its architectural character blends aspects of Old West heritage, Progressive development, and Modern promise. The multi-story commercial facades lining the public sidewalks form the grid of canyon-like streetscapes that differentiate this urban district architecturally and spatially from all other Tucson districts. Contributing properties convey local expressions of nationally popular twentieth-century architectural styles—primarily Commercial and Period Revival styles and various expressions of the Modern Movement. These building forms and facades characterize a dynamic downtown changing constantly for seventy years. The architecture reflects initial steady growth, competition-driven changes, and accelerated post-World War II development followed by rapid decline due to explosive suburban expansion.

Born and raised in mid-century Phoenix, and educated at Arizona State University (Architecture 1973), Don Ryden is a dedicated design professional who tirelessly integrates the practices of architecture, planning, and historic preservation. Don Ryden has combined his life-long fascination for artistry in buildings, respect for heritage places, and sense of ecological responsibility through his specialization in heritage conservation. In 1994, his achievements were recognized by the State of Arizona through the Governor’s Merit Award for Historic Preservation. Under his leadership, Ryden Architects, Inc. was honored as AIA Arizona Firm of the Year 2008. In 2012, his architect peers presented Don Ryden with the AIA Arizona Architects Medal for his contributions to the community and to the profession. As a scholar, author, and illustrator, he has revealed Phoenix’s spirit of place through its world-class “architecture of optimism” in the groundbreaking book Midcentury Marvels: Commercial Architecture of Phoenix 1945-1975.

Ticket Type Price Cart
LECTURE: DOWNTOWN TUCSON and the Twentieth-century Treasures Hidden in Plain Sight | Don W. Ryden, AIA – Historical Architect   $0 Tickets are sold out.

LECTURE: DOWNTOWN TUCSON and the Twentieth-century Treasures Hidden in Plain Sight | Don W. Ryden, AIA – Historical Architect  
Tickets are sold out.