In an ongoing effort to protect important historic resources the Foundation is working with property owners to designate significant properties and protect City of Tucson Historic Landmarks. In 2018 the Foundation began preparation of the Irving D. Rubinstein House City Landmark nomination.

The Rubinstein House, designed by master modern architect William Wilde and built in a modernist style, is located in Tucson’s El Montevideo Estates and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  The residence was commissioned and built in 1955 by contractor Irving D. Rubinstein as his own home.

  • Irving Rubinstein House
    Photo by Bill Sears, c. 1956
  • Irving Rubinstein House
    Photo by Bill Sears, c. 1956
  • Irving Rubinstein House
    Photo by Bill Sears, c. 1956

The Rubinstein House was the culmination of design ideas developed and promoted by William and Sylvia Wilde in the early 1950s.  Starting the early 1953 the Wildes began developing a residential design concept and philosophy they called the “Space-Planner.” The design was conceived for “Arizona city living.” The concept employed fences and landscaping to screen undesirable views, provide shade from the late afternoon sun and permit a view of the mountains.  The open floor plan concept provided three patios to insure privacy, two terraces offer adult relaxation and playroom for children. (Arizona Daily Star, The ‘Space-Planner’ House. August 2, 1953.) The Arizona Daily Star Homes and Building section featured the concept over a number of weeks starting in August 1953. In first issue highlighting the residential concept the Wildes offered their design philosophy in creating the “Space-Planner”  (Wilde, Sylvia and William, Wildes Present Their Philosophy of Design, Arizona Daily Star, August 2, 1953).

  • Irving Rubinstein House
    Photo by Jude Ignacio & Gerardine Vargas
  • Irving Rubinstein House
    Photo by Jude Ignacio & Gerardine Vargas
  • Irving Rubinstein House
    Photo by Jude Ignacio & Gerardine Vargas
  • Irving Rubinstein House
    Photo by Jude Ignacio & Gerardine Vargas
  • Irving Rubinstein House
    Photo by Jude Ignacio & Gerardine Vargas
  • Irving Rubinstein House
    Photo by Jude Ignacio & Gerardine Vargas

The Rubinstein House is eligible as a city of Tucson Historic Landmark. 1. Rubinstein House is from a significant period in Tucson’s history: Post-World War II Development (1945-1975) and is a distinct architectural style that is least 50 years old.  2. Rubinstein House is an outstanding examples of Modern design and is associated with significant historic events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history in particular: Community Development in Tucson 1945 – 1975  3. Rubinstein House exemplifies the architectural period in which it was built and has distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style: Modern; Irving D. Rubinstein, builder;  William Wilde, Architect.  4. Rubinstein House contributes historic, cultural, and social importance relating to the heritage of the Tucson community; and 5. Rubinstein House relates positively to buildings in its immediate vicinity in terms of scale, size, massing, etc., such that its removal would be an irreparable loss to the setting and a diminishment to the architectural heritage of Tucson.   

If you have a significant historic building and want to discuss protective designation contact the Foundation at info@presevetucson.org

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