As early as the 1880s, Arizona was a popular destination for Easterners suffering from pulmonary and respiratory diseases. After World War I and continuing into the late 1920s, however, Tucson became the prime destination for those suffering from respiratory ailments such as tuberculosis. While the history of “health-seekers and lungers” has been previously documented, what has received less attention is the built environment created as a result of a disease, in this case, tuberculosis. In Tucson, tuberculosis not only impacted town planning, but it also influenced local architecture and the kinds of sanitaria created to meet the needs of the sick. Because there is a variety of property types associated with tuberculosis, the following project will create a Multiple Properties Nomination to the National Register of Historic Places that will document and map still-standing significant architecture related to the treatment of tuberculosis in Tucson. This document will not only include a developmental history of Tucson as a destination for health-seekers, but will also identify and map a number of property types in Tucson associated with this historic trend.
Funding for this project was provided by a grant from the Southwest Foundation for Education and Historic Preservation and a grant from the Tucson Pima County Historic Commission. In-Kind donations were provided by Desert Archaeology, Inc. and Poster Frost Mirto. In addition, Linda Mayro, Pima County Cultural Resources and Historic Preservation Officer, and City of Tucson Historic Preservation Officer, Jonathan Mabry provided content review of the final report.