The Valley of the Moon, designed and constructed by George Phar Legler between 1923 and 1932, is a unique architectural expression of the mid‑nineteenth and early twentieth century fringe religious movement called Spiritualism. The character, form and function a rare manifestation of this mystic faction and the sole known example in Arizona. The garden’s organic architectural details are reminiscent and closely related to Provincial Revivalism, referred to as Storybook Style, popularized in California during the 1920s. From its opening in the 1930s to now the property has continually been in operation providing tours and events.

The Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation in corporation with the George Phar Legler Memorial Society developed a strategic long term preservation policy strategy. THPF prepared the National Register of Historic Places Nomination, the district was listed in the National Register on July 28th, 2011 and highlighted by the National Park Service on August 5th, 2011. Throughout 2014 and 2015 the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation worked with the Valley of the Moon to apply for local City of Tucson Historic Landmark designation. The property was designated by The City of Tucson Mayor and Council as the first local Historic Landmark on May 19, 2015 going into effect on June 18, 2015.

Tucson’s Historic Landmark program was created to promote the educational, cultural, economic, and general welfare of the community and to ensure the harmonious growth and development of the municipality by encouraging the preservation and rehabilitation of significant historic districts, neighborhoods, buildings, structures, sites, objects, and archaeological resources. These designations are intended to ensure the preservation of significant historic and archaeological resources, and to keep them in active use or management in their historic appearance, settings, and locations.

This designation is enacted by Tucson Mayor and Council through a special zoning overlay. Designated Historic Landmarks requires future changes to follow the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and section 5.8 of the City of Tucson Unified Development Code. Any demolitions on the property must be approved by Mayor and Council.

Valley of the Moon Historic Landmark Designation Process

(03/12/2014) Pre-application Meeting, City of Tucson Preservation Office
(04/14/2014) Submission, Historic Landmark Application
(05/22/2014) Public Meeting, Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission Plans Review Subcommittee Unanimous Recommendation for Historic Landmark Designation.
(07/09/2014) Public Meeting, Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission Unanimous approval of Legal Action Report for Historic Landmark Designation.
(08/05/2014) Public Meeting, Study Session of Mayor and Council Click Here for Details Unanimous vote to Initiate Historic Landmark Overlay Designation through rezoning.
(09/10/2014) Pre-Submittal Conference Request
(09/17/2014) Submission, Historic Landmark Overlay Rezoning application
(10/08/2014) Pre-Submittal Meeting, Development Services Staff
(11/12/2014) Notification, Neighborhood Meeting notice mailed as required by Development Services.
(12/02/2014) Neighborhood Meeting
(12/05/2014) Submission, Neighborhood Meeting Minutes to Development Services
(01/15/2015) Installation, Historic Landmark rezoning notification sign
(01/16/2015) Meeting, Development Services Staff
(01/19/2015) Submission, formal request for Archaeological Clearance Waiver from City Preservation Office
(02/02/2015) Meeting, with Colonia Del Ray Homeowners Association
(02/05/2015) Public Hearing, Zoning Examiner (Meeting I)
(03/05/2015) Submission, formal request for conditional waiver from Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation District
(03/05/2015) Public Hearing, Zoning Examiner (Meeting II)
(03/12/2015) Presentation to Tucson Pima County Historical Commission Plans Review Subcommittee
(04/02/2015) Public Hearing, Zoning Examiner (Meeting III)
(05/19/2015) Public Hearing, Mayor and Council Unanimous vote to Designate Valley of the Moon as a City of Tucson Historic Landmark
(06/18/2015) Valley of the Moon designation as a Historic Landmark is effective

Downloadable Resources

Valley of the Moon National Register of Historic Places Nomination

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