5. TREATMENT STUDY


Up: Contents Previous: 4. ECONOMICS Next: 6. ALTERNATIVES TO PRESERVATION: A SCENARIO


[page 76]

A historic district preserves much more than a collection of buildings; it unifies the total architectural/spatial relationship and transcends the individual forms. However, as a district generally evolves over a period of time, buildings of varying styles and design qualities may be placed in juxtaposition. The architecture of the "Barrio" reflects the types of structures erected in Tucson between the 1870's and the 1920's. While the first impression of the area is that of architectural similarities in building type and form, further examination reveals that the forms actually vary from the contiguous Spanish/Mexican type to the isolated brick Victorian and stucco Spanish revival models. Another impression is that the district is a collection of deteriorated hovels with little hope for salvation. Yet, most of the houses have the potential of being rehabilitated with an effort on the part of owners or developers. While most will require extensive repairs, every one is capable of being rescued if an investor is willing to undertake the task.

In order to be able to project the future and make proposals for a proper development in a historic district of this type, an architectural inventory was necessary. The study area for this inventory was bounded on the north by 14th Street, the east by Stone Avenue, the south by 18th Street, and the west by Main Avenue. One hundred eightyfour major structures were identified and have been mapped. In addition to these structures, there were found to be numerous outbuildings (sheds, garages, etc.) which were not counted in the inventory. The 184 existing buildings reflect a substantial decrease in the number of buildings from the 1948 Sanborn map.

Structures were evaluated according to three criteria: (1) Intrinsic Architectural/Historical Significance; (2) Visual Compatibility of the Building With Its Context; and (3) Visible Structural Conditions.

1. Intrinsic Architectural/Historical Significance.

The historical study of the "Barrio" revealed little in the way of historical significance in the buildings themselves; no major events


[page 77]

in the history of Tucson, Arizona, or the U.S. seem to have occurred there. The buildings are, however, highly characteristic of the urban architectural patterns developed in early Tucson. Therefore, the buildings were evaluated primarily from the architectural point of view. Those buildings exhibiting strong design qualities characteristic of the period in which they were built and which possess a substantial portion of the original form and details were judged to have, "Particular Architectural Distinction." Buildings reflecting a strong design quality characteristic of their period but altered significantly or lacking in original details were judged to be, "Slightly Less in Architectural Distinction." Those structures which had no distinct design quality or were average in character were judged, "Part of the Scene," while those which had no strong visual quality were judged of, "No Architectural Distinction." All buildings were judged for their intrinsic value, and, therefore, it was possible to have two obviously different and adjacent buildings designated of "Particular Distinction." Since quality of design was considered important in the district, this criteria received more weight than the others. (See tables 5.1 & 5.2)

Table 5.1. ARCHITECTURAL/HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE
Particular architectural distinction 8 pts.
Slightly less in architectural distinction 4 pts.
Part of the scene 2 pts.
No architectural distinction 0 pts.

Table 5.2. ARCHITECTURAL/HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE
8 pts. 26 buildings/184 13.5% of particular architectural distinction.
4 pts. 65 buildings/184 36% of slightly less architectural distinction.
2 pts. 86 buildings/184 46.5% as part of the scene.
0 pts. 7 buildings/184 4% of no architectural distinction.

2. Visual Compatibility of the Building With Its Context.

In this category, buildings were judged as to the relation to the buildings nearby. The Development Zone concept of the City's proposed historic zoning ordinance was used, and the zone changed according to the building's location. Buildings which related to their neighbors in spirit, scale, size, form, materials, details, etc., were judged, "Compatible." Those which did not relate in a reasonable number of ways and yet did not violate the context were judged, "Acceptable." Those which bore no visual relationship to the context were judged, "Incompatible." (See Tables 5.3 & 5.4.)


[page 78]

Table 5.3. VISUAL COMPATIBILITY WITH CONTEXT.
Compatible 2 pts.
Acceptable 1 pt.
Incompatible 0 pts.

Table 5.4. VISUAL COMPATIBILITY WITH CONTEXT.
2 pts. 137 buildings/184 74% compatible
1 pt. 35 buildings/184 19% acceptable
0 pts. 12 buildings/184 7% incompatible

3. Visual Structural Condition.

The structural conditions were judged primarily from the exterior except where access to the interior was possible. The checklist of considerations included the condition and type of roof as a protection against the elements, the relative absence of major cracks in the exterior wall system, the condition of foundations, wall surfaces, openings and their closures, and general maintenance of the building. The buildings were judged, "Sound; In Need of Minor Repairs," "In Need of Major Repairs," and "Dilapidated." (See Tables 5.5&5.6.)

Table 5.5. VISIBLE STRUCTURAL CONDITION.
Sound; in need of minor repairs 2 pts.
In need of major repairs 1 pt.
Dilapidated 0 pts.

Table 5.6. VISIBLE STRUCTURAL CONDITION.
2 pts. 162 buildings/184. 88% sound; in need of minor repairs.
1 pt. 12 buildings/184. 7% in need of major repairs.
0 pts. 10 buildings/184. 5% dilapidated.

Based on the three criteria, the total score achieved by each building was calculated. This figure was then used to designate the, "Action Index" for the buildings. (See Tables 5.7&5.10; Figures 5.11&5.12.) The highest possible score was 12 points. It should be noted that any building judged at least, "slightly less in architectural distinction," is


[page 79]

considered in the Action Index to be architecturally and contextually valuable and should not be destroyed. However, any building which was not judged to be at least "part of the scene," is considered a detriment as it presently stands and can be removed without adversely affecting the district's visual quality.

The proposed Butterfield Corridor through the Barrio would obviously have an adverse affect on the architectural and contextual quality. (See Tables 5.8&5.9, Figs. 5.11&5.12.) Analysis of Tables 5.8 and 5.9 will indicate that 64% of the buildings which are judged irreplaceable in an architectural and contextual relationship be within the proposed corridor; a full 80% of the structures in that category would be directly affected by the freeway. Of the buildings which have been designated valuable or stronger in the architectural and contextual relationship, 44% lie within the proposed corridor, and 55% would be directly affected by it. Of the buildings lying within the proposed corridor which are designated acceptable or stronger in the architectural and contextual relationship, 41% lie within the proposed corridor; 47% would be directly affected by it. Almost 26% (45/184) of the buildings deemed vital to the area as a district (categories A, B and C) would be destroyed or directly affected by the freeway plan. That 26% must be added to the vast number of Barrio structures which have already been destroyed.

Robert Giebner

Harris Sobin


[page 80]

Table 5.7. ACTION INDEX
A 10-12 points Architecturally and contextually irreplaceable. These buildings are considered landmarks and are essential to the district. They may not be removed but should be restored on the exterior.
B 7-9 points Architecturally and contextually valuable. These buildings are vital in reinforcing the buildings in 'A' and should be retained. Restoration or rehabilitation of the exterior is necessary. Buildings in this category may not be destroyed unless compelling reasons dictate, and any new structure should be of higher design quality and land use.
C 6 points Architecturally and contextually acceptable. These buildings should be retained in the district to reinforce the 'tout ensemble.' Exterior rehabilitation is encouraged so that the building is more compatible with its context. Demolition is discouraged unless reasonable cause is given. Any new structure should be of higher design quality and land use.
D 4-5 points Contextually acceptable. These buildings are not essential to the district, but should remain until new construction is possible. New buildings should be of higher design quality and land use. Buildings rated 'D' may be retained if extensive exterior work is undertaken.
E 0-3 points Negative. These buildings are a negative influence on the district as they now stand. They may be replaced with buildings of higher design quality and land use. Any building in this category which is structurally sound may be altered externally so as to conform to the quality of the district.


[page 81]

Maps

Fig. 5.10. - Treatment Map of the Barrio by Index Category.


[page 82]

Map

Fig. 5.11. - Treatment Map of the Barrio.


[page 83]

Table 5.8.
Action Index Category: A B C A+B+C A+B
Action Index Score: 10-12 7-9 6-12 7-12
No. of bldgs. in each category in total study area 26 63 50 139 89
No. of bldgs. in each category which lie within the proposed corridor: 16 23 18 57 39
Percent of bldgs. in each category which lie within the proposed corridor: 64 36% 36% 41% 44%

Table 5.9
Action Index Category: A B C A+B+C A+B
Action Index Score: 10-12 7-9 6 6-12 7-12
No. of bldgs. in each category in total study area: 26 63 50 139 89
No. of bldgs. in each category which are within or adjacent to proposed corridor: 20 28 18 66 48
Percent of bldgs. in each category directly affected by the proposed freeway: 80% 43% 36% 47% 55%
(20/26) (18/50) (63/139) (66/139) (48/89)

Table 5.10. ACTION INDEX
A 10-12 pts. 26 buildings/184 13.5% irreplaceable (AC)
B 7-9 pts. 63 buildings/184 35% valuable (AC)
C 6 pts 50 buildings/184 27% acceptable (AC)
D 4-5 pts. 37 buildings/184 20% not essential (C)
E 0-3 pts. 8 buildings/184 4.5% negative

Up: Contents Previous: 4. ECONOMICS Next: 6. ALTERNATIVES TO PRESERVATION: A SCENARIO




© Arizona Board of Regents