Centennial Park Gets $20,000 From the City

November 8, 2011

Four months out from the Arizona Centennial Celebration on February 14, 2012, the City of Tucson has granted the Centennial Park project an additional $20,000 for an archaeological investigation and design work at the park site at Main Avenue and Paseo Redondo.

These funds augment $13,000 from a lighting fund and proceeds from the sale of 50 memorial bricks. Another $7,500 comes from Pima County, Tucson Presidio Trust and El Presidio Neighborhood Association to fund two of the planned three historical markers.

Centenaries are by definition ephemeral events, birthday celebrations that occur once in a hundred years, generate parades, proclamations and dramatic re-enactments and then become memories or material for historic archives.

But if something tangible is left behind, a legacy of meaningful commemoration that permanently reflects the important of the occasion is created.

Such is the case of the Centennial Park that will grace and transform a rubble-filled strip of dirt and untended sparse vegetation along the southwest side of Main Ave as it intersects with Paseo Redondo.

This 130-by-30-foot waste parcel will become a “pedestrian oasis featuring a curved walkway, benches, landscaping and panels to interpret Tucson’s history.”

In 2007, the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission designated the El Presidio neighborhood’s “Centennial Park” project as an official Arizona Centennial Legacy Project.

It has also received support and endorsement from the City of Tucson Transportation Department, the Historic Preservation Officer, Parks and Recreation Department and 85 businesses, organizations and individuals, including neighbors and nearby institutions such as the Tucson Museum of Art, the Fox Tucson Theatre, the Arizona Historical Society, El Charro restaurant and Old Town Artisans, to name a few.

The Park will function as a refuge of shade, vegetation, a place to sit and an area enhancement. Other potential benefits include the possibility of a public art installation. For more information, please contact Jerry Talen, gatert@voyanger.net or 520-903-0039.