Wanderlust Wednesday: Tucson

The end of March found my mom and I in southern Arizona. My great uncle Mr. B has a cattle ranch outside of Tucson, where he set up business in 1952 (read a post about the nearby historic site The Empire Ranch). Before we headed out to the ranch, Mom and I headed downtown to get some lunch.

Tucson’s wild west past certainly got trounced by 1970s architecture, but there are efforts to restore its early 20th century character. Here are a few quick snapshots from the eerily perfect Western Deco Hotel Congress.  We had lunch at its restaurant, the Cup Cafe.

Tucson is bringing back its streetcar lines –  this has torn up and closed a number of downtown streets, making it a bit difficult to navigate currently. But my uncle, a member of that old breed of Western Republican (fiscally conservative, socially pretty liberal for age 93), after bashing health care and government intervention, thought that installation of the streetcars was progress. Progress, c. 1910. Kudos for bringin’ it back, Tucson.


Tucson Streetcar track work. RL Fifield

Hotel Congress, Tucson, AZ. Photo: RL Fifield.

Hotel Congress, Tucson, AZ. Photo: RL Fifield.


Hotel Congress. RL Fifield.


RL Fifield.

RL Fifield.


The hotel switchboard. RL Fifield.


About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.