It’s Springtime and the desert is blooming. For a fun free activity (after lunch at The Grill at 100 E. Congress Street, which is open 24/7), I would like to recommend a leisurely stroll south along Scott Avenue in downtown Tucson. Here are a few highlights and photos.
First walk south from E. Congress past the old federal courthouse (built in 1929) to E. Broadway Blvd., where the recent Scott Avenue street renovation and landscaping begins.
There at that intersection are two large gateway monuments on either side (see photo below) with lots of information & photos on “Tucson’s Historic Cultural District” and “Architectural Treasures of Scott Avenue” on plaques affixed to these monuments.
A block south you will encounter a huge 12 foot tall orange metal griffin (half lion/half eagle) sculpture by artist Joe O’Connell, which lights up at night. This griffin sculpture was recently installed in May, 2009. Close by are two lovely orange blooming cactus plants. I’m not a plant expert, but I think it’s the claret cup cactus (from my “70 Common Cacti of the Southwest” book).
Then behind the Tucson Children’s Museum (200 S. 6th Avenue), you have to be vigilant or you might miss sighting a quaint, historic bed & breakfast behind a large white rose bush which grows over the metal entry gate. This is The Royal Elizabeth Bed and Breakfast Inn, 204 S.Scott Ave, phone 520-670-9022. Just a peak into their front foyer will make you think you are back in 1878 when this home was built. See their website: www.royalelizabeth.com for videos of this amazingly charming B & B. (Closed April 12 for the summer, will be re-opening in mid-September).
Lovely palo verde trees with yellow flowers, pink blossoming bushes, towering acacias greet you as you continue your stroll south on Scott Avenue till you get to the renovated, historic Temple of Music & Art, 330 S. Scott Ave (built in 1927, see photo below). Arizona Theater Company has numerous performances here at night, and there are often receptions in the Cabaret Art Gallery on the second floor.
This lovely part of South Scott Avenue is between E. Congress Street on the north, and E. 14th Street on the south end. It truly has become one of the loveliest landscaped streets to stroll along in downtown, especially when the desert is blooming.
Coming in the future, a new T.E.P. building on Scott Avenue between E. Broadway Blvd. and E. 12th Street (former Santa Rita Hotel & Ballroom site, now vacant).
Enjoy a Spring stroll on South Scott Avenue!