302nd anniversary of Padre Eusebio Kino’s death commemorated through solar art at new Gutierrez BridgeFriday, March 15th, 2013
Engraved on the pavement on the south side of the new Gutierrez Bridge (formerly called the Cushing Street Bridge), west of the I-10 over the Santa Cruz wash are these words:
Jesuit Priest Father Eusebio Francisco Kino was the first European to map the region of modern day Southern Arizona and Northern Sonora. His definitive Pimeria Alta map that located many now familiar historic landmarks was completed in 1702. Father Kino died March 15, 1711 in Magdalena, Mexico (Discovery Date and Time: March 15, 9:30 a.m.)
Today March 15, 2013, exactly 302 years after Padre Kino’s death many of us gathered at the Gutierrez Bridge before 9:30 a.m. to watch the sun shine through the image of one of the San Xavier del Bac Mission towers laser-cut in the shade canopy over the bridge, to align with that history and map embossed into the sidewalk along the pedestrian walkway. (You really have to see it to believe it, as I did on February 19, 2013 when I watched the shadow of the propeller blade image on the canopy align with pioneer Charles Hamilton’s bi-plane embossed image on the pavement.)
Photos above and below taken by former Tucson Citizen reporter Teya Vitu, which may help you to understand how the architect David Dobler of Structual Design Inc. aligned the 12 historic pavement images with the laser-cut drawings on the overhead canopies. He worked with bridge artist Brenda Semanick on this creation.
Further background explanation and photos of this solar art project and bridge construction can be found at freelance writer Teya Vitu’s article “Solar Art Greets Pedestrians on new Luis G. Gutierrez Bridge” (click here).
Architect Dobler was present today to explain his work, as well as Charity Bidegain who created the facebook page for this project: www.facebook.com/luisggutierrezbridge which has photos and information about other Discovery Dates.
Attorney Mark O’Hare of the Kino Heritage Society passed out copies today of Padre Kino’s map of the Pimeria Alta, and info on an E-book which is on their website. The book is entitled “Padre Kino and the Trail to the Pacific”. Also on their website is a link about the newest book of the German Jesuit missionaries written by my husband UA Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, “Early History of the Southwest Through the Eyes of German-Speaking Jesuit Missionaries, A Transcultural Experience in the Eighteenth Century”.
Discovery Date solar calendar events at Luis G. Gutierrez bridge, with exact days/times:
Feb. 19 at 8:45 a.m.: First airplane flight by Charles Hamilton
Feb. 21 at 8:45 a.m.: First Rodeo (Fiesta de Los Vaqueros) Parade
March 15 at 9:30 a.m.: Date of Father Eusebio Kino’s death
March 20 at 8:30 a.m.: First Southern Pacific Railroad train to arrive
April 10 at 9:30 a.m.: First Mariachi conference
May 25 at 10:30 a.m.: Phoenix Mars Lander lands on Mars
June 1 at noon: The first electric streetcar
June 24 at 10:30 a.m.: El Dia de San Juan as proclaimed by explorer Francisco Coronado
July 3 at 10:45 a.m.: The monsoon seasons begins
Aug. 20 at 9:30 a.m.: The Presidio San Agustin de Tucson founded
Oct. 14 at 8:45 a.m.: Tucson Pressed Brick Company (founder Quintus Monier’s death date)
Oct. 26 at 8:15 a.m.: Commander Juan Bautista de Anza arrived at Santa Cruz River, on way to California
Upcoming in a few days will be the March 20 Discovery Date event when you can watch the shadow on the railway spike align with the historic pavement image of the first Southern Pacific train to arrive in Tucson. Be there just before 8:30 a.m.