Dedication May 31 for community facility honoring Monsignor Carrillo
A 22-foot-tall, steel lattice band shell with decorative floral details now graces the St. Augustine Cathedral grounds, the signature piece for the Monsignor Arsenio S. Carrillo Placita and Hall.
The placita’s dedication is set for 1 p.m. May 31, said John Shaheen, property director for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson.
Work on the placita, at 192 S. Stone Ave., will continue until mid-May.
“The idea behind it was, this would be a community space, not just for the parish,” Shaheen said. “The whole placita area is designed to handle craft fairs, farmers markets and such.”
The placita can seat 600 for concerts and 300 for sit-down dinners, he said.
The band shell covers a 1,600-square-foot stage.
The shell is decorated with more than 300 steel flowers;1,000 steel leaves and branches; 18 steel butterflies; and a half-dozen steel birds, all crafted by blacksmith Joe Hernandez and two people he hired for the four-month forging job. Hernandez also supervised the installation of his floral work during the past four weeks.
“I just came up with a design (for the flowers),” said Hernandez, who owns Adobe Anvil Iron Works. “Each flower is about seven pieces.”
The flowers range from 24 inches to 12 inches wide. They were airbrushed with color by Fernando Holguin and Chris Andrews.
The placita is a 4-year quest of Tony S. Carrillo to honor his brother, Monsignor Arsenio S. Carrillo, who was the cathedral’s rector for 40 years. Tony Carrillo chaired the 31-person placita committee that has raised about $1 million. It still needs about $150,000 to pay for the sound and lighting systems.
“It’s very exciting to be able to have a facility that is going to be open to the public that can be used for weddings and quinceañeras,” Tony Carrillo said. “The fact that it will spur interest in further development downtown is also important to me and the bishop.”
The placita has been taking shape since last April, as crews transformed the cathedral’s long-neglected space at Stone Avenue and Ochoa Street into a dedicated gathering place.
About 1,200 paver bricks will make up the placita surface, and new restrooms were attached to the exterior of the former cathedral hall. A small grotto in honor of the monsignor is being built at Stone and Ochoa.
Groups wishing to use the placita can call Shaheen at 792-3410.