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Architecture on Wheels brings you to Tucson's historic downtown

Sunday bicycle tours connect with living history

Organizers of Sunday morning's Architecture on Wheels invite those interested in Tucson's past to take a bike ride around Downtown to learn more about the historical context of the area.

Riders on three different bicycle tours (a walking tour is already fully booked) will explore pre-1912 buildings in Downtown and Armory Park, West University or El Presidio.

The buildings featured were chosen to commemorate Arizona's centennial. The event is part of Architecture Week, which encourages people to bike and walk to noteworthy buildings and monuments to celebrate the construction of their city.

"Aside from the tours including buildings that were constructed around 1912 they are also in neighborhoods that are easily accessible for bikers and on foot," said Kylie Walzak of Living Streets Alliance, the event's coordinator.

The tours will each include an expert to provide commentary on the buildings and their historic context.

Buildings chosen as tour highlights feature the different architectural styles of their eras. Most of the buildings on the tour are east of Main Street because it marked the boundary for downtown due to the flood zones a century ago, Walzak said.

"The whole goal of this event, as well as most of the events that the Living Streets Alliance puts on is to reconnect people with their neighbors/neighborhoods and Tucson as a community," said Walzak.

Last year about 100 people took the tour; organizers expect to double that number this year.

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For more information on the even go to www.livingstreetsalliance.org.

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Pete Zarria/Flickr

Tucson's Historic Train Depot, built in 1907, is still a passenger rail stop, serving those traveling on Amtrak's Sunset Limited. The structure was restored to its circa-1941 Spanish Colonial Revival style in 2004.

If you go

  • What: Architecture on Wheels building tours
  • Where: Begins at the Historic Train Depot, 400 N. Toole Ave., next to Maynards Market.
  • When: Sunday, 8 a.m. Tours take about 1.5 hours.
  • Cost: Free. RSVP to info@livingstreetsalliance.org