Literary Genres
Historical Maps
Geographical Features
Linguistics & Anthropology
Explorations & Questions


St. Philip's In The Foothills church The American Southwest is a vast, ill-defined area, ranging from northern New Mexico to the border with Mexico and from somewhere west of the Colorado River to, perhaps, the Pecos River in west Texas. It's a diverse region with major human settlements located at elevations as high as 7000 feet and as low as sea level. Architecture responds to place, that is to climate, geology, culture and availability of materials. Therefore, in an area as diverse as the Southwest it stands to reason that its architecture will also be varied in form and structure.

Also, to consider the architecture of the American Southwest independent of that of northwest Mexico would be neglecting a significant connection if not a crucial source of development. After all, the native cultures were linked by trade, and the earliest European settlers came from Mexico. Needless to state, the border between both the US and Mexico is a political line neither respected by natural history or biology. Natural determines, such as climate and flora that help shape architecture, are not confined by any such construct as a political border.

Learn more by reading Architecture and Urbanism of the Southwest, an essay by John Messina, AIA, Research Architect, the University of Arizona Southwest Studies Center and the School of Architecture.

R. Brooks Jeffery's lecture "An Architectural Legacy: Islamic Influences in the American Southwest." QT streaming video 1:10:35]

The Blenman House: 1878 Victorian Territorial Architecture The Blenman House was constructed in 1878 by Charles Rivers Drake. It is thought to be the only example of San Francisco-style Victorian architecture built in Territorial-style adobe mud. While Drake used 20 inch thick adobe bricks for the home's exterior, it is the interior's wood detailing and leaded-glass skylights that distinguish it from any other homes in Tucson. Drake lived in the home until the late 1890s when he sold the home to Charles Blenman and relocated to Southern California.

Jeff DiGregorio's digital story "The Blenman House: A Victorian Adobe Mansion in Tucson, Arizona" [03:59 QuickTime]

Josias Joesler: An Architectural Eclectic "When asked to name Tucson's most recognized architect, the first name that comes to most people's minds is Josias Joesler. This website presents Joesler within the context of Tucson’s architectural and community development, his prolific 30-year career with developer/builder John Murphey and his legacy providing lessons for appropriate architecture in Tucson."

Vernacular Architecture Forum and the VAF QTVRs.

Navajo Architecture - Concepts & Design A website by Richard K. Begay Jr.

Follow the renovation of the historic Fox Theatre in Tucson. The University of Arizona's Virutal Reality Annex is documenting progress using QuickTime VR.