The Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood

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Walking Tour
Commissary
Site #10

Fort Lowell Road looking east, with the comisaraio on the left, 1926 [15K]
Fort Lowell Road looking east, with the comisaraio on the left, 1926.
Arizona Historical Society #45146

The soldiers knew this building as the Quartermaster's Commissary and Storehouse. It was a large U-shaped structure with twelve-foot-high, unplastered walls and a cellar underneath the northwest wing. When the soldiers left, the building was occupied by the Martinez, Ochoa and Romero families. They transformed it into a dwelling typical of northern Mexico villages and knew it as the comisario.

During World War II, when middle-class Anglos were beginning to move to the Fort Lowell area and the village of El Fuerte was disappearing, the Bolsius family - Pete, his wife Nan and brother Charles - bought the comisario with plans to turn it into apartments. The building, when it was finished, followed the outline of the old military storehouse, but the Bolsiuses' respect for New Mexican architecture is reflected in the lines and finish of the exterior wall. Nan and Charles hand-carved and fitted the forty-two wooden doors.

Next: Post Trader's House

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