Monday, November 27, 2006

Will It Stay or Will It Go?

The gazebo at La Placita. The gazebo was built in 1955 to represent Tucson's Mexican heritage and is located in a very pleasant tree-lined plaza that itself dates from about 1854. La Plaza de la Mezilla was the departure point for wagon trains leaving Tucson for La Mesilla, New Mexico, then the territorial capital.

The wagon trains were the lifeline for Tucson at that time when all goods going in or out of the then village came in by wagon trains, a dangerous enterprise as they were often attacked on the way to New Mexico by Apaches. La Plaza de la Mesilla was the center of life in Tucson when it was still culturally, if not politically, a Mexican village.

To many native Tucsonans, the gazebo and plaza are remnants of a Mexican cultural heritage that has been steadily destroyed over the last 150 or so years. The destruction of the Barrio Viejo in the 1960's to build the Tucson Convention Center (and gentrification of La Placita) is still a bitter memory to longtime residents and in their minds the gazebo is symbol of that lost barrio. More
on the gazebo controversy here.


Anonymous Mary said...

Wonderful photograph - love the sweet pastel colors running in a frieze below the khaki colored gazebo.

I certainly hope the gazebo stays - it's always sad when things like this are destroyed. We must photograph them!

8:08 AM  
Blogger Curly said...

Hope you can keep the gazebo Louz, and also keep the great colours in the buildings behind.

Curly's Photoshop

1:24 PM  
Blogger Louz said...

As someone pointed out to me the other day, its about money to some people and tradition/saving our heritage to others and there's not very many people who can see both points of view. In addition to changing the plaza and maybe doing away with the gazebo, they also want to change the colors of La Placita to "warm" colors, no more of those vibrant blues and purples and plums and yellows for them, just nice safe browns and muted oranges and tans. I will be awfully sad if they do that.

10:58 PM  

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