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"A tale of two water towers": City of Tucson, Sam Hughes neighborhood focuses on oldest buildings in town

Posted at 11:49 PM, Jun 15, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Inside the historic Sam Hughes neighborhood, some of Tucson's oldest buildings stand tall. The old water tower buildings were built in the 1920s and since then, the wells inside have continued to be active. The buildings used to have towers, but in the 1960s, those were taken down.

Gayle Hartman is the president of the neighborhood association and she's lived in the neighborhood for many years. She said the neighborhood association has spent a lot of money to restore the water building on First Street and Tucson Boulevard. She said a few blocks away, the water building on Plumer and First Street is scheduled to be taken down in July.

"On the corner of Tucson and First, we the neighborhood have been trying for some time to get it restored and use the property some," she said.

The City of Tucson installed a wrought iron fence around the building on Tucson and First, but Hartman hopes the neighborhood can use the property in some way.

"At least we'd like to plant some vegetation in there," she said. "If we get some mesquite trees, we'd have to water them and let them take hold,. At least that would look better even if there's no use of the parcel."

She said they'd love to create a dog park or something for the community to enjoy in that space around the water building.

Tina Giuliano is a reporter for KGUN 9. She is a native Arizonan and grew up in Scottsdale. Tina is passionate about storytelling and is excited to work telling Tucson's stories. Share your story ideas and important issues with Tina by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.