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Go inside historic homes: Blenman-Elm's tour to benefit school, neighborhood

Casitas and gardens will be featured in Blenman-Elm's revived neighborhood tour.
Posted at 3:35 PM, Mar 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-21 21:56:18-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — One of Tucson’s historic neighborhoods is hoping to bring neighbors together and bring outsiders in, all for a good cause.

The Blenman-Elm neighborhood in Midtown is hosting its first Historic Neighborhood Home & Garden Tour since 2016 on Sunday, April 14.

Tour Info
Date: Sunday, April 14
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tour check-in: 1650 N. Bentley Ave., Tucson 85716 (school parking lot)
Tickets: $30/person online or in-person the day of the even

“All the [open] homes will be located on the map,” Blenman-Elm Neighborhood Association member Patrice Lange explained. “You can go in any direction you want.”

Seven neighbors have been planning the tour since October, finding people who will open up their homes for the tour.

“Blenman-Elm is iconic, historic,” said Lange. “There’s so much diversity in architecture, in people. It’s a super, super fun neighborhood to be in.”

Liz Harrison is opening up her home in the neighborhood, including a new casita built last year, yet still reflecting the character and look of her home that was built in 1929.

The tour will feature gardens and casitas, part of what make this neighborhood so unique.

“The established houses and the landscaping,” said Harrison, listing what she loves about the neighborhood. “All the old trees… and the neighbors.”

Axel Golden grew up in the neighborhood, left, then decided to move back.

“I remember walking around, riding my bike, skateboarding,” he said. “I just loved it so much. It’s a very nostalgic place… The shades and shadows of all the trees, and walking around. It’s a friendly place.”

The tour costs $30 per person. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Blenman Elementary School. The rest will go toward neighborhood events or projects to beautify the area.

“That’s sort of the glue that holds the neighborhood together,” said Lange.

Ryan Fish is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9 and comes to the Sonoran Desert from California’s Central Coast after working as a reporter, sports anchor and weather forecaster in Santa Barbara. Ryan grew up in the Chicago suburbs, frequently visiting family in Tucson. Share your story ideas and important issues with Ryan by emailing or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.