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The Sunshine Mile added to list of endangered historic places in the U.S.

Posted at 8:47 PM, Oct 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-06 13:07:27-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Sunshine Mile is a strip of businesses along Broadway Boulevard that stretches between Euclid and Country Club.

For some, it's more than just a corridor to get across town.

"They are mid-century buildings. They were built after the war, and it's an extension of downtown," said Monica Hay Cook. "We have a very small downtown. And so the growth went east out of downtown."

Hay Cook owns Echo: An Illuminating Experience, one of the businesses along the Sunshine Mile. 

On Wednesday the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced it added the Sunshine Mile to its list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. The organization says the list highlights examples of architectural and cultural heritage that are at risk of destruction.

According to the organization, the Broadway Improvement Project is threatening some of the buildings in the corridor.

Stephanie Meeks, the president of the preservation society, says the corridor is a significant part of Tucson and a historic resource. 

"The National Trust has found that the reuse of older and historic buildings is a key element in the resurgence of cities across the nation," Meeks said. 

In recent years Hay Cook and her husband Jude Cook have spearheaded efforts to revitalize the area. Cook says he's not necessarily against widening the road but is hopeful the new historic recognition will save some of the old buildings. 

"I've heard a lot of talk of Broadway looking blighted. But to be perfectly honest, it looks as good as a lot of places in town," Cook said. "And it's got a lot of potential to look stunning if we can just not destroy it in the process of widening of the road."

Discussion of the Broadway improvement began decades ago. Most recently 30% design plans were approved by the city council.