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Tucson Preservation Foundation protecting city heritage and culture

The Beck House has been designated as a historic landmark.
Posted at 6:19 AM, Jan 11, 2022

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation is a nonprofit organization that works to preserve and protect Tucson’s heritage and cultural resources.

There are five historic preservation zones in the city of Tucson. It’s a true calling for executive director, Demion Clinco, who says, “when I moved back I was really concerned with how Tucson was treating its historic built environment.”

So he decided to step in and help. Clinco says, “we really needed a renewed focus on places that make Tucson unique and special and we needed to come up with strategies to cultivate and preserve them.”

When a location is surveyed by the preservation foundation and determined to be of historical significance, the foundation nominates the landmark. “In the city of Tucson and Pima County there are what’s called a local historic landmark preservation and this is a protective overlay that’s created through zoning that really provides a protection to the underlying historic resource,” says Clinco.

Clinco says the foundation, “uses the resources that we raise to help identify, survey, document and then work with sympathetic owners to create these types of regulatory overlay tools to help manage and protect resources for future generations.”

After a landmark is nominated, it is reviewed by the commission. From there, it goes through a full rezoning process. Clinco says, “there are about a dozen individual properties scattered across the city that have this type of protective zoning that really provides long range management and helps ensure that when changes are made they are compatible and meet national standard.”

After the rezoning process is complete, the Mayor and City Council give their recommendations and make a final decision. Once a located is designated as a historic landmark, the owners of the it have to comply to landmark rules. Clinco says, “so the properties that are designated have to go through a review process then if anyone tried to demolish them they would have to go to mayor and council for approval.”

It’s all to help protect the amazing locations we have in Tucson. Most recently, the Beck House was designated as a historic landmark in December. It was designed by architect John Beck in 1958 and built in 1960. Clinco says, “we worked with the Beck family to initiate the designation and in the middle of the designation process the house was sold and we completed the process with the new owner.” Which is something Clinco says isn’t uncommon.

The process to designated a historic landmark takes about 8 months to a year to complete. The Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation is always looking for suggestions from the public.

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