The Pima County Board of Supervisors has voted unanimously to approve an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Tucson related to the preservation of the historic Fort Lowell, located within Fort Lowell Park, 2900 N. Craycroft Rd.
The U.S. Army built the post in 1873 and it remained in use until 1891. The park, which currently includes the historic buildings, has a mix of modern recreational facilities alongside archaeological deposits and remnants of buildings that date back to the original occupation. In 1978, the site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“This is an exceptional opportunity to work with the City of Tucson again in helping to restore the historical presence of Fort Lowell,” said Linda Mayro, director of the Office of Sustainability and Conservation. “This agreement will allow us to fulfill our joint vision of bringing history ‘back to life’ for the greater public’s benefit and enjoyment.”
“Thanks to the City of Tucson voters and the Arizona State Parks Board Heritage Fund, we have the funding available to restore many of the historic features and structures at this beloved park for the enjoyment of current and future generations,” said Lara Hamwey, director of City of Tucson Parks and Recreation. “This is a great example of inter-jurisdictional cooperation to best serve our community thanks to the leadership of Mayor Romero, Ward 2 Councilmember Paul Cunningham, their colleagues on the council, and the Pima County Board of Supervisors.”
In 2004, Pima County initiated the Fort Lowell Park Master Plan which was adopted by both the city and county in 2009. In 2018, Tucson voters approved another $3.15 million to fund additional improvements included in the original master plan. In addition to the voter approved funds, the city received a $300,000 Heritage Fund from the Arizona State Parks Board.
Pima County Administrator Jan Lesher told the board in a Mar. 14 memorandum that, while the ongoing preservation projects will be funded by the city, the county’s development of the Fort Lowell Master Plan and previous restoration efforts at the park made the county the logical choice to oversee the additional improvements using both city bond and grant funds.
The county’s oversight role will include the administration of design and construction contracts in addition to the verification of quality of workmanship. Priorities for the project include the restoration of the Commissary complex and Donaldson House, as well as the construction of a new protective structure over Hospital Ruins.