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Armory Park

Categories Classes Parks & Public Spaces


222 S 5th Ave
Tucson 85701
(520) 791-4873

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Armory Park is a public city park located in dowtown Tucson across the street from the Children's Museum Tucson on 6th Avenue. It contains several war memorials and is the site of many annual special events such as Children's Museum Festivals, the Downtown Parade of Lights, St. Patricks Day Parade & Festival, Baja Beer Fest, GABA Bike Swap, Tucson Peace Festival, the El Tour de Tucson and many more.

Camp Lowell was established at this location in 1866 by the U.S. Army in recognition of the strategic military importance of Tucson. The camp provided military protection as well as bringing financial benefits to the residents of Tucson. The two principal purposes of this military installation were to supply other army outposts south of the Gila River and to protect the citizens of the southern Arizona territory. Camp Lowell consisted primarily of tents. A poorly built adobe structure functioned as a kitchen, and a rented building in town served as a hospital. In 1873 the camp was moved out of town and reestablished at its current location at the confluence of the Pantano and Tanque Verde washes. In 1879, Camp Lowell was renamed Fort Lowell.

In 1913, a portion of the federal Camp Lowell site, between 5th and 6th Avenues and 12th and 13th Streets, was deeded to the state for the construction of an armory. The first armory in the state of Arizona was constructed within the confines of what was originally called Military Plaza, and is now called Armory Park, and opened in 1914. The masonry structure, with its castle-like towers, featured a basement rifle range, a main floor with hardwood floors for military drills as well as practice by University of Arizona basketball players, and an upper floor with offices. In the 4930s, the Boy Scouts camped in the park for their annual "camporee," and during World War II soldiers used the facilities for dances before going oversees. A new armory was later built elsewhere in Tucson and the building in Armory Park was demolished in 1975.

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