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Eckbo Fountains at Tucson Community Center Historic District

Category Parks & Pubic Spaces


260 S Church Ave
Tucson, AZ 85701

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The Eckbo Fountains, part of the larger Tucson Community Center (TCC) Historic District landscape, is a beautifully restored water feature with a series of linked basins and pools displaying water in all its forms – rushing, falling, swirling, lapping and pooling. The soundscape radiates outward from The Linda Ronstadt Music Hall, with quiet pools near the entrance and noisy, splashing falls further out. The basins of the fountain are composed of poured-in-place concrete, punctuated by scatters of boulders and slopes of turf. The Fountains along with the surrounding plazas were recently restored as part of Rio Nuevo's $65 million Tucson Convention Center Capital Improvement Project.

The Tucson Community Center (TCC) Historic District, constructed between 1971 and 1974, consists of a public plaza, a walkway, and a small park. These three sections, designed by noted Modernist landscape architect Garrett Eckbo (1910-2000) are related in theme and design. The overarching intent of the landscape is to provide a gathering space outside the TCC cultural venues including the arena, music hall and theater; to offer opportunities for strolling and picnicking; to enhance characteristic Tucson views; and to create a pedestrian link between Tucson’s downtown area and the TCC facilities. With an extensive system of fountains, balconies, stairways and pedestrian ramps, the design employs characteristic materials of the period: concrete, modular brick, mounded earth, trees and shrubs, flowing water and natural boulders. Together the three sections occupy a significant portion of the open space of downtown Tucson, approximately 5.75 acres. In an urban setting, the District is bounded by city streets, and by performance, office, café and hotel buildings, yet extensive views from the site include the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Augustine and the Tucson Mountains. Except for minor changes due to missing landscape elements and the addition of minor small-scale features, the District remains essentially as it was when first installed.

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