Two new tours offer Tucsonans a rare chance to see some of the city's most impressive houses--and get a taste of neon while they're out.
The Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation will hold a tour of six historic estates in El Encanto Estates on Saturday, April 21st at 1 p.m. Organizers say this is a significant event because it'll be the first time in a generation that the homes will be open to the public.
Jennifer Levstik, executive board member of the foundation, says she hopes the activity will begin a new tradition.
"This is the first tour that the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation has done in this area and this is the first home tour for us as well," Levstik says. "We hope it will become a yearly event."
One week later, on April 27th and 28th, the foundation and some of its partners are also celebrating Tucson's neon signs, which date back several decades.
Demion Clinco, Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation president, encourages residents to participate in the free and public events.
On Friday the 27th at 6 p.m., participants at Pima Community College's downtown campus will be flipping on the switch to four restored neon signs as part of a larger celebration.
The next day, beginning at 9 a.m., organizers are holding a series of lectures and tours that will focus on the signs.
"In the 1980s, the city sign code changed, which led to the removal of many, many of these signs, so we only have a small collection and handful left," Clinco says, "but they are really extraordinary and they really represent an exuberance of mid-century modern architecture."
Find more information by visiting www.tucsonhistoricpreservationfoundation.org.