196 N Court Ave

Presidio Real de San Agustín del Tucson (14/29)

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Presidio Real de San Agustín del Tucson…196 N. Court Avenue

The Tucson Presidio was established by Lt. Colonel Hugo O’Conor, on August 20, 1775; construction was begun two months later. The fort’s earthen berms and palisade were completed in October 1776, allowing the Tubac garrison to move north with their families.

Tucson was one of the largest frontier presidios, covering approximately 11 acres in what is today downtown Tucson. Enclosed by 10-ft-tall adobe walls, the fort’s two square torreons (towers) provided excellent defense along the periphery.

The Presidio remained in use until the Americans entered Tucson in March 1856.

Turn right on Washington St. and continue ½ block to the restored walls of the Presidio. Look through the gate.

The wall’s last standing segment was torn down in 1918. Today, the location of the original Presidio wall is marked by a line of “bricks” that demonstrate the extensive area occupied by the fort. The boundaries were Washington, Church, Pennington, and Main Streets on the terrace overlooking the Santa Cruz River (which was flowing at that time).

Reconstruction of Presidio San Agustin del Tucson began with the archaeological excavation at the original site (corner of Court and Washington). Completed in February, 2006, the excavation revealed prehistoric pit houses, the foundation of a corner of the original Presidio, the 1890s Dodge Boarding House, and 1000s of artifacts, some of which are on display in the Presidio Museum.

The restored portion of the Presidio includes the high adobe walls that surrounded the original Presidio with a 20′ tall adobe torreon. A soldiers’ and civilians’ house and a prehistoric pit structure show how life has changed. The 1860s-1870s Jacomé-Siquieros family home on Court Street was restored. It houses the museum and gift shop. The Presidio Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 AM to 4 PM, operated by the Tucson Presidio Trust. Living History takes place 2nd Saturdays, October through April.