People of many cultures have lived in this neighborhood for well over a thousand years. The Hohokam people, the ranchers, the farmers, the soldiers of Fort Lowell, Los Fuerteños who built their village after the Fort was abandoned, and others all came for the same reason: the relative abundance of water. Underlying the Fort Lowell neighborhood is a geological structure that holds the ground water levels higher than in other parts of the Tucson basin. This, coupled with the convergence of two major desert waterways, produced an unfailing water supply for countless generations. The lowering of the water table in recent decades has left the creeks, washes and rivers dry most of the year. But when the summer rains fall, the water that flows is a reminder of the allure that brought so many cultures to this special place.
In recognition of its importance, this area was designated a Historic District by Pima County in 1976, and in 1978 portions of the area were selected for the National Register of Historic Places. The City of Tucson followed in 1981 when it designated portions of the area then lying within the city limits as the Fort Lowell Historic Area.
Today the City of Tucson and Pima County actively work with the neighborhood to preserve and protect the character of the District, where there are so many tangible reminders of the past. Over more than a thousand years, many different people have settled on the land. Traces of the prehistoric Hohokam culture - tools, shell ornaments, pottery sherds - are still being found here. Much later, in the late nineteenth century, a military fort was located near this spot. Here, and in Fort Lowell Park to the east, are adobe walls that remain, some restored and in use, others melting slowly into the desert floor.
After the Fort was abandoned, Mexican farmers and ranchers began moving into the area, forming a community known as El Fuerte or The Fort. Many examples of their Sonoran-style adobe homes can be seen here today. Also visible is an irrigation system built by Mormons in the 1890s for carrying water from the Tanque Verde Creek to their farmlands nearby.
In recent years, others have been drawn to the area. Here they find not only a strong sense of the past but also the semi-rural appeal of a mesquite bosque, or woodland, with an abundance of vegetation, birds and other wildlife. Residents of the Fort Lowell Historic District welcome visitors to their neighborhood and invite them to enjoy its natural beauty and its historic treasures.
(Click map to enlarge it.)
Old Fort Lowell
Neighborhood Association, Inc.
May 21 - Annual Meeting
5230 E. Fort Lowell Road (map
Meet the new 2016-2017 Council members -more>
Old Fort Lowell Neighbohood Association, Inc.
5230 E Fort Lowell Road
Tucson, Arizona 85712