Friday, November 30, 2007

UA looks at restoring historic 1906 Douglass house

[Source: Eric Swedlund, Daily Star] -- The Douglass House, a turn-of-the-century home once owned by the UA's first academic superstar, has long attracted the attention of preservationists on campus and is now an administration priority for restoration. "There is very significant and sincere interest in restoring the building," said Albert Tarcola, director of facilities management. "It's on my list as No. 1 to be restored." Finished in 1906, the Douglass House, also known as the Cannon/Douglass House, was the second building on the north side of Speedway, following the George E.P. Smith House, both of which are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The house was originally owned by William A. Cannon, a botanist who sold it to A.E. Douglass in 1913. Douglass lived in the house until 1923. Douglass was a Harvard astronomer in 1894 when Percival Lowell recruited him to scout the Arizona Territory for the best observatory site. Douglass worked as Lowell's chief assistant at the Lowell Observatory outside Flagstaff before arriving in Tucson in 1906 to join the UA faculty. At the UA he became known as the father of dendrochronology, the science of tree-ring dating, and was the founder of the Steward Observatory. Restoration will give the university a better public face and promote the university as a good steward of public resources, said R. Brooks Jeffery, preservation-studies coordinator and associate dean of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Greg Bryan, Daily Star.]