Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Oro Valley's Steam Pump design idea topic of public meeting

[Source: Patrick McNamara, Explorer News] -- A public meeting was held for the Steam Pump Ranch master planning process last Thursday. Architect Corky Poster of Poster Frost Associates, the firm contracted to create a master plan for the historic property, gave a presentation on a possible final design scenario. Working with the Steam Pump Ranch Task Force, a group of citizen volunteers, the firm has distilled the final scenario from three preliminary plans. One scenario, which the task force called “Eras of Oro Valley History,” included proto-history and Native American displays, Arizona territorial representations, statehood and town incorporation exhibits.

Another option, termed “A Day in the Life,” consisted of ranch recreations circa 1944. The year was chosen because researchers believe buildings from most prior eras of the property were in place then. A third choice included major elements from two dominant periods in the history of Steam Pump Ranch: the founding of the property in the 19th Century, and the post-1933 era when the Procter family bought the ranch. All of the scenarios included variations on a visitor center that would inform guests of the property’s history. The ultimate goal is to have the property registered with the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Register of Historic Places. German immigrant George Pusch settled the site in the 1870s. It acted as a stopover for ranchers driving their cattle to rail stations on Tucson’s west side on their way to markets in the east. The property got its iconic name from Pusch’s use of a steam-powered pump used to bring up ground water at the ranch.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Arizona Daily Star. Pictured is the adobe building which used to enclose the steam-operated water pump that gave the ranch its name.]