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Historic Architecture at Arizona State Parks

By: Arizona Office of Tourism Staff

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June 23, 2011

Arizona's state parks hold a wealth of architectural gems waiting to be explored.

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Arizona Office of Tourism Staff

These articles are brought to you by staff of the Arizona Office of Tourism, as well as local tourism organizations around the state.

Riordan Mansion State Historic Park

Designed by Charles Whittlesey, the creator of Grand Canyon’s El Tovar Hotel, the Riordan home at Riordan Mansion State Historic Park in Flagstaff is a remarkable example of Arts and Crafts style architecture.

The building features a rustic exterior of log-slab siding, volcanic-stone arches and hand-split wooden shingles. Inside, the expansive home has 40 rooms and more than 13,000 square feet of living area and servant quarters.

Take a guided tour through the pristine historic home filled with original artifacts, handcrafted furniture and personal mementos of the Riordan families. The park’s website  features a video introduction.

Summer tours are offered Monday - Friday.  After Labor Day, tours are available Thursday through Monday (closed Tuesday and Wednesday). Tour size is limited, so reservations are highly recommended. Call the park at (928) 779-4395 to make a reservation.

Jerome State Historic Park

At Jerome State Historic Park you can tour the Douglas Mansion, which has been an eye-catching landmark in Jerome since 1916, when James S. Douglas built it on the hill just above his Little Daisy Mine.

Douglas designed the house as a hotel for mining officials and investors as well as for his own family. It featured a wine cellar, billiard room, marble shower, steam heat and, much ahead of its time, a central vacuum system. Douglas was most proud of the fact that the house was constructed of adobe bricks that were made on the site.

This former home is now a museum devoted to the history of the Jerome area and the Douglas family. The museum features exhibits of photographs, artifacts and minerals, in addition to a video presentation and a 3-D model of the town with its underground mines.

Spend the day in historic Jerome and learn about mining in Arizona.

Fort Verde State Historic Park

Experience life through the eyes of a frontier soldier at Fort Verde State Historic Park.

The fort was a base for General Crook’s US Army scouts and soldiers in the 1870s and 1880s. From 1865–1891 Camp Lincoln, Camp Verde and Fort Verde were home to officers, doctors, families, enlisted men and scouts.

The park is the best-preserved example of an Indian Wars period fort in Arizona. Several of the original buildings still stand, and living-history programs are scheduled periodically, giving visitors a glimpse into Arizona’s history.

Today visitors can experience three historic house museums, all furnished in the 1880s period and each listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places.

The former administration building houses the Visitor Center, which features interpretive exhibits, period artifacts from military life, and history on Indian scouts and the Indian Wars era.

Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park

Get a glimpse of the true Old West at Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park  in Tombstone.

Built in 1882 in the shape of a Roman cross, the two-story Victorian structure once housed the offices of the sheriff, recorder, treasurer, board of supervisors, jail and courtrooms of Cochise County.

Today, the 12,000-square-foot courthouse is a museum filled with the glitter and guns of those who tamed the Territory.

Exhibits portray the authentic history of Tombstone as a frontier silver-mining boomtown. Learn about miners, cattlemen and pioneers, and see reproductions of the courtroom and sheriff’s office.

Displays include a tax license for operating a brothel and an invitation to a hanging. A replica of the gallows in the courtyard represents where seven men were hanged.

Tubac Presidio State Historic Park

Finally, don’t miss the chance to pay a visit to Tubac Presidio State Historic Park in Tubac to glimpse Otero Hall. This 1885 period Territorial Schoolhouse is one of Arizona’s earliest school buildings.

(Brought to you by Arizona State Parks.)

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