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Boston, MA USA

508.322.0516

Portfolio site for Gregory Galvan, currently Art Director for Books at Americas Test Kitchen. 

Modern Within Reach

A blog about finding good deals on Modern homes.

 

Central Tucson Townhouse

Gregory Galvan

There is a lot of modern architecture in Arizona, notably in the Phoenix area. But in Tucson, where almost everything is more low-key, the modernists were busy as the city was built up out of an adobe trading post overlooking the west branch of the Santa Cruz River.

To kick off this blog, I selected a townhouse, one of my favorite housing types. I like that you get private garden space, but share the public spaces and the cost of pools and other amenities. The opportunity for social interaction and a fairly high density level are appealing. This set of townhouses was built in the mid-Sixties in the Miramonte neighborhood. It is a great location for being able to walk or bike to grocery stores and restaurants, and is just over a mile to the University of Arizona. At just over $200K, the price is very reasonable for the amount (1800 square feet) and quality of space, and the location.

street view.png

The street view shows it as part of a complex of both single story and two story buildings. This unit is in the single story part. No one banging around upstairs! You enter the private courtyard from the street. The front door and several sliders give plenty of access to the courtyard from the living and dining rooms. The unit we are looking at is 3207 East 3rd Street. It is the one next to the two story section, not the end unit.

That is a lot of brick! The front door on left, the dining room slider in the middle, then the breakfast room slider. The building is to the south of the courtyard, nice for shade in this climate.

That is a lot of brick! The front door on left, the dining room slider in the middle, then the breakfast room slider. The building is to the south of the courtyard, nice for shade in this climate.

The courtyard is big enough to have some furniture, lots of pots, and maybe some interesting plantings. It wouldn't take much to make it nice! I might even remove some of that paving just to get a few more plants in there!

From the inside, you get the full effect of the floor to ceiling windows and the open plan. The fireplace is really nicely positioned in the room, orienting the focus towards the outside and to the other rooms.

I love that full height entry door, and the transoms over the sliders. The carpet and the light in the entry hall would have to go!

I love that full height entry door, and the transoms over the sliders. The carpet and the light in the entry hall would have to go!

The Living and Dining Rooms connect through the entry area, and both relate so well to the courtyard. For all that glass facing the street, it is remarkably private.

Again, the lighting must go!

Again, the lighting must go!

The walls that define the entry seem to create a nice little alcove on the back side for a coat rack or table to stash your keys.

The kitchen is probably original. That is hard to find these days with so many people doing kitchen renovations. I love finding original kitchens and the idea that it could still work well. This one seems to fit the bill. The stove looks pretty much original, and probably will last longer than any new replacement you might buy. The pink sink and tile details are pretty awesome. I just am not sure of the accent tiles scattered through the back splash and counter tops. What are they???

In this case, the under counter fluorescent tube should go, but the chandelier can stay!

In this case, the under counter fluorescent tube should go, but the chandelier can stay!

How cool would pink appliances be in this kitchen?

How cool would pink appliances be in this kitchen?

The listing claims two master bedrooms. Both open onto a rather awkward "Arizona Room". What is with the windows to the outside so high up in the wall? I guess it is for privacy for the bedrooms, but it just makes for a very odd room. It wouldn't be too hard to replace those with deeper windows that go closer to the floor.

The two bedrooms open to the south facing Arizona Room. Both feature bathrooms unmolested by contractor renovations.

The two bedrooms open to the south facing Arizona Room. Both feature bathrooms unmolested by contractor renovations.

Not much here makes sense, except I like the brick wall and is that a concrete floor? That back door opens out to a second more public patio. Judging by the electrical installed here, this must have been used as an office at one point.

Not much here makes sense, except I like the brick wall and is that a concrete floor? That back door opens out to a second more public patio. Judging by the electrical installed here, this must have been used as an office at one point.

Those are the garages opposite, and the concrete pathway gives access through the complex to the pool.

Those are the garages opposite, and the concrete pathway gives access through the complex to the pool.

The south facing back patio is open to the association's pathways and open space leading to the pool. I'd like to think that this space is where you you have the opportunity for nice chance encounters with neighbors. While I'd rather see more native plantings, the grass will at least help keep things a little cooler in summers.

Speaking of staying cool, this pool should do the trick. Hanging out on the bridge sipping a cocktail would be the height of cool sophistication!

I guess you can harvest those oranges to make your screwdriver poolside.

I guess you can harvest those oranges to make your screwdriver poolside.