A Brief History of Colonia Solana
Colonia Solana is the first Tucson neighborhood to embrace the natural desert landscape surrounding it. In 1926 Harry E. Bryant purchased the land that Colonia Solana now inhabits, with the desire to build a residential project that incorporated the natural desert setting. Bryan hired landscape architect Stephen Child of San Francisco (who happened to be a Tucson winter visitor). Child was mentored by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead, co-designer of Central Park in New York City. Child had a talent for incorporating the existing topography along with native plants to create a natural landscape that highlighted the Arroyo Chico that runs within the property. Child’s design featured an informal, non-symmetrical, curvilinear layout, in contrast to the more formal El Encanto neighborhood just to the north.
The El Con Watertower, which can be seen just south of Broadway, was built in 1928 to serve the neighborhood. In 1932 Roy Place was commissioned to build a structure to hide the utilitarian tower. In 1980 the structure was listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was restored in 1994.
Notable architects in Colonia Solana
Located at Broadway and Country Club, this neighborhood has 123 homes. Most are Spanish Colonial Revival or Ranch style homes. Most homes were built between 1928 and 1960. Many of the homes were designed by such notable architects as: Roy Place, Josias Joesler, Arthur Brown, Tom Gist, Ann Rysdale, and Merrit Starkweather. Colonia Solana is serviced by these TUSD schools: Robison Elementary, Mansfeld Middle, and Tucson High.