Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Kim Labriola
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.
Homes for Sale in Colonia Solana
Article continues below video
Location of Colonia Solana Historic District
Located just south east of Broadway Boulevard and Country Club Road. It is tucked between Reid Park and Randolph Del Urich Golf Course in central Tucson.
The Arroyo Chico, which is typically a dry wash except after a good rainstorm, runs through the neighborhood alongside a walking path.
Natural desert flora and fauna
The neighborhood has narrow paved roads with gentle curves that meander the way throughout, keeping as much natural desert vegetation intact as possible. Due to the desert nature of the neighborhood, it’s not uncommon to see wildlife like coyotes, javalina, hawks, snakes, etc.
El Con Water Tower
The El Con Water Tower, 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. It was restored in 1994. It now serves as an architectural icon for the city.
Notable architect designed homes in Colonia Solana
This neighborhood has 123 homes, most built between 1928 and 1960. Most are Spanish Colonial Revival or Ranch style homes. Many of the homes were designed by such notable architects as: Roy Place, Josias Joesler, Arthur Brown, Tom Gist, Ann Rysdale, and Merrit Starkweather.
The location of Colonia Solana is hard to beat. It’s just south of El Con shopping center which is home to several big box stores and chain restaurants.
Just across Country Club is Broadway Village, a quaint shopping center (designed by Josias Joesler) with great local restaurants. Don’t forget award winning Barrio Bread, a Tucson favorite is located nearby.
It’s just east of the Sunshine Mile, which is being revitalized and will soon house many local businesses, shops, and restaurants.
Reid Park has miles of walking/jogging paths, a outdoor amphitheater which hosts the Tucson Pops Orchestra, and University of Arizona’s baseball games are played at Hi Corbett Field, located within the park.
Randolph Dell Urich Golf Course
It’s located adjacent to Randolph Dell Urich Golf Course and driving range.
The Treat Avenue Bicycle Boulevard is easily accessed with the HAWK crosswalk at Country Club Road and Camino Campestre.
Colonia Solana is serviced by these TUSD schools: Robison Elementary, Mansfeld Middle, and Tucson High.
4 Favorite Things about Colonia Solana
- Natural desert vegetation throughout the neighborhood
- Beautiful historic homes designed by a who’s who of Tucson architects
- Large lots with lots of space between homes
- Great central location: close to University of Arizona and Downtown
Villa Catalina: Mid-Century Modern Condos Villa Catalina Apartments are one of the most recognizable communities…
Joesler and the Murpheys Josias Joesler is arguably the most well-known Tucson architect. Originally from…
About Winterhaven neighborhood Winterhaven is easy to identify with wide streets lined with large evergreen…
Harold Bell Wright Estates, located near Speedway Boulevard and Wilmot Road in Tucson, has a…
About Sam Hughes Neighborhood Sam Hughes was a Tucson merchant who arrived here in the…
About the Armory Park Neighborhood Neighborhood style Armory Park is defined by wide streets and…