San Rafael Estates National Historic District

Historic San Rafael Estates: an award winning Lusk neighborhood

Last Updated on August 24, 2021 by Kim Labriola

About San Rafael Estates Neighborhood

San Rafael Estates is a small mid-century neighborhood consisting of only 69 homes on the northeast corner of Broadway and Wilmot. The neighborhood was developed by the Lusk Corporation in 1954 and due to rapid demand the neighborhood was sold-out in 1956.

San Rafael, winner of prestigious award

The design of San Rafael Estates earned the coveted Award of Merit from the National Association of Home Builders. Lusk Corporation was the only company to win this award for 5 consecutive years, 4 of these awards were for Tucson based projects.


Homes for sale in San Raphael Estates

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Interested in buying or selling a home in San Rafael Estates? Contact us to go over your needs: Hello@RealTucson.com or 520-975-8956



Gained National Historic District status in 2013

In 2013 the neighborhood was added to the National Register of Historic Districts. This allows a significant property tax savings for eligible properties in the neighborhood.

San Rafael Estates home - Burnt Adobe construction

History of San Rafael Estates neighborhood

The 40 acres of land was purchased by Lusk Corporation from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. The neighborhood and the streets were named for Catholic Saints, with San Rafael being known for his healing powers.

Design

San Rafael was made up of 3 floor plan models called the Lanai, Monterrey, and Home For All America. Lusk’s designer Arthur H. Rader designed the Lanai and Monterrey models. The Home For All America plan was adapted by Rader from Robert A. Little’s prototype design featured in Better Homes & Gardens. Each of these Modern Ranch style homes were offered with several different elevations along with different material and color choices to guarantee that no two homes looked identical.

The inward-facing San Rafael neighborhood is unique because of the low profile, horizontal front elevations, asymmetrical façade, ribbon windows and/or walls of windows, and burnt adobe construction. Each of the homes was originally 1600-1900 SF with 3-4 bedrooms and a single or double carport. Many of the homes were oriented to take advantage of views of the Catalina Mountains and to limit sun exposure in the windows. The neighborhood is centered around a community pool.

Schools

San Rafael Estates is is serviced by these TUSD schools: Sewell Elementary, Utterback Middle, and Rincon High.

Are you interested in learning more about Lusk Corporation?
Take a look at a blog we wrote about this Tucson based company that became the 5th largest home builder in America in the 1950s.


San Rafael Estates community pool
Community pool in San Rafael Estates
Many Lusk built houses feature exposed wood beam ceilings
Exposed wood beamed ceilings are common in Lusk Homes

Do you own a San Rafael Estates home that you would like to sell? Are you interested in homes for sale in San Rafael Estates? Contact us at Hello@RealTucson.com or 520-975-8956