San Cosme church

Barrio El Hoyo: Historic Tucson neighborhood

Last Updated on August 23, 2021 by Kim Labriola

Historic Barrio El Hoyo Neighborhood

Barrio El Hoyo has so much to offer, mature vegetation, quiet streets, and close-proximity to Downtown Tucson amenities. This is an small historic neighborhood with a great location. Situated southwest of downtown Tucson near the Tucson Convention Center, this barrio covers approximately 22 acres.

Elysian Grove Market in Barrio El Hoyo

El Hoyo translates loosely to “the Hole” and is named because it sits at a lower grade than the surrounding neighborhoods. It has a rural feeling, and amazingly preserved architecture. It is bordered by 11th Ave. on the west, Samaniego on the east, Cushing St. on the north. And 18th St. on the south.

The historically significant period covers 1908-1950 and there are 68 contributing and 28 non-contributing buildings. The architecture is a mixture of the Sonoran Tradition, Late 19th and early 20th century revivals, and Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival. Excellent buildings of the Sonoran Tradition remain. This style features row homes and zero lot line setbacks. There are often chain link or wrought iron fences and masonry walls. Yards are often swept dirt with potted flowers.

Homes for sale in Barrio El Hoyo:

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A little history of Barrio El Hoyo:

It was owned by Leopoldo Carrillo in the 1870’s who developed the Carrillo Gardens. The area was then purchased by Emmanuel Drachman and Alex Rossi in 1903 after Carrillo’s death. Drachman developed the Elysian Grove Amusement Park which was known for its ponds, trees, picnic areas, zoo, dancing and moving pictures. The popular garden attracted high quality entertainers for its time and dignitaries such as Theodore Roosevelt in 1912. The park closed in 1915 due to financial problems. It was later sold and subdivided into residential housing, and the Carrillo School was opened.

Mural in barrio el hoyo

After WWII the Barrio fell into a period of decline, many properties were in disrepair. During the 1970’s the national trend of urban renewal came to Tucson. This was a contentious time for Tucson barrios. Families moved or were relocated. The northern 2/3 of the subdivision was demolished to make way for the Tucson Convention Center. Citizens became active to preserve the rich culture and history in the community. Barrio El Hoyo was added to the National Register of Historic places in 2008.

Carrillo School in Barrio El Hoyo
Barrio El Hoyo area map - Tucson, Arizona

Noteworthy buildings include:

The former Elysian Market which was built in 1929 by Jose Q. Trujillo, the market closed and is now a private residence. The building still retains the painted sign on the side of the building. The Chapel of San Cosme was built in 1931 and is located at 546 W. Simpson St, and still hosts monthly mass and special-events for its congregation. The Carrillo School is still in operation and is a Historic Site.

Corner property in barrio el hoyo

Want to learn about other historic neighborhoods in Tucson? Check out other articles here: Historic Tucson neighborhoods.

If you would like more information on Barrio El Hoyo, please contact us at or 520-975-8956