Orchard River – Surrounded by Pecan Trees in the middle of Tucson

About the Orchard River Townhome Community

Orchard River Garden Park is a unique townhome community nestled between Fort Lowell Park and the Pantano Wash in Tucson. The subdivision is east of Craycroft Road and north of Glenn Street. It occupies a former pecan orchard which provided an instant lush landscape and plenty of shade in the summertime. This award-winning townhome community was built in 1972 and was designed by noted Tucson architect Robert Swaim, AIA. The neighborhood is currently working on an application to gain the National Historic District designation when the neighborhood turns 50 years old in 2022. Historic District status will allow homeowners to save significant amounts on property taxes.

The buildings are constructed of slump block concrete masonry in a late mid-century modern aesthetic. Some of the 136 units are single level and others are 2 level. They were sited to take advantage of reduced solar gain with windows facing north and south and to take advantage of the existing mature pecan trees to provide optimal shade.

The townhomes are nestled in a park-like setting
Walkway at Orchard River Townhomes
Orchard River
Orchard River Townhomes just east of Fort Lowell Park

Orchard River neighborhood amenities

The neighborhood has a large community pool that is solar heated about 9 months of the year and featured covered ramadas. Covered parking for residents is provided as well.

Orchard River is located in a unique location, sandwiched between Fort Lowell Park to the west and Pantano Wash and ‘The Loop‘ to the east. Fort Lowell Park offers tennis, soccer, baseball, a couple of ponds, adobe ruins and a museum about the namesake of the park. The Loop is a 131-mile multi-use network of paved paths that connects much of Tucson along the banks of the usually dry Pantano Wash, Rillito River, and Santa Cruz River. It is a very popular recreation destination for walkers, joggers, and bicyclists alike.

Pool at Orchard River
The community pool at Orchard River

About architect Robert Swaim

Robert “Bob” Swaim was born and raised in Iowa, then moved to New Mexico before coming to Tucson in 1958. He worked for notable Tucson architecture firms including Friedman & Jobusch, Nicholas Sakellar, William Wilde, and William Cook, prior to opening his own firm.

Although Bob Swaim is now retired, his son Phil has continued the architectural tradition with a vibrant architecture firm, Swaim Associates LTD, still located in Tucson. They work on many large projects in and around Tucson.


Other notable buildings designed by Swaim’s firm

Some of Swaim’s work included the Volkswagen dealership on Speedway which featured a series of thin barrel vaults supported by thick beams and burnt adobe walls. Unfortunately most of this building has been razed with only a small portion left standing. When originally constructed in 1964, the building was a stunning example of modern automobile showroom design.

Swaim also worked on the building that now houses the Junior League on River near Campbell. The upside-down mirrored pyramid bank building at Speedway and Wilmot is also one of Swaim’s designs.

Eden Roc Condominiums is another wonderful mid-century multi-unit residential project that Swaim and Cook worked on. Eden Roc is just east of Reid Park and features masonry construction with very roomy floor plans.

Former Volkswagen dealership, which has deteriorated with time.
Unfortunately, time has not been kind to the former Volkswagen dealership located on Speedway Boulevard. This is all that survives of a once spectacular example of a midcentury modern auto showroom. The roof featured several thin barrel arches balanced on burnt adobe walls.
Pyramid bank is a Tucson icon
The inverted mirrored pyramid bank with a drive-thru cutting into the building is one of Robert Swaim’s iconic Tucson buildings at Speedway and Wilmot.
Swaim designed building on River Road
Swaim designed building on River Road which now houses the Junior League

Homes for sale in Orchard River:

Are you wondering how much your Orchard River Townhome is worth? Call or email Nick today for a free comprehensive price analysis for your home. Nick@RealTucson.com or 520-975-8956 .

Thinking about buying a home in Orchard River? Contact Nick today to go over your needs. Nick@RealTucson.com or 520-975-8956

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