Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Candlelight vigil: Save historic Tucson from the scourge of mini-dorms (video)

[tnivideo caption=”Little boxes made of ticky tacky” credit=”Malvina Reynolds”]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SADPuUYF_4I[/tnivideo]

What makes Tucson unique compared to other southwestern cities?

The weather? Nope, Phoenix, Palm Springs, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Sedona, Albuquerque — all have basically the same weather.

The mountains? Nope, these other southwestern cities have mountain vistas.

The desert vegetation? Nope.

Blue skies and little rain? Nope.

The music and art scene? Well, yes, Tucson has an awesome music and art scene that these other cities don’t have.

What about our historic architecture? Bingo. I dare you to find a California Bungalow, a Queen Anne, or a Territorial in any of these cities– especially in Maricopa County.

Two local developers– Michael Goodman and Richard Studwell– want Tucson’s historic neighborhoods to look more like generic Maricopa County. They have been working hard to destroy Tucson’s historic architecture and transform historic neighborhoods near the University of Arizona into poorly-built, mini-dorm ghettos.

The Feldman Neighborhood, which is on the National Registry of Historic Places, has been fighting these two — particularly Goodman– over every demolition. Basically, he could not care less whether he tears down an architecturally significant home to build a mini-dorm monument to ticky tacky. Goodman has leveled entire blocks of old house and old vegetation to build mini-dorms.  It’s all about making a fast buck.

I have four questions for these short-sighted developers, the Arizona Legislature, the University of Arizona, and the Mayor and Council who have allowed developers to destroy our architectural history:

  1. What will these areas look like in 10 years? Mini-dorms are not built to last– unlike the 70- 100-year-old houses they are replacing. What will the city do with neighborhoods of crumbling ticky-tacky?
  2. How many mini-dorms does the UA need to house students? Seriously, I would think at some point the market will be saturated with this type of housing. Then what do we do with these architectural monstrosities?
  3. If the UA enrollment has increased so much, why has the state not built more dormitories? The state gets the tuition money + living expenses for students who live in the dorms. I doubt that the UA enrollment has increased as much as the developers say. This data from the UA website show enrollment at 37, 217; the UA enrollment has hovered around 30,000 for decades.
  4. Why must historic homes be destroyed to build high-density housing? Tucson has plenty of vacant lots and crumbling commercial properties everywhere, particularly on main arterials.

Candlelight Vigil
Recently, Goodman has moved into the Jefferson Park Neighborhood, which is less organized than Feldman. The latest victim is the bungalow at 1036 E. Waverly St., which at the time of this writing has been partially destroyed.

But the Jefferson Park neighbors are beginning to fight back. This Friday evening, January 7, at 6:30 p.m. in front of 1036 E. Waverly, they are holding a candlelight vigil. Everyone is welcome. Please bring candles or flashlights, signs, bagpipes or other musical instruments.

Let’s preserve historic Tucson before it disappears.

P.S. This is not an issue of neighbors vs students. This is an issue of wise development vs destroying history to make a fast buck.


36 comments on “Candlelight vigil: Save historic Tucson from the scourge of mini-dorms (video)

  1. tiponeill
    January 4, 2011


    • fakemeat
      January 4, 2011

      Thanks for that.

  2. Wildcat
    January 4, 2011

    Drive through the Jefferson Park neighborhood before you comment on the mini-dorms. There are a few homes which have unique architecture and therefore should be preserved. The majority of them are not. Let the developers have their private property rights. This neighborhood is less than a mile from campus and there is an extreme lack of student housing. The UofA is finally building new dorms but that doesnt mean that higher quality homes shouldnt be built. These mini dorms are higher quality than any Jefferson Park home. Any JP resident who tells you otherwise is full of themselves. The JP neighborhood is afraid of change and are living in the past.

    • George
      January 4, 2011

      I live in a home built in 1938. It is our family home…. I enjoy the diversity of the neighborhood… Wildcat, knowing the games Goodman plays… I CALL YOU OUT!
      I’ve watched and listen to you manipulate the media and the politicians… Residential Zoning means single family homes. What you build cannot be sold as a single family home… Not one has been sold! You are driving down the property values to feed your greedy self-centered ego… Enough! I enjoy the student who share the neighborhood. Many hate to see nothing but mini=dorms available… They don’t want to live with five roommates.
      Think people… If this can happen to us what will they do next? I heard they are building over by Blacklidge and Treat now!!!!!!!!

    • Pamela Powers
      January 4, 2011

      Mini-dorms are shit– excuse my French. I have driven through that neighborhood often. Today I photographed the house at 1036 E. Waverly and the historic homes across the street. This house is in a very nice older neighborhood that you Wildcat (if you are truly Goodman) are in the process of destroying.

      • JoeS
        January 5, 2011

        Living near your school and workplace to shorten ones commute is “green” and reduces ones overall carbon footprint.

        It’s really for the best.

      • Pamela Powers
        January 5, 2011

        Yes, but high-density housing can be built on major arterials in vacant lots. Also, there are plenty of ramshackled commercial buildings that could be torn down to create multi-family housing. This would be a win-win-win situation: 1) provide high-density housing; 2) demolish and redevelop crumbling buildings on our main streets; 3) save our historic neighborhoods. There are giant empty car lots on Speedway near Tucson Blvd and Country Club. Why not use these lots for housing? They are close to the bus line and to the 3rd Street bike path.

      • JoeS
        January 5, 2011

        I think these kids deserve to live in a nice quiet neighborhood to help foster a welcoming learning environment.  Attempting to keep them segregated into low income/commercial areas just reminds me of jim crow style politics. 

        Studies show that kids do not do well academically in disadvantaged/low income  neighborhoods.  Please,  let them live in your neighborhood,  do not relegate them to the “other side of the tracks” ..

         Do not fear a demographic shift

         Do not be afraid of change

      • Pamela Powers
        January 5, 2011

        I am not suggesting locating student housing is warehouse districts. There are PLENTY of vacant lots and rundown commercial buildings on Stone, First, and Speedway– near the UA– where mini-dorms or multi-family housing can be built.

      • JoeS
        January 5, 2011

        I think they want the nicer trees

    • J Hall
      January 5, 2011

      Why are the so-called “developers” rights more important than those of the people who actually live in the neighborhood? Why should we be turned into refugees – fleeing these monstrosities? Why should we allow the ghettoization of our neighborhoods? Please don’t tell us that you think that Voldemort and his ilk actually care about students?? He owns 75 properties in Tucson, the majority student housing (aka Minidorms). According to him, he makes $4 – 5,000 per month on renting them. Does the term “excessive profits” mean anything to you?? Unfortunately, our City is complicit in this – makes you wonder who’s getting paid off…
      And as to historic properties – here’s the list on the City’s website. Can you count??


  3. JB
    January 4, 2011

    Additional Poll Option:
    I hate bungalows but since I don’t own the land I guess I should mind own business.

  4. JB
    January 4, 2011

    Your spelling is a travesty.

  5. George
    January 4, 2011

    Wildcat is GOODMAN
    He does this all of the time…

  6. Wildcat
    January 4, 2011

    George….I am not Mr. Goodman and I think its funny that just because I oppose the ridiculousness of JP residents claiming their neighborhood is historic that I MUST be a developer. Most JP homes are worn out little ranch home which aren’t even kept up to proper standards. Also, many UofA students want to live in homes with more than 1 or 2 roommtes….thats why the demand for mini-dorms is so high. I’ve been inside both a mini-dorm in Feldman’s neighborhood as well as in JP and also MANY original homes in JP. The mini dorms are high quality and if you dispute this than it is very clear that you have never been inside one.

  7. George
    January 4, 2011

    Who has the right to pass judgement on whether or not a “HOME” is of value… A developer or those living in the neighborhood? If these green and yellow mini-dorms or apartment buildings are built down the street from my “HOME” what happens to the value of my property? Who will protect my rights? The value of  my home?
    Would or better yet has anyone ever bought a home built by Goodman in the Feldman or Jefferson Park area?  A five bedroom six bathroom home? Do these properties have any value if they cannot be sold as single family homes?
    Would you want a structure such as the green and yellow Goodman mini-dorm built across from your “HOME”?
    The city of Tucson needs to enforce the zoning laws…
    Studwell I also call you out! I was told you stated to one of the city council people you were not in this for the money but to get back at Jefferson Park. I heard it from the horses mouth…
    Honestly please!!!!!!!!!
    Oh, and I do enjoy living with the students… I have keys to houses when they lock themselves out. I have parent contact information incase of an emergency. I shut off water when pipes burst due to the cold, jump start cars… invite them over for dinner…  Feed cats when they are out of town…

  8. George
    January 4, 2011

    I invited to to talk to me once at the Shanty… You are Goodman.
    HOME was built in 1937… Double brink with oak floors built from 1/4 sawn oak which are only 1 1/2 inches wide. It is solid and beautiful. I own teo built by the same builder. A painter who built three on the block. Nothing Goodman has ever built will last as long and be a true HOME…
    I have walked through one… they are as ugly on the inside and the outside…
    They will be slums in less than 10 years…
    Get over yourself…

    • Pamela Powers
      January 5, 2011

      I agree, George, the mini-dorm ghettos will be slums in 10 years, and then what?

      • JoeS
        January 5, 2011

        This will be much needed yet cheap affordable housing for our vunurable young people to use in their formative years. 

        Its for the children

      • UofASteve
        January 5, 2011

        ….Than what? By the hopefully more homes will be built for the students since their is a huge demand and short supply for adequate housing.  Jefferson Park residents are the perfect examples of NIMBY(Not In My Backyard). If these demolished homes were so historic then their owners should have put a deed restriction on them when they were sold. Since they arent historic…..they can be demolished as the law says they can.

  9. Wildcat
    January 4, 2011

    George, …honestly, you are a joke. I insist that next time you see Mr. Goodman that you bring up this online forum. He will have no idea what you are talking about. I am not even currently in Tucson. And I dont hang out at The Shanty like you and the other denegenerates from 4th Ave. What about the “mini dorms” are ugly on the inside? The granite countertops, thick walls and glass sliding doors? All of which lack in most of the JP homes which student might want to live in?

  10. JC Jeffersonpark
    January 5, 2011

    Wildcat is Goodman! He uses all of the Goodman talking points one after another. If it walks like a duck? And talks like a duck. Quack QuackGoodman you are so busted! You don’t even have the balls to stand up and take it like a man!

    • Wildcat
      January 5, 2011

      ?? Stand up and take it like a man? What are you talking about? This is an online forum? Please, mention this forum to Mr. Goodman next time you see him. Get out of your Jefferson Park slum.

  11. Pingback: Candlelight vigil: Save historic Tucson from the scurge of mini-dorms – Tucson Citizen | The Write Article

  12. Chihuahuense
    January 5, 2011

    I worked at the UA for 30 years, my sons and I are UA alumnus.  We have had visiting faculty and students live with us for a few months.  The homes we are opposed to are extremely disruptive of the neighborhood.  Hopefully we will find a solution but Mr. Goodman’s intrusive buildings are not the answer.

    • JoeS
      January 5, 2011

      The neighborhood residents could buy the property themselves and “preserve” it

  13. Bonnie Brunotte
    January 5, 2011

    Minidorms, or mini-apartments, or small dorm apartments, certainly have their place, but tearing down historic buildings and destroying neighborhoods is not the way to accomplish this.  Many countries have laws relating to this issue.  We could take a lesson from them.

  14. JoeS
    January 5, 2011

    Is the UofA pushing for this?  If so the neighborhood is in trouble.

    Expect the trolly in your neighborhood in the very near future.

  15. neighbor to the north
    January 5, 2011

    How about a candlelight vigil at city hall?  At the mayor’s office?  At the city council meeting?  Why are the zoning laws not being enforced, and if this kind of thing isn’t banned by the zoning laws, how about changing them?  Historic preservation is good for the city and good for the community, as well as for the neighborhood.  Student housing has its place, but tearing down historic buildings so somebody can make a quick buck is bad for everybody.

  16. Ruth S
    January 5, 2011

    R-1 means one family house or per lot. Ok if  owner lives in it or it is a rental.    The best interests of the city  are to have people live near their jobs. Many U of A employees want to live in these neighboorhoods and raise famlies there.   They take care of their houses. But transient renters come and go.  The noise and mess made by these transients (mostly students) and the glut of cars they bring are driving people who work at the UA and want to live in these  neighborhoods away.      And the value of their homes is badly downgraded.    

    Tell teh city council to quit letting builders violate   R-1 by calling these 7 full bathroom monsters 5 bedroom houses.    

  17. Michael Prete
    January 5, 2011

    Name-calling and personal disparagement is the refuge of a small mind making up facts to fit his strongly-held opinion. Notice these quotes from Wildcat:
    Any JP resident who tells you otherwise is full of themselves. The JP neighborhood is afraid of change and are living in the past.
    Oh yeah? and your mother wears combat boots!
    Most JP homes are worn out little ranch home which aren’t even kept up to proper standards.
    Um, which standards are those? And could you cite the study from which you are drawing your facts?
    And I dont hang out at The Shanty like you and the other denegenerates from 4th Ave.
    I guess we can’t blame your poor spelling on drinking then?

    Get out of your Jefferson Park slum.
    I can see that your responses are calm, respectful discourse based on facts.
    Somehow this reminds me of the Urban Renewal debacle that destroyed much of the historic downtown neighborhoods to build that complex of offices and shops South of the courts buildings downtown. The unique, historic neighborhood was replaced by a developer’s good idea that went bankrupt several times and is still not much of a contribution to the vitalization of downtown except for the Theater and Music Hall structures.
    Building five bedroom “houses” with no architectural interest or value to subvert zoning laws is shameful. It is detrimental to the cohesiveness of a neighborhood and violates the intent of zoning law through loopholes. This is yet another example of greed overcoming the greater good of all concerned and at the expense of the longtime residents of the neighborhood. BPs greed for profits and ability to circumvent laws protecting the environment resulted in a disaster that is being born primarily by the people living along the coast. The CEO of BP was just frustrated he couldn’t get away for a vacation, while coastal economies and ecologies lay in ruins.
    He who is ignorant of history is doomed to repeat it. I hope we do not prove to remain ignorant of what is occuring.


  18. ChaseBudinger
    January 5, 2011

    Michael Prete,  get the homeless people out of the Jefferson Park alleys before you start calling your neighborhood historic.

  19. Pingback: Mini-dorm controversy heats up on blogs and the JOLT: Take a video tour of mini-dorms in the Feldman Neighborhood (video) - Tucson Progressive

  20. Katie
    January 10, 2011

    The article dares one to find “a California Bungalow, a Queen Anne, or a Territorial in any of these cities [Phoenix, Palm Springs, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Sedona, Albuquerque]– especially in Maricopa County.”
    As someone who grew up in Maricopa County and has toured many historic neighborhoods around the Valley, I must disagree with the author here.  Phoenix has many neighborhoods of diverse architectural styles, including all of the aforementioned.  Perhaps Phoenix does not have the density of historic homes that it once did, and as Tucson still may have, but to say that it has no historic architecture is unfair.  The same goes for Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale (although most of its architectural development begins with post-WWII ranch styles), Palm Springs, and Albuquerque.  I am not familiar with Sedona’s architecture, but Prescott, sixty miles away, is known for its territorial downtown and beautiful Victorian neighborhoods.
    Each of these cities has unique, historic architecture; ignorance of this fact only makes the continued destruction of this architecture easier.
    Also, as a current UofA student, I would much rather live in a historic, single-family home in a nice, quiet neighborhood than in a “mini-dorm” of any kind.  Just my two cents.  🙂

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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