Tucson Spotlight

Whistle Stop Depot

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127 W. 5th St.
Tucson, AZ 85705
Contact: Nancy Bender
Title: Owner
Phone: (520) 882-4969

Pegged as “Tucson’s hottest new venue and “a space of endless possibilities”, the Whistle Stop Depot evolved from a fire-scorched austere steel warehouse into a 5,200 sq. ft. event venue & the City’s largest piece of art sculpture. The building surprises with an extraordinary interior and attracts extra-ordinary festivities. Located in downtown Tucson, and handcrafted from reclaimed, recycled and salvaged materials, “it is magical, radical, inspirational . . . a sanctuary for all things kinetic, potential and creative, and is my favorite spot in the world right now – it is hands-down the best venue in Arizona” - Dominic AZ Bonuccelli (‎)

Additional Info
  • Children Welcomed:
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi:
  • Full Oven/Stovetop:
  • Refrigerator:
  • Wheelchair Accessible:
Whistle Stop Depot Meeting Facility
  • # of Rooms: 1
  • Total Sqft.: 5,200
  • Largest Room: 500
  • Theatre Capacity: 500
  • Banquet Capacity: 350
  • Classroom Capacity: 250
  • Exhibit Space:
  • Exhibits: 80
  • Number of Booths: 22
  • Ceiling: 12
  • Floorplan: View/Download File
  • Large Floorplan: View/Download File
  • Space Notes: Expansive and uninterrupted 5,200 sq. ft. space has 40-foot clear-span construction. The covered loading dock, which surrounds the entire north and east sides of the building, has an additional 1,800 sq. ft. The venue is able to accommodate groups of all sizes, from an intimate gathering of 25 people to an occupancy load of 680 for special events. Customized spaces are created easily by strategic placement of its five 10-foot sections of moveable steel walls, which were constructed using reclaimed stainless steel food service shelves and casters. Building Specifications 5,200 square-foot warehouse 40-foot clear-span construction 12’ wall height along sides; 20’ ceiling at midway R-30 insulated walls and ceilings 1,800 square-foot covered loading dock Concrete loading ramp provides direct access from front grade to elevated loading docks 5 oversized industrial exit doors with lit egress 42-foot tall front entrance tower; castle-block and steel with functional solar chimney Upgraded 3-phase electrical system, 4-receptacles every 10-feet 4 bathrooms total; 2 handicapped ADA compliant On-site parking Zoned I-1 (Industrial-1) Convenient Downtown Location Anchor to Dunbar-Spring Neighborhood Amenities & Features: Five 10-foot stainless steel moveable walls Insulated walls and ceiling Catering Prep Area (3-station sink, oven, stove, refrigerator) Community BBQ 12’ x 10’ raised movable stage platform Recycled self-check Lockers for personal belongings 10-piece PA System Yamaha Piano/Player Piano Wi-Fi 10 portable propane heaters Full-Inventory Furniture Rental w/ Floor Plans Audio, Lighting & Visual Consultants Site Photographer available
  • Description: A warehouse fire in November 2007 transformed an unattractive, vacant steel structure, just blocks from Tucson’s downtown commercial center, into a heap of metal and debris. Five years of creative hand-crafted renovation, and the use of available reclaimed, recycled and salvaged materials, has transformed the 5,200 sq. ft. interior space into a “wonder of creativity, imagination and comedy” (Carolyn Ratshi), where guests enjoy Tucson’s largest piece of art sculpture and the festivities within its doors. When you enter Whistle Stop Depot, expect to be dazzled by the unexpected, from the front doors (fuselage sections from an old PSA airplane) to the backside of the building, with its mile-long freight trains just outside the handmade windows. Thick corrugated tin walls, re-created from the burnt roof, conceal ample insulation and put forth a bold, organic presence unparalleled with other structures. A porcelain mosaic wall of old toilet tank tops, red- leather-boxing-glove door stops, handmade hardware and hinges, and surface-mounted electrical conduit & exposed copper water lines & pressure gauges create unexpected wall art, culminating with a 3-level “waterfall” urinal which flushes water 4-feet downhill and sideways, too. A 42-foot steel and block tower, which was hand-built using scaffolding and a wench, was added to the existing old warehouse, and functions as an official solar chimney. As for the neighborhood, The Gray Lady wrote about Dunbar Spring: “People don’t just live in Dunbar Spring, they nest. In the Tucson neighborhood just north of downtown, yards bristle with salvaged scrap metal, along with solar panels and water harvesting tubes. Many houses resemble art installations. Dunbar Spring was Tucson’s first black neighborhood; it is named after two prominent citizens: the African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar and the Swiss-born John Spring, who became Arizona’s first bilingual public-school teacher in 1872. Today, it is a haven for artists, environmentalists and local foods activists.”
  • Online Total Meeting Space: 5,200
  • Banquet open holidays:
  • Banquet outdoor/patio capacity: 1,800
  • Banquet outside catering options:
  • Banquet private rooms available:
  • Banquet will close for groups:
  • Internet Access in Rooms:
  • Live entertainment on weekends:
  • Motorcoach parking on-site:
  • Restaurants Nearby:
  • Special information (entertainment, services etc.): Private Events: Business Parties, Awards Dinners, Meetings, Seminars & Workshops, Holiday Parties, Social Clubs, Tournaments, Networking Events & Mixers, Reunions, Birthday, Graduation, Anniversary Parties, BBQs Public Events: Job & Business Expos, Fundraisers & Auctions, Theatrical and Musical Performances, Art & Sculpture Shows, Charity Events, Fashion Shows, Car Shows
  • Wedding contact: Nancy Bender
  • Wedding contact phone number: (520) 615-6199
  • Wedding facilities:
  • Wheel Chair Accessible Rooms: