Marketing and Sales Director
Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum
196 N. Court Ave.
Tucson, AZ, 85701
Cell Phone: 520-444-3687
Museum Phone: 520-622-0594
Tucson, AZ -- After a long community effort, the Fort Lowell Museum will be re-opening Saturday, Dec. 2. A FREE celebration for community members will be held from 10 am to 2 pm at the museum, located in Fort Lowell Park at 2900 N. Craycroft Rd.
Following this opening event, the museum will be open regularly on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9am – 2pm and admission will be $3/person.
Fort Lowell Museum is a special building that marks the site of the original supply outpost known as Fort Lowell which was active for only eighteen years from 1873 to 1891. The building is a re-creation of an officers home with displays inside focusing on life at the fort and the history of the site. The building sits adjacent to the remains of the original officer’s quarters on the west side of Craycroft Road. The Museum serves as an interpretive center for the cultural assets throughout the park including the remains of the hospital where Dr. Walter Reed practiced, the corrals, the laundry, the officer’s quarters and the commissary.
Besides interpretation on the military post, the museum also presents exhibits on the Apache people who lived in the region and endured hardship with the arrival of Anglo and Mexican settlers. It offers an exhibit on the Buffalo soldiers who passed through the area. Finally, it shares information about the important prehistoric site located in the park, known as the Hardy site, which includes an unearthed Hohokam pit house.
All of the people who lived in this area were there due to its proximity to the river confluence of the Pantano, Tanque Verde and Rillito.
RECENT EVENTS LEADING TO THE RE-OPENING
In 2018, Tucson voters approved the Prop 407 bond to fund the improvement of City of Tucson parks and their amenities. This provided an opportunity to address the delicate historic adobe structures within Fort Lowell park which have been eroding. The City of Tucson worked with architects Poster, Mirto, McDonald to develop a park master plan that would highlight the cultural assets of the original Fort acreage now encompassed by modern-day Fort Lowell Park. Phase One of that plan included rehabilitation of the Museum building. Additional renovation phases are in progress.
(For additional questions on the Fort Lowell Master Plan, contact Corky Poster at Poster, Mirto, McDonald - (520) 882-6310)
Meanwhile, Ward Two Councilman Paul Cunningham initiated discussions with the Tucson Presidio Trust (which also manages the Presidio Museum) to take on operations of the Fort Lowell Museum building. Additional discussions with the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood Association culminated in an agreement to have the Trust manage the museum site as a service provider to the City of Tucson.
After a pause due to the pandemic, Prop 407 funds were earmarked and Durazo Construction was brought in to renovate the exterior of the building. Additionally, an intergovernmental agreement was recently signed between the City of Tucson and the Pima County Historic Preservation Office to ensure long-term stewardship of the historic structures.
In 2023, the Tucson Presidio Trust was able to move in and begin work on the interior of the building. Although interior work was more involved than initially expected a dedicated team of Presidio Trust volunteers and staff have succeeded in updating most exhibits while also working hard to bring the interior back to a presentable state.
“On behalf of the Fort Lowell community and the Presidio Trust, I can say we are so thrilled to be re-opening this small but mighty local museum. It is an important Eastside cultural resource”, said Amy Hartmann-Gordon, director of the Tucson Presidio Trust. “We are deeply in debt to a small, talented team of volunteers who have embraced the Fort Lowell Museum as their own, working hard for many months to get the building ready for public viewing. This has truly been a public, private, community effort.
Having said that, the current presentation is just a first phase. The Presidio Trust team will continue to update and rotate exhibits over the coming years; just as we do at the downtown Presidio Museum.
We also want to thank Councilman Paul Cunningham for initiating discussions with us to get us to this point. Also a big thanks to Dr. David Breeckner and the team at the Arizona Historical Society who have graciously loaned many items of significance. Access to the rich AHS collection has greatly improved the quality of the exhibits on display and the interpretive programming we will be providing.”
ACTIVITIES AT THE RE-OPENING EVENT
**Performances by the Old Arizona Brass Band re-creators of the 4th Cavalry
Regimental Band of Fort Lowell at 11 am and 2 pm.
**Re-enactor discussing Dr. Walter Reed, Fort Lowell’s most famous doctor
**Re-enactor portraying Louise Girard, the wife of Joseph Basil Girard, a post surgeon and prolific artist
**Tours of the hospital ruins presented by medical historians
**Tours led by archaeologist Homer Thiel of the Officer’s Quarters at 11:30 and 12:30
**Interactive children’s activities
-Job of the Fort Lowell Quartermaster
-1800s frontier Army
-Arizona’s Civil War history by the Tucson Civil War Roundtable
Members of the Presidio Museum will automatically be members of the Fort Lowell Museum. Member benefits include free admission to both museums. Any future memberships purchased will be good at both museums. Members receive a discount on all programming including historic walking tours, lectures and events.