Cities Neighboring Tumacacori National Monument:
Tumacacori National Monument
Included in this nomination are the Tumacacori museum building, the comfort station, the museum garden, and the adobe walls surrounding them.
The Tumacacori museum building, also known as the visitor center/administration building is an adobe building on a concrete foundation with a concrete block addition at the end of the east wing. The generally T-shaped structure has ten rooms and comprises approximately 5500 square feet. To the north and south of the easternmost wing are arched portals (arcades)--one opening into the 1939 garden, the other looking out toward the ruins of the mission church.
The flat roof of the museum is surrounded by a parapet and drained by channels cut into the adobe piers of the portals. The roof is finished with a new four-ply built-up roof similar to the original. The roofline encircling the structure is finished with a stepped coping. Finials articulate the western corners of the building.
The main entrance at the west side of the building is through carved wooden doors set underneath an enormous shell motif in the reveal. The doors, carved by the Civilian Conservation Corps at Bandelier National Monument, feature floral designs used in other Sonoran mission buildings. The scallop-shell motif is seen even more frequently in Sonoran mission architecture, and symbolizes Santiago de Compostela, patron saint of Spain.
The main entrance leads into the museum lobby. The room has a corner fireplace at the southeast, and a floor of large bricks laid in a herringbone pattern. The ceiling beams are supported by carved corbels. The room also features handmade furniture of Spanish Colonial design, as do many of the other museum spaces. Some of the furniture is original to the structure, and the remainder was constructed in the late 1950s. The information desk is of recent construction and is triangular in shape. The original rectangular information desk was transferred to Coronado National Memorial. A small office south of the lobby is behind the information desk through an arch. The arch has been partially filled with a screen of wooden spindles which are removable and have not been attached to the structure.
The museum exhibit and audio-visual rooms have carpeting covering the original finish. The most important of the museum rooms is the "view room" which is an open-air room with a groin-vaulted ceiling. This room looks out to the mission church, and houses a scale model of the mission for comparison with the stabilized ruins. The original Spanish-Colonial design of the ceiling has been repainted with a hand not quite as steady as that of the original painter.
Construction began on the museum building in 1937 by contractor M.M. Sundt of Phoenix as a Works Progress Administration project. An addition of new offices and storage space was constructed on the eastern wing of the building in 1959. The addition's construction of concrete block finished with cement stucco was incorporated well into the museum building and is practically indistinguishable from the original building on the exterior because of its proper scale, design, and exterior finish. The additions contains approximately 430 square feet, less that 10 percent of the total area of the building. The remodelling was done by the construction firm of Krupp and Sons of Nogales, Arizona.
The patio garden, begun in 1939, is planted with plants similar to some of those grown in the missions of northern Sonora. In the center of the garden is a square fountain with small channel drains that lead off into the planted areas from the four corners. The meandering pathways through the garden have brick payers. Adobe benches provide resting places to the east and west of the fountain.
A seven-foot high adobe wall stretches north and south from the western wall of the museum. The wall screens all but the upper portions of the mission ruins from the road and parking lot, and thus serves as a security device, and also channels visitors through the main entrance to the museum. The northern end of the wall stops nearly at the monument boundary. South of the museum the wall is incorporated into the west and south walls of the comfort station, wrapping around that building toward the east and then the north enclosing the patio. An additional wall to the south of the comfort station runs east-west along the service road to the monument's housing area. The walls are adobe on concrete foundations, capped with flat and arched copings, and finished with stucco. The wall is pierced by openings in several places where multi-panelled doors provide access into the patio or the area of the former mission compound.
The comfort station is an adobe building constructed on a concrete foundation, just like the museum. The exterior is finished with cement stucco. The simple, rectangular structure is incorporated into the adobe walls of the patio and service road. Pipe canales and structural log vigas with sawn ends project from the western exterior wall. The comfort station, constructed in 1932, is scheduled for some changes that would allow wheelchair access.