The Barrio Santa Rosa Historic District, in Tucson, Arizona, represents the Hispanic barrio which developed as a response to the increasing social, economic and political marginalization of Hispanics in their historic settlements and is distinguished by the Hispanic vernacular building tradition, based on Hispanic precedents and modified by the selective adoption of materials and construction techniques of Anglo Americans. The area that would become the Barrio Santa Rosa Historic District began in the late 1890s. The earlier buildings in Barrio Santa Rosa generally followed the traditional Hispanic urban model, in the form of Sonoran row houses. The Sonoran style consisted of homes built of earth and timber with walls built of adobe brick and mud mortar. As time went on, the buildings in the barrio became transitional in style, due to Anglo-American influence. By the mid-1950s, the Sonoran Tradition had ended. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Tucson’s Anglo-American establishment regarded adobe as an inferior building material, associated with a backward culture, yet this tradition persisted in defying the establishment aesthetics in the city’s barrios until the post-World war II period, when economic and social factors eased it out. In 1920 Santa Cruz, the neighborhood’s parish church, was built, and became a center for barrio life. Railroad workers, carpenters, masons, skilled and unskilled workers, and Chinese grocery store owners made up a sample of the 1929 population of the barrio. Today, despite the major redevelopment that has occurred in the neighborhood since the 1940s, Barrio Santa Rosa has retained much of its distinctive historic built environment and has maintained its connections with the traditions that created it.
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