'Sunshine Mile' inclusion on national list gives hope to preservationists

Published: Oct. 5, 2016 at 8:06 PM MST|Updated: Oct. 5, 2016 at 9:35 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A unique stretch of shops along East Broadway Boulevard could be saved after the area's historic recognition.

Sunshine Mile is on the National Trust's 2016 11 Most Endangered List.

The area that runs along Broadway between Euclid Avenue and Country Club Road is lined with buildings that date to the 1930s.

When Jennifer Newman saw it, she knew she had to open her business there.

"I sought out Broadway Village because of its historical importance and the beauty of the entire shopping center," said Newman, owner of Cashew Cow.

A spot on the National Trust list means the area is an example of the nation's architectural and cultural heritage at risk of destruction.

"Although we think of these as strip malls, really they are concentrations unique gems of mid-century modern design and it is all of them together that creates this unique design that has a distinct sense of place," Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation CEO Demion Clinco said.

The proposed Broadway widening project has some business owners concerned this unique part of Tucson's history will be lost forever.

"It was sad. It was sad it was even a thought," Newman said.

And these stores are also bringing in tax dollars to Tucson's economy.

"This is a coalition of neighbors and business owners and property owners who are all very concerned about the future of this roadway and making sure this becomes and stays an important and dynamic economic engine for Tucson," Clinco said.

Tucson News Now reached out to the city to see how this designation will affect the Broadway project. They have not yet responded.

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