Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Very Colorful Village

Kate, the restaurant reviewer, is under the weather, so we will present two reviews from San Diego in the next couple of days. For today, we move on to Tucson, AZ.

We followed the signs to the Visitor Center upon arriving in Tucson. The road led to a section of the city unlike that of any other city we had visited.

We later read that "before this complex was slathered in conflicting hues of oranges, purples, yellows, blues, reds and just about every other color in the Behr catalogue, no one really knew it existed.

You notice it now."

We approached the complex with a mixture of curiosity and wonder. We certainly did not think the buildings were "slathered" in color.

No. The colors in this rainbow-gone-wild indicate careful planning and an understanding of architecture, design, and color.

We learned that this colorful collection of adobe, brick, and wood frame buildings located in downtown Tucson was La Placita Village. It is to the credit of the designers that the colors, while presenting a strong initial "greeting," neither overwhelm the viewer nor reach the point of garishness. The colors created a happy greeting to visitors and community residents alike.

The Village is adjacent to the Tucson Convention Center, and the open-air conglomeration of businesses includes the Tucson Visitor's Center, located in the orange building (right of center in the photo). Visitors may turn a routine visit to this area into an extended stay.

Residents of Tucson are drawn to the Village's variety of small businesses and on Thursday nights during the warmer months, free screenings of classic films bring neighbors together under the stars in the courtyard.

Most of the Village's occupants are commercial businesses, law firms, gift shops, and caf├ęs. In recent years, the Village has also added a number of restaurants.

Turn around any corner and vibrant color combinations appear. The stairways, ramps, railings, light fixtures, doors, and window sills compliment through either subtle or brilliant pairings of colors with other similar surroundings.

As we walked around the courtyard, we tried to imagine what the conversations must have been like between the "rainbow" crowd and the "beige" crowd when the color schemes for the Village were presented.

It was 1973 when the 10 buildings in the Village were designed to resemble a Mexican village.

The Village is a photographer's dream. The angles, colors, and shading presented scenes that could be viewed from a number of different positions. Here are a few more of those views.

We thought La Placita Village presented a welcome to Tucson that was certainly unique and uplifting.

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