Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Rewarding Adventure

Some travels have a planned destination, others are "adventures" with no specific route or end point.

It was on one of these adventures that we came across this gleaming white structure, Santa Cruz Catholic Church, in an area of small businesses on the south side of Tucson.

The architecture of the church seemed to draw upon at least two different styles, but in the absence of any information about the church or its history, we were left with admiring the exterior and wondering about the history.

While we did not see anyone working around the church, it was clear that the exterior was well-maintained.

We wanted to view the inside of the church, and, fortunately, it was open.

I sometimes think that being alone in a church enables a person to think more about the reason for being there than when it is filled with other worshippers, whose appearances, behaviors, and conversations draw attention from one's contemplation.

The quiet beauty of the stained glass windows seemed to promote quiet thought.

When I reached this point in my writing, I made one more search, and rather than rewrite this entry, I decided to add the information here.

Information on the National Register Nomination Summary Sheet stated that "Santa Cruz was built in 1919 in the Spanish Colonial Revival style with Islamic nuances, including a minaret-like bell tower. The building has mud-adobe bearing walls, with burned brick used at the more vulnerable parapets and bell tower. All masonry is uniformly plastered and painted white.

"A small dome was added above the altar when the latter was added ca. 1940. The site is surrounded by an adobe compound wall, approximately six feet in height.

"Santa Cruz is the largest (known and extant) mud-adobe building in Arizona and the only surviving example of adobe used in the construction of a major public building.

"Spanish Carmelite priests serve a primarily Hispanic-American congregation" (http://tdotmaps. transview.org/Images/HCD/IL_SantaCruzCatholicChurch.pdf).

A rewarding adventure--even before learning about the destination.

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