BBVNA Board Meeting August 8 at 6 pm. Hybrid meeting. Zoom to be sent out to BBVNA listserv; Mesquite Room at Reid Park Parks & Rec (900 S. Randolph Way near the zoo). Agenda forthcoming.
The Broadmoor-Broadway Village Neighborhood is located in central Tucson and encompasses nearly half a square mile bounded on the north by Broadway, on the east by Country Club, on the west by Tucson Boulevard, and on the south by the Broadmoor subdivision boundary south of Stratford Drive. Our neighborhood consists of the Broadmoor Subdivision (created in 1944 from a former golf course), the Broadway Village Subdivision (platted in the 1930s along Country Club Rd.) and Broadway Village Shopping Center (also dating to the 1930s, one of Arizona's first shopping centers), and other commercial and office uses along the Broadway and Tucson Boulevard frontages.
The Arroyo Chico, an ephemeral urban stream, runs through the center of the neighborhood and is a lush habitat for birds and mammals. The neighborhood is near Reid Park, the El Con Mall, the University of Arizona, and is only a couple of miles from the heart of downtown Tucson.
Effective February 18, 2021, the Broadmoor Subdivision portion of our neighborhood achieved Historic District status, and is now listed as the "Broadmoor Historic District" on the National Register of Historic Places in Washington, D.C. Click here for more details, including a full description of our historic district, background on the significance of this designation, and what it means for the owners of "contributing properties" in the neighborhood.
Board meetings happen on the 2nd Monday of each month.
All neighbors are welcome to attend. If interested, please contact:
for the details on this month’s time and location.
Neighborhood Gems (Interactive Map)
Malvern Plaza is located at the corner of E. Malvern Street and E. Arroyo Chico, in the Broadmoor-Broadway Village Neighborhood. This little pocket park was built in 2008, thanks to the vision, perseverance, talent, and fund-raising efforts of many BBVN neighbors. The City of Tucson and the University of Arizona, as well as local non-profit organizations, also played important collaborative roles in the creation of this park.
Utilizing water harvesting techniques and donated native shade trees, Malvern Plaza has become a well-used community gathering place. Three beautifully tiled picnic tables and an unique Little Free Library, all designed, created, and maintained by neighbors, round out this comfortable public space. The plaza is a favorite site for neighborhood events, such as craft fairs, swap meets, citrus give-away's, plant and seed exchanges, children's play dates, outdoor movies, and neighborhood potlucks. Most events are in the "Events" section of this website, and promoted on our Nextdoor social media site and listserv. <more>
Little Free Library
Broadmoor-Broadway Village Neighborhood's Little Free Library can be found in the Malvern Plaza at the corner of E. Malvern and E. Arroyo Chico streets. It is one of more than 20,000 little libraries dotting communities worldwide, including at least a dozen here in the Tucson area. The concept is simple. Take a book. Leave a book.
The idea for a little free library in BBVN began percolating in the minds of two neighbors more than a year before its creation. During their daily morning walks together, conversation increasingly turned to the idea of building a weatherized book box and placing it somewhere in the neighborhood for all to use. Eventually, these neighbors visited another Tucson Little Free Library and spoke at length with its builder and sponsor. With their enthusiasm heightened, they began the search for just the right "box" at second hand shops. The perfect selection fell into their laps when neighbors remodeling their kitchen, put their old cabinets out at the curb - free to anyone who could use them. Once the cabinet was secured, an email was sent out to the neighborhood requesting help turning this kitchen cabinet into a sturdy weatherized beautiful little free library. Offers of help from talented neighbors were immediate, and the excitement for such a project grew in the neighborhood. Over the course of several months, this cabinet-turned-Little Free Library was "touched" by many BBVN neighbors who lovingly created the book box that was planted in Malvern Plaza on September 21, 2014.
All are welcome to visit - and use - this unique Little Free Library, containing three shelves of books and an attic space that houses games and poetry chalk. Then take time to enjoy the desert theme artwork displayed on its wooden sides, designed and painted by neighbor and professional artist, Judy Nostrant.
The library respects the values of the neighborhood, from a love of literature to the embrace of local wildlife and a mission to reuse and recycle. It gives neighbors a location for people to gather around books. Take a book. Return a book. And appreciate the sense of community that helped create this neighborhood "gem".
The origin of the Treat Walkway goes back to the original design of the Broadmoor neighborhood in 1945. At the north end of the neighborhood, the original plans called for Treat Street to end at Manchester Street. At the south end of the neighborhood, Treat Street ended at East Stratford Drive. Between them, a six-block easement connected the neighborhood from north to south. The easement allowed neighbors to walk from the north end to the south end of the neighborhood without walking next to cars. The north end was one block from Broadway and with it, a whole series of shops, restaurants, and other retail establishments. The south end was one block from Robison Elementary, a TUSD school with long ties to the neighborhood. In the middle of the Treat Walkway lies Arroyo Chico, with its own walking paths on the north and south sides, which connect Tucson Boulevard through Broadmoor and Colonia Solana Neighborhoods to the Reid Park multi-use path and beyond.
From the 1940’s until 2011, the Treat Walkway was an unpaved easement with uncut curbs. When Broadmoor-Broadway Village became an official neighborhood under the leadership of neighborhood President Connie Anzalone and many others in the 1980’s, improving the Treat Walkway was made part of the neighborhood’s strategic plan.
The Treat Walkway remains one of the major features of the Broadmoor-Broadway Village Neighborhood. Residents often walk with their children and their dogs along the walkway, meeting and talking to their neighbors as they go. Palo Verde and Mesquite trees provide shade to the walkway and make it more inviting and pleasant. As the Treat Walkway has become more inviting to neighbors to visit, crime has been reduced and neighborhood interaction has increased. The trees and other plants on the Treat Walkway continue to grow and shade continues to increase. <more>
It was during 2015 that the neighborhood partnered with the Tucson Arts Brigade (TAB) to create a tile mural on the two low walls that the City of Tucson installed as part of the Treat Walkway sidewalk installation in 2011. Working with TAB, neighborhood residents hand painted clay pieces that were fired and then installed on two sides of the two walls. After the installation of tiles on the two wall sides, we had used up all the tiles obtained up to that time for the project, but two wall sides remained to be tiled. Kathleen Lavoie visited a number of tile stores and obtained tiles from many of them, including a large number of beautiful tiles from the Mexican Tile Store on Broadway (since moved off Broadway and now a wholesale shop). The tiles were broken into mosaic sized pieces, and eventually, all four walls were tiled and the project was completed.
Where is the Poetry Mailbox located? The Poetry Mailbox, with its sentinel poetry rooster, can be found on the Treat Walkway between Arroyo Chico and Croyden Streets.
How did it come to be? In early 2017, led by poet and BBVN resident, Elizabeth Salper, eight Broadmoor-Broadway neighbors came together to create the first Poetry Mailbox in Tucson, tipping their proverbial hats to folks in Portland, Oregon, who helped start the “Poetry Box” craze. On April 2nd, the “Poetry Crew” planted the Poetry Mailbox on the Treat Walkway. And, on April 15th, during National Poetry Month, a formal Poetry Mailbox Dedication was held, attended by many BBVN residents as well as poetry lovers from around Tucson. Poets, young and old, including TC Tolbert, (current Poet Laureate of Tucson) read their own poems and celebrated this contribution to poetry in public spaces. Four year old neighbor, Ibis, ended the ceremony with a reading of her original poem.
So, how does the Poetry Mailbox work? It’s simple. Take or leave a poem. And yes, you can take and keep your poem! You can also take a moment to sit on the bench and scribe your own poem, as a pen and notebook are housed in the box. If the mailbox is running low on poems, signal the neighborhood poetry pollinators by raising the mailbox flag!
Are you inspired by the Poetry Mailbox? Do you want to see more poetry in public spaces in Tucson? Then join Urban Poetry Pollinators! In 2017, Elizabeth Salper received a mini-grant from the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona to start her UPP idea and spread the joy and love of poetry in outdoor spaces. If you want to know more, you can follow on Instagram (@urbanpoetrypollinators) or send an email.
Mailbox Media Hear an interview with Elizabeth Salper by Pedaling the Pueblo on KXCI in which she discusses the BBVN Poetry Mailbox. Or a YouTube video about the Mailbox. Or a piece about the Mailbox and a neighbor-artist, Ron Kovatch.
Arroyo Chico Murals
In the spring of 2015, neighbors awoke one day to find graffiti with a bullying message aimed at a young resident on the cement sides of Arroyo Chico just to the west of the Treat Walkway bridge. Neighbors sprang into action and in just a few hours, painted two murals on the cement walls. Luckily, after the mural paintings, the graffiti did not return.
Arroyo Chico Wash
Arroyo Chico is one of the gems of the city of Tucson. The Arizona Daily Star once ranked the walking path along Arroyo Chico from Tucson Boulevard to Randolph Way as one of the 10 best walking paths in the city of Tucson, and it's easy to see why. The walking path on the north side of the arroyo is regularly used by walkers, joggers, and the University of Arizona Cross Country team. The neighborhood planted the mesquite and other native trees between Stratford Avenue and Tucson Boulevard, and between Eastbourne Avenue and Country Club in the 1990's. Before then, the banks of the arroyo in these two areas was bare dirt, as hard as that is to believe now. Some of the trees in this area are more than 30 feet tall.
The oleander hedges between Stratford Avenue and Eastbourne Avenue were planted in the 1930's, when the area was part of the Tucson Country Club Golf Course. Many residents who live on Arroyo Chico were attracted to live in their current houses did so because they loved the greenery and seasonal flowers that the oleanders provide. While oleanders are poisonous if burned or ingested, their deep and wide roots help to hold the banks of the arroyo intact when it is flowing strongly from rains. They also provide a noise buffer that helps the neighborhood seem quieter than it would otherwise. The oleanders are maintaned by the City of Tucson Transportation Department, which is tasked with making sure that the watering system is working properly, and that the oleanders are kept trimmed and don't grow into the walking paths or the street. On hot days, the interior of the arroyo is cooler than the surrounding area, and makes for a nice walk that is nearby but seems far away. Wear sturdy shoes and step carefully when walking in the interior of the arroyo!
Manchester-Stratford Traffic Circle
In the spring of 2014, BBVNA worked with the City of Tucson, which provided funds through the Treat Bicycle Boulevard project, to work with Watershed Management Group to install a traffic circle at the intersection of Manchester and Stratford. Because the Treat Walkway is a narrow sidewalk, often filled with neighbors walking their dogs, runners, parents with baby strollers, etc., it is not really wide enough to be a multi-use path. Heading south from Broadway, the Treat Bicycle Boulevard turns west at Manchester, turns south at Stratford, and then south again onto Treat Street to continue south through the Arroyo Chico neighborhood. Bicyclists in a hurry find that it is faster to take the designated route than to attempt to ride on the Treat Walkway. In 2015, a young bicyclist unfamiliar with the area rode his bicycle south on the Treat Walkway and ran into the side of a car traveling west on Exeter Street, breaking his foot. He was taken to a hospital in an ambulance. Since that time, the City of Tucson installed signs and sharrows encouraging bicyclists to use the designated route when traveling the Treat Bicycle Boulevard through the neighborhood.
Bicyclists riding the designated route as well as cars encountered a dangerous intersection at the corner of Manchester and Stratford Avenues. It was often unclear as to who had the right of way while traveling through the intersection. Also, the intersection was an entrance to the neighborhood that presented an unnecessary “sea of asphalt” to visitors that did not represent the values of the neighborhood. The solution was to install a traffic circle at the intersection. Once again, it was the design of Oscar Blazquez which helped to convince the city to install the traffic circle. The city dug out the pavement, and on 9/14/2014, Watershed Management Group staff member Kieran Sikdar directed neighbors in the planting of rocks to direct storm water into the traffic circle, and to plant the circle. Many of the plants selected by Oscar Blazquez in his design can be seen in the traffic circle today, such as the large Palo Brea tree in the middle, and the Texas Ranger plants on the north side of the circle.
Metal Flower Art Memorial
The Metal Flower Art Memorial can be found at the northeast entrance to our neighborhood, just south of Broadway Village, near the intersection of Manchester and Eastbourne. It was designed to honor the memories of past neighbor, Linda Abrams, and all Broadmoor-Broadway Village neighborhood residents who had passed on.
The memorial was donated to the BBVN neighborhood by the Abrams family and friends, and many neighbors participated in its installation. An official dedication ceremony was held on Sunday, April 30, 2017.
The memorial is a beautiful work of art, consisting of five metal flowers with accompanying stained glass - and a metal lectern. The metal flowers were designed by Linda's sister, Ellen Abrams, and crafted by Tucson artist Dante Fraboni. It graces an area of the street median that has sat barren ever since the neighborhood was built, and now provides neighbors with a place of remembrance and reflection. The memorial is a beautiful piece of art welcoming visitors into the neighborhood and bidding them goodbye as they leave.
Movie/slide show of the dedication: https://goo.gl/photos/nSSiLP7Yb4wTVhFd9
Broadway Village Shopping Center
Broadway Village Shopping Center was the first shopping center built in the state of Arizona, according to foremost Arizona historian, Charles Leland Sonnichsen. Begun in 1939, it is a masterpiece designed by the prominent Swiss architect, Josias Joesler, and built by John and Helen Murphey. According to the Broadway Village Shopping Center PAD document, the Murphey’s found the impetus for Broadway Village on a visit to Patzcuaro, a quaint village in Central Mexico. They decided to recreate the village square with Joesler’s expertise, using its Spanish Colonial Revival forms, low-pitched clay tile roofs, arched openings, carved niches, arcades, stairways, mortar-washed brick, and colored ceramic tile. Together they crafted a romantic sense of place in Broadway Village for locals and visitors alike to admire and enjoy.
CRI Broadway Village Partners LLC purchased the property in January 2008 from the Murphey Trust, which had held ownership since the village was built. The Trust selected the Owner to purchase the historic shopping center based on its expertise as a retail specialist and its commitment to serve as a responsible steward for a City landmark. Now, painstakingly restored after more than 70 years of continuous operation, this Murphey-Joesler creation continues to be a classic example of period architecture as well as an exciting destination for today’s families to gather, dine and shop.
Located at the southwest corner of Broadway and Country Club, Broadway Village Shopping Center is within the boundaries of Broadmoor-Broadway Village Neighborhood. It is within walking distance of the homes in BBVN and considered a popular and lively destination of choice by many neighbors. A special and mutually beneficial relationship has sprung up between many of the residents and the shop keepers.
One of the remarkable things about the rebirth of Broadway Village is that so many of the types of businesses that were there in the very beginning have returned. It is definitely a shopping and dining destination once again.