Barrio sin Nombre
The land proper that encompasses Barrio Sin Nombre has witnessed the evolution of Tucson from its birth at the foot of the black mountain to modern times. A book could be written on the history of this area. Tom Sheridan in his book Los Tucsonenses (1986), notes that the naming of this barrio goes back to the 1940's and includes Barrio Sin Nombre. However, the area was settled much earlier by Mexican American families (see Fergusson's map 1862 of cultivated fields).
Currently the boundaries of BNS are Grande on the West, Cushing on the North, Melwood on the East and Mission Lane on the South. There are 73 property owners listed but there is one apartment unit that has 8 rentals. At one time BSN included Brickyard Lane, which borders the west side of the Convento Site and had approximately 10 households. The City of Tucson purchased these properties (7.33 acres) to establish the Tucson Origins Heritage Park, S-cuk Son Pavilion to honor the Tohono O'odham, the First People.
A highlight: BSN is slated to receive a 1.2 million infrastructure improvement project that includes new street pavement, streetlights and speed bumps. Of note, is that these improvements were promised back in 2008 as part of the Rio Nuevo District. Without the advocacy of Regina Romero who was the Ward 1 councilperson, BSN would still be waiting.
Concerns: With BSN proximity to development in the Mercado and City owned property next to Caterpillar, Regina Romero, now COT mayor is on record expressing concern that BSN will disappear. As of 2007 at least 10 properties have been sold and developed or” flipped.” With the remediation of the Nearmont landfill (6.46 acres), immediately west of Caterpillar and bordering Melwood, it is a given that this land will be developed. About half of the site is zoned as R-2 and the other is I-1. BSN is advocating that COT R-2 property that borders Melwood and Cushing be converted into a pocket park in order to provide a buffer for the immediate neighborhood.
There is also a new development planned on Mission Lane across from Mission Garden. The one-acre (1) property is owned by Whisper Canyon and is planned as 15-unit two-story townhouses. This property has no history of any development to our knowledge. The property line on the westside is unique as it zigzags in and out. A historical photo by Carleton Watkins (1880) shows the contour of the boundary. In communication with Homer Thiel, archeologist, he related that the property likely was following a historic acequia from that period. In addition, it likely has undisturbed Native American remains associated with Tucson's Birthplace.
S Grande Ave
W Mission Lane
W Cushing St
S Melwood Ave
Nearmont Landfill remediation project (COT)