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[photo] Barrio Libre
Photo taken by and courtesy of J.E. Rollings

Barrio Libre (Spanish for "free district") is Tucson's major Spanish-speaking neighborhood and has played an important role in the development of the city. Located just south of Presidio de San Agustín del Tucson (1775), one of Spain's northern forts, Barrio Libre was established near an important water supply, a large natural spring. The district was originally settled by laborers from the presidio as well as ranchers who built their town homes in the district. Many of the barrio's residents became prominent citizens who helped shape the development of Tucson. The district's greatest period of growth came after the introduction of the railroad into Tucson in 1880. Between 1885 and 1900, dense rows of adobe buildings were constructed along the barrio's major thoroughfares. Architecturally unchanged from its territorial appearance, Barrio Libre still retains 19th-century Hispanic traditions of urban form and architecture. The concentration of Sonoran, Transitional and American Victorian adobes contributes to the district's sense of timelessness.

Barrio Libre is bounded by 14th, Stone, 19th and Osborne sts, in downtown Tucson, Arizona.


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