The Tucson Community Center (TCC) Landscape was designed in 1970 by internationally renowned landscape architect Garrett Eckbo. Eckbo’s design for the TCC Landscape consists of a public plaza (Fountain Plaza), a walkway, and a small park (Veinte de Agosto Park). A system of interactive water features – a narrow channel, shallow play pool, water cascades with boulders, fountains – unifies the various open spaces along with a vegetative palette of grassy knolls, groves of shade trees, and shrubs. In the 40 years since the construction of the TCC and Landscape, the complex of buildings and landscape features has been underutilized and many of the features have fallen into disrepair.
Beginning in 2010, there has been a concerted effort to recognize the significance of the Eckbo-design urban landscape and to develop planning tools to revitalize the TCC for 21st-century use. The success of a revitalized TCC Landscape requires the development of an integrated vision and strategies to activate use and sustainably manage the space as a civic locus of downtown Tucson. This investigation and development of a stewardship plan was conducted as a service-learning project by a University of Arizona Heritage Conservation class, PLG 564 - Preservation Planning Issues, under the supervision of Adjunct Professor William Patrick O’Brien during Spring 2015. The final report, Stewardship Strategies: Tucson Convention Center Landscape, compiles recommendations by key TCC stakeholders, evaluates case studies of comparable modernist urban landscapes, and identifies successful strategies, tools, and best practices that could be applied to the TCC Landscape. Concurrent with this stewardship plan was the development of a rehabilitation plan consisting of a comprehensive documentation, condition assessment, and conservation treatment recommendations of the historic landscape features, conducted by UA CAPLA's Drachman Institute.