R. Brooks Jeffery

Professor Emeritus of Architecture


  • Architecture
  • School of Architecture

Areas of Expertise

  • Heritage conservation
  • History of built environments in Tucson and Southwest
  • Traditional earthen materials and construction systems
  • Vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes


R. Brooks Jeffery is Professor Emeritus of Architecture in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture (CAPLA) with an emphasis on Heritage Conservation. Since 1988, his teaching, research, and outreach projects have advanced heritage conservation as part of a comprehensive ethic of environmental, cultural, and economic sustainability throughout the world, including the Middle East, Latin America, and the American Southwest.   At CAPLA, he has also held the positions of Associate Dean, Chair of the Heritage Conservation Graduate Program, and Director of the Drachman Institute.  

Jeffery has authored/co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles, books and technical reports, including Cross-Cultural Vernacular Landscapes of Southern Arizona (Vernacular Architecture Forum, 2005, co-edited with Laura Hollengreen),  “From Azulejos to Zaguanes:  The Islamic Legacy in the Built Environment of Hispano-America” (Journal of the Southwest, Spring/Summer 2003), A Guide to Tucson Architecture (University of Arizona Press, 2002, with Anne M. Nequette), Joesler & Murphey:  An Architectural Legacy for Tucson (City of Tucson, 1994) and Yemen:  A Culture of Builders (American Architectural Foundation, 1989).  Jeffery has been a principal investigator on numerous grants and contracts from local, regional and national agencies, totaling over $2 million.   

Jeffery also served as Associate Vice President for Research Infrastructure at the University of Arizona’s Office of Research, Innovation & Impact (RII) from 2016 until his retirement in 2022.  He was responsible for RII’s portfolio of research space, new construction, – including the $85M Applied Research Building (ARB), and $99M Grand Challenges Research Building (GCRB) –  core facilities as well as the development of a campus-wide research and innovation infrastructure strategic plan.  Prior to this, he was responsible for advancing innovative research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, as well as select museums, centers and institutes that report to RII.  Jeffery also served as co-lead of UA Strategic Plan Pillar 3 – Arizona Advantage:  Advancing our Land Grant Mission to Drive Social, Cultural and Economic Impact

In addition to his administration, teaching and research responsibilities, Jeffery collaborates with governmental and civic agencies on preservation issues locally, regionally, and nationally while serving as a board member on the University of Arizona Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, Arizona Historic Sites Review Committee, and the National Council for Preservation Education.  He has received numerous awards including the “Director’s Partnership Award” (2015) and the “Excellence in Resource Stewardship Award” (2006), both from the U.S. National Park Service.  At the state level, he’s been honored with three “Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Awards” (2012, 2014, 2022) and Tucson’s highest preservation honor, the “Alene Dunlap Smith and Paul C. Smith Award” (2007) from the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission for the “high level of dedication and long-term commitment toward historic preservation in our community”. He was also awarded the 2008 Common Ground Award from the Metropolitan Pima Alliance for his involvement in the Wilmot Library Planning Charette advocating for the preservation, rather than the proposed demolition, of a landmark Modern design as part of an overall sustainable development proposal.

Currently, Jeffery is working as a consultant and start-up executive director of the non-profit Naco Heritage Alliance where he is spearheading strategic planning efforts and launching the rehabilitation of the 17-acre Camp Naco site in the Cochise County border town of Naco AZ.  In 2022, Camp Naco – Arizona’s cornerstone of Buffalo Soldier history –  was listed on the National Trust’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places and subsequently received $8.1M in grants from the Arizona Governor’s Office and the Mellon Foundation for the rehabilitation of its 20 historic adobe buildings and the development of community programming to sustain them.

Select Publications (see Curriculum Vitae for complete list of publications):

Mixing Sacred and Profane: Hispanic-American Hybrid Towns in the 19th Century American Southwest (UNAM, 2018)

The Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska: Historic Ecclesiastical Landscapes Study 1840-1920, Sitka National Historical Park (2017)

Sistemas Tradicionales Constructivas: Terrados y Otras Techumbres (UNAM, 2015)

Climate Change Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Framework for Cultural Resources, National Park Service Intermountain Region Vanishing Treasures Program (2014)

Acequia and Compuerta Preservation Plan, Tumacacori National Historical Park (2014)

Williams Ranch Historic Structure Report, Guadalupe Mountains National Park (2013)

Missions Initiative: An International, Multi-DIsciplinary Partnership for Cultural Resources (National Park Service, 2012)

Pine Creek Historic District National Register Amendment, Zion National Park (2012)

Guide to Tucson Historic Neighborhoods (City of Tucson, 2012)

Pratt Cabin Historic Structure Report, Guadalupe Mountains National Park (2012)

Hubbell Trading Post Furnishings Report and Plan (2012)

Rincon Heights Historic District (Tucson AZ) National Register Nomination (2011)

Visitor Center Conceptual Design, Timpanogos Cave National Monument (2010)

Architects of Influence: Nicholas Sakellar (Tucson Home Magazine, Fall 2009)

The TICRAT Model: A Binational Adobe Workshop (Archeology Southwest, 2009)

Architects of Influence: Annie Graham Rockfellow (Tucson Home Magazine, Winter 2008-2009)

Hermits Rest Historic Structure Report, Grand Canyon National Park (2008)

Architects of Influence: Arthur Brown (Tucson Home Magazine, Fall 2008)

Architects of Influence: Judith Chafee (Tucson Home Magazine, Spring 2008)

Architects of Influence: Roy Place (Tucson Home Magazine, Summer 2008)

First Administration Building Historic Structure Report, Grand Canyon National Park (2008)

Photo Essay: Missions Initiative TICRAT 2008 (SMRC Revista, Spring/Winter 2008)

Odds-On Favorite: Tucson's Odd Fellows Hall (Tucson Lifestyle, May 2007)

Bates Well Historic Structure Report, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (2007)

Bryce Canyon Lodge and Old NPS Housing Cultural Landscape Report, Bryce Canyon National Park (2006)

Maintenance Guides for the Treatment of Historic Properties, Petrified Forest National Park (2005)

Cross-Cultural Vernacular Landscapes of Southern Arizona: A Field Guide (Vernacular Architecture Forum, 2005)

Utah Parks Company Service Station Historic Structure Report, Bryce Canyon National Park (2005)

Architecture of the Modern Movement in Tucson Arizona 1945-1975, National Register Thematic Context Study (2005)

Chiricahua National Monument Historic Designed Landscape National Register Nomination (2004)

From Azuelejos to Zaguanes: The Islamic Legacy in the Built Environment of Hispano-America (Journal of the SW, Spring 2003)

Winterhaven Historic District National Register Nomination (2003)

Book Review - Facing Southwest: The Life and Houses of John Gaw Meem (New Mexico Historical Review, 2003)

Design Heritage: Our Modern Heritage (Tucson Lifestyle Home & Garden, Summer 2002)

Historic and Architectural Resources of Downtown Tucson Arizona National Register Context Study (2002)

Design Heritage: Historic Neighborhoods (Tucson Lifestyle Home & Garden, Spring 2002)

Historic Homes and Neighborhoods (Tucson Lifestyle Home & Garden, 2002)

Point: Reconstruction Doesn't Work! (Archeology Southwest, Spring 2001)

Librarians as Generalists: Redefining Our Role in a New Paradigm (Art Documentation, Fall 1998)

Urban Conservation in the Old City of San'a (University of Florida Press,1997)

Architecture, Modernity, and Preservation: Tower House of Sana Yemen (Arid Lands Newsletter, Spring-Summer 1989)


News, Research and Projects

R. Brooks Jeffery

The Transformative Career of a Lifelong Explorer: R. Brooks Jeffery ’83 B.Arch, Professor Emeritus of Architecture

Though Emeritus Professor of Architecture R. Brooks Jeffery retired from UArizona in June 2022 as associate vice president for research, at CAPLA he will be long acclaimed for his dedicated work across many roles, including associate dean and Drachman Institute director—as well for his wide-reaching service and award-winning research on heritage conservation in arid environments.