Aldea Linda Residential Historic District
The Aldea Linda Residential Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2013, The Gombach Group.
Aldea Linda is an absolutely unique and precious enclave in Tucson, Arizona. In Spanish, its name means "beautiful, small village or hamlet" and Calle Jabali, its central road, means "wild boar street." The neighborhood combines high-quality, post World War II style residences, one art school, a church complex and vacant land in a natural, creosote desert setting. In the midst of dense urban development, Aldea Linda's uniqueness comes from its small size, intact deed restrictions, curvilinear, cul-de-sac layout, large lots, creosote desert setting and post-World War II architecture. Its period of significance is 1947-1964 which includes the year of its foundation and the construction dates of all contributing architecture.
Aldea Linda comprises approximately seventy-five acres of land acquired in 1946 and platted in 1947 by Samuel P. Goddard, Jr. (future governor of Arizona) and his wife, Julia Hatch Goddard. Today's subdivision contains very good examples of prevalent post-World War II contemporary styles, the Ranch and Modern, and a few, regionally appropriate, Sonoran Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival style buildings. Since the original platting, Lot 6 has remained the site of an art and education related studio. In 1953, Lot 15 was donated by the Goddards, themselves Unitarians, as the permanent site of the first Unitarian Church of Tucson.
Located in the east central part of Tucson, in the southwest quarter of Section 14, Township 14S, Range 14 E, the Aldea Linda Historic District is made up of distinctive residences and institutional buildings on 2.5 to 4.85 acre lots in a dense zone of creosote desert. Platted soon after World War II in 1947, the rectilinear-plan district is bounded by E. Twenty-Second Street to the south, S. Swan Road to the west, the Loma Linda Addition to the east and Del Monte Village to the north.
Platted in 1947 by Sam Goddard, Jr. and his wife, Julia Hatch Goddard, Aldea Linda is one of several, early Tucson subdivisions in which preservation of the natural environment and construction of high quality architecture through deed restrictions and other practices was a primary consideration. However, no other Tucson neighborhood combines Aldea Linda's small size, unique layout, creosote desert setting and post-World War II architecture with intact deed restrictions. Aldea Linda is unique in its role in post-World War II architectural development in Tucson.
Aldea Linda follows in the tradition of several early, Tucson subdivisions that were established to promote a distinctive Southwestern lifestyle. The large lots, the curvilinear access road and the natural vegetation create a secluded, rural atmosphere. The distinctive, post World War II style houses peek through the dense creosote desert. The implementation and continuation of deed restrictions, enforced by an active property owners' association, have ensured continuity of architectural appearance and land use. This distinctive, relatively-unchanged and unified historic district has a visible sense of time and place.
The Aldea Linda neighborhood was founded during the post-war development boom in Tucson. As the suburbs continued to expand outward from Tucson's central core, the supply of land seemed inexhaustible. Yet most developers sought to extract a maximum return by laying out small lots and capitalizing on the image of an ideal neighborhood with rows of nearly identical homes flanking broad streets. This model for development did not account for local natural features, and resulted in somewhat generic looking tracts that could have been in just about any western US city.
Sam Goddard, Jr. had different goals in mind. As he observed the beauty of the Tucson desert being swallowed by subdivision after subdivision, Goddard sought in 1947 to preserve a small portion of the area's natural beauty with a low-density development protected by strict deed restrictions.
Centered around Calle Jabali, a narrow road that undulates just enough to prevent a line of sight more than a few tens of feet, Goddard and his wife Susan Hatch laid out a limited number of large lots measuring at least 64,200 sq. ft. each with lengthy frontages along Swan Road, Calle Jabali, or Twenty Second Street. The core of the neighborhood, Calle Jabali, ended in a cul-de-sac to deter anything but local vehicle traffic, preserving low noise levels.
Deed restrictions permitted only private, one-story, single-family residences with up to two guest houses (cooking facilities were not allowed in guest homes). Main residences were to be at least 1,500 ft2, large for the time. Lot 6, an art school along Swan Road operated by watercolorist Gerry Peirce, was specifically allowed in the original deed restrictions. Other businesses were prohibited from the neighborhood as were any business activities including advertising (real estate signs exempted). All buildings were to be at least seventy-five feet from lot line and street, and twenty-five feet from a boundary lot line. Construction plans were to be approved by an architect appointed by the neighborhood, and demolition was prohibited without written consent. No temporary residences or garage dwellings were allowed, and occupancy was not permitted on properties until construction was complete. Originally, all homes were required to have a septic tank and proper drain field.
In anticipation of possible future threats to the neighborhood, deed restrictions also prohibited derricks and drilling structures and any other natural resource extraction other than the neighborhood pumping plant on Lot 4. Originally Sam Goddard owned the water company that supplied the neighborhood. The pump was later replaced by municipal services after the area was annexed by the City in 1955 (Ordinance No. 1634). The keeping of livestock was restricted to horses only, with a maximum of two, properly housed. Domestic pets and fowl were permitted unless the animals were deemed objectionable by residents.
The original Samuel Goddard, Jr. house, built in 1947 on Lot 4 and possibly designed by architect William P. Hazzard, was less than 1,000 square feet in size. It was a brick building formed in a "U" shape around a patio. It was Samuel and Julia's first house after their marriage. Four subsequent additions, all designed by architect-of-record Robert Reid, enlarged the house substantially. In 1956, four bedrooms and a wall enclosed pool and patio were added. Another addition that year provided a large bedroom. In the following year, the kitchen and bath were altered, the dining room was enlarged, and a sizable bedroom was added. In a few months, the carport was widened and a storage room was added beyond.
† Ralph H. Comey, Allison C. Diehl and Janet H. Parkhurst, Ralph Comey Architects & Janet H. Strittmatter, Inc., Aldea Linda Neighborhood, Pima County, Arizona, nomination document, 2007, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.