my name is kathe lison. i’m an author (the whole fromage), long-time design freak, and sometime student in the master of architecture program at the university of arizona.
on march 21st, 2014—the first day of spring—my partner, science and nature writer christopher cokinos, and i bought a falling down Sonoran row house in tucson’s barrio veijo historic district. its doors and windows were boarded up, its walls–made of traditional mud adobe bricks from the 1890s–were crumbling, its roof looked as if it might be held on with chewing gum, what little electricity the house had once had no longer worked and the hot water to the single, working bathroom was supplied by a make-shift solar heater in the back yard. by the time we looked at it, the house had been on the market for nine years.
it was clear something needed to be done—and soon—if the house was to be saved from returning back into the dirt from which had come. and, insane decision though it was—we decided we were the ones who should do it.
this is the ongoing chronicle of the house and its stories. the story of its history, the story of its barrio, and the story, of course, of what happens after you fall in love with a house made of mud.
stay tuned. it is–and is going to be–a crazy ride. in the meantime, here are a few “before” pics, taken by our friend, photographer david scott moyer, for you to enjoy.