Best Of Tucson®

Best Architectural Mission Impossibly Revived

The Cheyney House

252 N. Main Ave.

STAFF PICK: On the brink of demolition, this piece of architectural history was given an eleventh-hour reprieve this year. Built in 1905 for Annie Cheyney, widow of the postmaster and superintendent of schools, the 4,000-plus square foot dwelling, one of the "mansions of Main Street," was to be demolished, having been deemed too costly to repair. While lawyers and activists were fighting over its fate, two El Presidio neighbors, Margaret Hardy and JoAnne Rogers, quietly purchased the house and effected a truce until a pair of unlikely heroes galloped in to save it. Retirees and architectural preservationists Emma and Gerald Talen, of Menomonie, Wisconsin, have already begun restoring the Mission Revival to its turn-of-the-century (that's last century) fashion. Hisses to the developers who rejected restoring the Cheyney House because there was no profit to be turned. Cheers to Margaret, JoAnne, Emma and Gerald for reminding us it's not always about the money, stupid.