Stevens House
150 N. Main Ave.
This, along with the Edward Nye Fish House next door, was the center of Tucson's upper-crust social life in the late 19th century. Built in 1865, the adobe house served as the seat of the empire of cattle baron Hiram Sanford Stevens; the home was overseen by his wife, the much younger Petra Santa Cruz. The oleander in the back patio, which you can approach from the Tucson Museum of Art courtyard, was planted by Stevens himself. The cattle business literally dried up for Stevens in the drought of 1893; depressed, he shot Petra and killed himself. Petra survived, though--the bullet ricocheted off a large comb in her hair. The house found happier occupants from the 1970s well into the '90s, as the site of the exquisite Janos restaurant. Janos was ultimately evicted, however, so the Tucson Museum of Art could expand into the space.
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