Levy’s Department Store, May 2012

A relic of the first shopping mall in Tucson, Arizona, in the 1960s. I remember being pretty excited as a kid that Tucson had MALL. The mall replaced the posh old El Conquistador hotel (it’s copper dome now caps a building in a strip mall in northwest Tucson…at least some of it was preserved). The Levy’s building isn’t especially beautiful, being full-on sixties mall-boxy. It’s special charm remains in the frieze band that encompasses the building with a roman-key style relief of “L E V Y S” in concrete. I tried to sketch that detail in this drawing. Urban legend has it that the frieze spells something else upside down. You can judge if that’s true! Workers were installing scaffolding, I guess in preparation for the demolition of the building. So why would you put up scaffolding just to tear down a building? A shiny new Wal(insert happy face here)Mart is planned for the space.

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