Home tour to highlight renowned architect

2013-02-17T00:00:00Z Home tour to highlight renowned architect Arizona Daily Star
February 17, 2013 12:00 am

The Pimeria Alta Historical Society's annual home tour this year will spotlight the works of Bennie Gonzales, known internationally for his distinctive style of Southwestern architecture.

Gonzales designed award-winning public buildings such as the Scottsdale Civic Center, which he described as "an open invitation for the citizens to participate in their government."

He was one of the first to graduate from Arizona State University's architecture degree program. The Nogales library was his first commissioned work. Other projects include the city's VFW Hall, along with the Hopi Cultural Center complex on Second Mesa and additions to the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

He designed homes throughout Arizona and California, along with a $1 billion palace for the king of Saudi Arabia.

Gonzales was born in Phoenix but spent summers with relatives in Nogales, said Terry Rodriguez, a museum volunteer.

He and his wife, Diane, moved to Nogales when he retired. They built their home, using recycled materials, in the scenic Gold Hill district. He died in 2008 at 84.

Next Sunday's tour also includes a number of historic homes and stretches across a wide expanse of northern Nogales. While the tour can be self-guided, the historical society has also arranged for a bus tour.

If you go

2013 Nogales Home and Museum Tour presented by The Pimeria Alta Historical Society

• When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. next Sunday. The first bus will depart the museum at 11 a.m., and the second will leave at noon.

• Where: Start at the Pimeria Alta Historical Society,136 N. Grand Ave.

• Cost: $30. Tickets will be available at the museum starting at 10 a.m. on the day of the tour. Proceeds benefit the historical society.

• More: Refreshments will be served at the museum, including homemade desserts, quesadillas and guacamole. There will also be a silent auction, featuring original art, antiques, and gift baskets.

• Information: 1-520-287-4621.

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