Pima County Legal Services Building (center of the photo) at 32 N. Stone Ave in Tucson. The blue terra cotta bricks on the structure have been falling off recently.  

Pieces of the terra cotta brick facade have been falling off the Pima County Legal Services Building in downtown Tucson recently.

No one has been hurt.

The county will begin construction later this week of scaffolding along the sidewalks in front of the building at 32 N. Stone Ave., just north of East Congress Street to protect pedestrians.

A similar structure will be in place above the patio of the Nook restaurant next door at 1 E. Congress St.

It’s unclear why the bricks have been falling off of the nearly 60-year-old building. The county has hired consultants to examine the building’s west and south sides.

The 20-story skyscraper, designed by Tucson architect Lew Place, was first used as the headquarters of Home Federal Savings and Loan.

Pima County bought the property in 1987.

It would seem that Bud Howton was not one to be bothered by heights. On Feb. 10, 1972, he made his monthly check of the lights on the time and temperature sign atop the Tucson Federal Savings Tower. The 20-story building, at 32 N. Stone Ave., is now occupied by Pima County Legal Services.

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View of Tucson from the top floor of the then Tucson Federal Savings and Loan tower at 32 N Stone Ave. Photo is looking east with the Hotel Congress just right of center. The photo was taken on October 26, 1966.

This is a view of the proposed urban renewal area that included La Placita Plaza which was later built to the left of the gazebo which is left of center. The view is from the then Tucson Federal Savings Tower. The photo was taken on June 15, 1965.

Downtown Tucson buildings taken June 1965. Looking south on Stone Ave from Alameda St. The Wells Fargo Bank, Pioneer Hotel and Tucson Federal Savings building.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at jferguson@tucson.com or 573-4197. On Twitter: @JoeFerguson.

Reporter

Joe has been with the Star for six years. He covers politics as well as the city of Tucson and other municipalities in Southern Arizona. He graduated from the UA and previously worked for the Arizona Daily Sun.