The History of Room 6
Room 6 (originally addressed 202 W. 18th Street, and later 709 S. 8th Avenue), on the southeast corner of the excavated row house on Lot 10 (see map), housed several businesses throughout its history. In 1914, it was a blacksmith shop, while around 1919 it became a store and residence.
By 1951, Room 6 was a secondhand shop owned by Bruce and Suzie Draper, who had lived in Tucson since 1929. The Drapers were among the many African Americans who have played an important role in the city's history. They owned and lived at 808 S. 8th Avenue, the next address south of the Lee Lung Company grocery store across the street, and then purchased and moved to Room 6.
For a short time in 1959, Room 6 also served as a studio for radio station KTAN, from which radio pioneer Jacinto Orozco broadcast his show "La Hora Mexicana" (The Mexican Hour). The immensely popular show was the first all-Spanish radio program to be broadcast in southern Arizona. Orozco may have leased Room 6 from the Drapers, who owned the building. He produced the show at other locations in later years.
By 1960, Room 6 had become the location of the De La Corte Bakery. At some time during the 1960s, Room 6, and possibly other rooms attached to it, burned. The collapsing row house had been demolished by 1971.
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You are now standing on the site of a blacksmith shop. The archaeological record shows that it was first in operation by 1919 at 616 S. 8th Avenue (now S. Convent Avenue). Records show that a man named M. Pascal operated a blacksmith shop in the row house from 1909 to 1914. It appears that Pascal then moved his shop to this location behind the row house, which remained in operation until at least 1930.
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In 2008, archaeologists from Tierra Right of Way Services, Ltd., conducted excavations for the City of Tucson on Lot 10 of Tucson City Block 247, where Mendoza Park now stands. The long history of Lot 10 reflects changing aspects of commerce, ethnicity, and identity within Tucson and the Barrio Viejo community.
Lot 10 was the location of a Sonoran-style adobe row house, a design common throughout the Southwest in times past and testimonial to Tucson's Hispanic heritage. The row house on Lot 10 was constructed in or before 1909, when it appears on a Sanborn fire insurance map. A basic row house typically consists of several rooms on a rectangular floor plan with a slightly sloping roof. Numerous buildings that stand today near Lot 10 follow this plan.