History of El Presidio Bed and Breakfast Inn
A Victorian Adobe, El Presidio Bed & Breakfast is a splendid example of American Territorial, blending the rich cultural heritage of Mexican and American building traditions unique to Tucson, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The award-winning restoration recreated its original Victorian elegance and has been beautifully chronicled in Bantam Publisher's American Design book, The Desert Southwest. El Presidio Bed & Breakfast is the oldest functioning B&B in Tucson.
El Presidio Bed & Breakfast began in 1876 as a humble adobe with a square, flat roof built with handmade bricks of mud and straw. Its only distinction was its location on Main Street, a broad boulevard that stretched north from the presidio. When the Southern Pacific Railroad made its way to Tucson in 1880, the residents of Main Street began to embellish their humble adobes with all the accoutrements of Victorian architecture. As each of the homes evolved, they began to develop a distinctive new style that became known as American Territorial.
In 1912, Julius Kruttschnitt bought the house and jumped right into the hustle and bustle of a Main Street that had begun to take on airs. The Julius Kruttschnitt House soon reigned supreme in Snob Hollow, the premier residential area and center of higher society in this frontier village. As the century evolved, so did Tucson residents as they abandoned the downtown area in favor of the sprawling suburbs. The Kruttschnitt House was divided into small apartments, the courtyard was paved over, and the graceful veranda stripped away.
In 1967, Jerry Toci moved into one of the apartments and fell in love with the place. Years later, he and his wife Patti returned to claim the house for their own. The Tocis then guided El Presidio through a decade of painstaking restoration. Jerry combed Mexico in search of master craftsmen with the expertise to shore up the crumbling adobe walls. He found his craftsmen and also discovered the three-tiered stone fountain that is now in the courtyard. It took seven months to have it dismantled and carted north piece by piece. The gardens and courtyards received the same meticulous attention. The bricks for the courtyard were handpicked from a 130-year-old hospital wing. They laid cobblestone and brick walkways and planted flowers and shrubs that were popular in the 1880s. The Tocis furnished the interior with their extensive collection of Americana, and by 1985, the Inn was ready to open its door to the public.
The photo to the right was discovered by the innkeepers and now hangs in the bed and breakfast.
El Presidio Bed & Breakfast, being located in the heart of the Presidio Historic District, has often been on Memorial Day and Fourth of July parade routes.
Below are some of the architectural details lovingly restored for present day guests to enjoy.