Look up, those are canales

Look up, those are canales

Canales used to be an important part of adobe buildings. They carried water off the roof and through the parapet. You can see them on the exterior of one of Tucson's oldest buildings, La Casa Cordova, 173 N. Meyer, in what is now part of the Tucson Museum of Art complex. The first rooms of that house were built before the 1850s, according to "The Restoration of La Casa Cordova," published by The Junior League of Tucson.

Most canales are plain and simply serve to drain water far away from the foundation of mud adobe walls. But a few have whimsical detail. Most in Tucson are metal, a few are wood or stone. Sadly, gutters have replaced canales on many buildings. The former are no doubt more effective but without charm.

The most ferocious canal I've found is in front of the Arizona Inn.

Wood and metal canal in Barrio Viejo

Wood and metal canal in Barrio Viejo

Leaves

Leaves

Birds

Birds

Stars in Barrio Viejo

Stars in Barrio Viejo

Barrio Viejo

Barrio Viejo

Arrows

Arrows

I call this canal in the Sam Hughes neighborhood a saw-toothed whale.

I call this canal in the Sam Hughes neighborhood a saw-toothed whale.

What reads are your Tucson neighbors sharing this summer? Opera News, anyone?

What reads are your Tucson neighbors sharing this summer? Opera News, anyone?