This neighborhood puts the funk in Tucson

This neighborhood puts the funk in Tucson

The Dunbar Spring Neighborhood, just north of downtown, has no competitor when it comes to an artsy, made-here vibe. There's a community garden, a huge mural, sculptures in the traffic roundabouts -- and that's just the public spaces. 

A community bulletin board

 

The neighborhood is roughly bounded by Speedway on the north, 6th Street on the south, the railroad tracks/Main Avenue on the west and Stone Avenue on the east.

This is one of several outdoor aviaries at a house in Dunbar Spring.

This is one of several outdoor aviaries at a house in Dunbar Spring.

This traffic roundabout honors several early and important residents and business people in the neighborhood. The area gets its name from poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar and teacher John Spring. Most of the neighborhood developed between about 1900 and the 1930s.

This traffic roundabout honors several early and important residents and business people in the neighborhood. The area gets its name from poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar and teacher John Spring. Most of the neighborhood developed between about 1900 and the 1930s.

BICAS, the Bicycle Inter-Community Art & Salvage center, is in an old warehouse in the neighborhood.

This is a small part of a nearly block-long mural on North Ninth Avenue

 

Yard art

Old bike pedals form the petals and leaves in a gate at the community garden.

The sign from the long-closed Ye Olde Lantern restaurant on Oracle Road is part of a backyard in Dunbar Spring.

A gate on a DS home.

The neighborhood has always been diverse, with Hispanics, Anglos, Chinese and Yaquis among its early residents. The Paul Dunbar Colored School, as it was then known, opened in 1918 and the neighborhood was home to many African-American families.  Dunbar was the city's first and only segregated school, according to the Dunbar School Project, which is dedicated to sharing the history and culture of African-Americans. When official public-school segregation ended, Dunbar became John Spring Junior High until it closed in 1978.

Dunbar Spring is home to at least a half dozen former and current churches.

Do you have a favorite funky Tucson neighborhood? Tell us about it.

The straight shooters are in the dirt

The straight shooters are in the dirt

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

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