Keep cool and safe in Tucson

Keep cool and safe in Tucson

A few new barrio neighbors recently asked about installing screen doors. Old-fashioned ones are gorgeous, but most new ones are designed for security. Which is to say, they are hunks of metal one step short of jail-cell doors. Letting in cool air is of secondary concern.

But it got us to talking: What ever happened to transom windows? They are still all over the barrio and other older neighborhoods. But most are painted or nailed shut.

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The transom is that small window above the door. Back in the era of swamp coolers, people would keep them open all summer.

Some old ones eventually had screens installed on the exterior to keep bugs out.

Transoms are both a barrio tradition and safe. What burglar brings a ladder to climb through a narrow opening? There are so many easier targets for thieves.

So my suggestion for downtowners who want a little fresh air is to restore their transoms.

This is now on an interior door, but it used to be the back door before the house was expanded.

This is now on an interior door, but it used to be the back door before the house was expanded.

Tucson neighborhoods that say "welcome"

Tucson neighborhoods that say "welcome"

The best of the "new" downtown

The best of the "new" downtown