Presidio of Tucson

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Presidio of Tucson (1776-1856) - A Spanish presidio established in 1776 by Franciscan friar Francisco Tomas Garces in present-day Tucson, Pima County, Arizona. Became a Mexican presidio after the Mexican War of Independence in 1822 and an American post after the Gadsden Purchase in 1856. Abandoned in 1856 and destroyed in the 1860s. Also known as Presidio San Augustin del Tucson.

Reproduction of a Prehistoric Pit House Found During Archeological Excavations.
Reproduction Mountain Howitzer at the Presidio of Tucson.
Presidio of Tucson Re-created Northeast Bastion Exterior.
Presidio of Tucson Re-created Northeast Bastion Interior.

Spanish Period (1776-1822)

A Spanish Presidio established in 1776 by Irish mercenary, Hugh O'Conor, and Franciscan friar Francisco Tomas Garces with troops from the Presidio of Tubac. This presidio was part of a network of presidios and missions in present-day southern Arizona. These presidios were under constant attack from hostile Apache Indians and had difficulty protecting themselves and the surrounding missions. The southern Arizona presidios included:

Southern Arizona Presidios

The original stockaded post evolved into a 750' square adobe fortification with a 2' thick adobe wall, 12' high surrounding the square plaza. Towers were located on two opposite corners and a firing platform ran along the top of the buildings along the wall. The Commandant's quarters were in the middle of the square with soldiers' quarters lining the walls. The Presidio encompassed an area enclosed by present-day Washington, Church, Pennington, and Main streets.

Mexican Period (1822-1856)

Control of the Presidio passed from the Spanish troops to Mexican troops at the end of the Mexican War of Independence in 1822. Mexican troops garrisoned the post until 1856 when the Gadsden Purchase was implemented and all of present-day southern Arizona became part of the U.S. The American Mormon Battalion briefly occupied the Presidio on their way to San Diego in 1846 during the Mexican War.

American Period (1856-Present)

After the implementation of the Gadsden purchase in 1856, U.S. Dragoons briefly occupied the Presidio. The Presidio was demolished in the 1860s.

Current Status

Presidio of Tucson Marker.

In downtown Tucson, Pima County, Arizona. A re-creation of the northeast corner of the original 1775 Spanish presidio is at Washington and Church streets and is open for self-guided tours.

Location: Washington and Church Streets, Tucson, Pima County, Arizona.

Maps & Images

Lat: 32.224579 Long: -110.973354

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 3,277'

GPS Locations:

See Also:



Fortification ID:

  • AZ0216 - Presidio of Tucson
  • AZ0217 - Presidio San Augustin del Tucson

Visited: 8 Mar 2015

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