It was once important enough in African-American entertainment circles in the West to host jazz giant Louis Armstrong.
And its modernistic circular structure was unique enough for director Martin Scorsese to film a part of his 1974 movie there: Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.
But now the building that is most known for housing the black Beau Brummel club in Tucson is on the verge of being demolished.
Located at 1148 N. Main Avenue in a neighborhood made up mostly of warehouses and other commercial structures, what is known as the Beau Brummel building is at risk of being demolished by its current owner who has said it will cost too much to preserve and update the structure.
Designed by famed Tucson minimalist architect Arthur T. Brown, who became known as a pioneer in the use of solar heating and cooling in his buildings, the structure was built around 1945 and subsequently featured in the magazine Architectural Forum.
Now a group of local preservationists are hoping to hold off demolition of the structure with the idea of securing funding to bring it up to date.
If that funding can be found before the end of the month, the building may be saved. If not, its demolition seems certain.
The new owner of the structure has not said what plans he has for the site once the Beau Brummel building is torn down.
Tucson historians say the building is particularly noteworthy for being a part of a larger complex that included a hotel and catered to African-American entertainers and athletes during an era of segregation.
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