Work could begin sometime next spring on an effort to restore an Arizona adobe chapel that is the centerpiece of a unique community of structures.
The Mission in the Sun at 6300 N. Swan Road in north Tucson was built in 1952 by well-known impressionist painter and sculptor Ettore DeGrazia.
Dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the hand-crafted adobe-constructed building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, served as a chapel that also displayed on its walls DeGrazia’s frescoes.
It is part of a larger site made up of a dozen structures that includes the home where DeGrazia and his wife Marion, a sculptor, lived, as well as an art gallery housing the roughly 15,000 works of art created by DeGrazia.
Although DeGrazia died in 1982, the 10-acre N. Swan Road property has remained opened as a chapel and museum, attracting thousands of visitors every year.
Last May a fire in the chapel, said to be caused by one or several lit candles, extensively damaged the structure, as well as some of the frescoes, an altar, and the roof.
Officials with the mission, who have been trying to salvage as much of the chapel’s artifacts as possible, now believe that the renovation of the building could begin next spring, done in accordance with National Register of Historic Places guidelines.
An exact schedule for that renovation remains to be announced.
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