San Pedro Chapel

5230 E Fort Lowell Rd Tucson

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San Pedro Chapel

After the army decommissioned Tucson's Fort Lowell, families from Sonora, Mexico began to take advantage of the available leftover housing. They flocked to what they dubbed El Fuerte and soon began building a life there. Additional homes along with stores, a cemetery, schools, and a chapel were erected as the community grew in size,

When the original church at El Fuerte was demolished by a tornado, the current one was constructed by the residents. It sits on a hilltop at what was once the center of that community. Baseball games were played nearby and homes stood in a cluster surrounding the chapel.

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There is also a small sanctuary here called La Capillita. Originally built in 1915, it once hosted Carmelite services where the priest stood inside the tiny structure and the community gathered under the mesquite trees outside to hear him preach. Though the sanctuary eventually fell into rubble, a 1997 archeological investigation uncovered the original mud adobe foundation, walls, and floors, allowing La Capillita to be restored with historical accuracy.

Today, San Pedro Chapel is a treasured site in the Old Fort Lowell neighborhood. It is listed as a Tucson Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places. With seating for 64, the chapel is a popular spot for weddings, baptisms, and memorial services. Though beautiful to photograph any time of day, both the San Pedro Chapel and La Capillita look glorious with a blue sky and sunshine glowing behind them.

Cover photo credit: klarson980 via Instagram.

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