The Historic Fourth Avenue Business District is directly northeast of and adjacent to downtown, Tucson, Arizona and part of our thriving City Center.
The Avenue is surrounded by many significant historical sites that have contributed to its development—first as a residential area—and later as a commercial district.
It is bounded on the south by the Southern Pacific depot, and tracks. To the east, lies the Iron Horse Expansion Historic District. Directly to the north lies the West University Historic District and directly to the west is the Tucson Warehouse Historic District. Further north and east of the Avenue, is the University of Arizona.
Fourth Avenue became a commercial district after the construction of the Fourth Avenue Underpass in 1916. In 2016, the Avenue’s 100th anniversary, the North Fourth Avenue Merchants Association requested Poster Frost Mirto (Corky Poster, Charles Pifer, and Jennifer Levstik) in cooperation with the City of Tucson (Jonathan Mabry), to nominate Fourth Avenue Commercial Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places.
Fourth Avenue’s historical centrality and available open space meant that the corridor was advantageously situated to become a commercial district. During its height (1920s–1930s), it met the needs of neighboring communities—in essence becoming a precursor to the strip mall where businesses began moving into the suburbs away from the urban core. Between 1916 and 1967, the District’s location provided ready access to goods and supplies imported by the railroad and neighboring warehouses, and could accommodate University students, downtown business people, and neighbors. Today this vibrant commercial corridor is populated by over 140 locally owned boutiques, bars, and cafes; all residing in historic buildings.
The North Fourth Avenue Merchants Association was formed in 1983 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the growth and development of the businesses and communities in the Historic Fourth Avenue Business District.
The North Fourth Avenue Merchants Association, Inc. office is located at 434 East Ninth Street, Tucson, Arizona 85705-8580. (520) 624-5004.