The Big Blue House Inn

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Tucson bed breakfast designed by Henry C Trost

Recently discovered Tucson historic treasure by architect Henry C. Trost

Tags : gable decoration henry c trost historic bed and breakfast Tucson historic houses

Margaret Smith provided proof that Henry C. Trost designed Tucson’s  Gardiner / Ramsey house in 1899. (see newspaper clipping)

After years of searching for information on the designer of  the house at 742 N. 6th Avenue, Tucson AZ. (address in 1900) 

Architect Henry C. Trost, was born in Toledo, Ohio in 1860.

Trost was a member of  The Chicago Architectural Club during the “Golden years of Architecture” and often entered sketches and ornamental metal designs in Club’s regular competitions. 

Trost  likely associated and studied  with Frank Lloyd Wright at Adler & Sullivan in the early 1890’s. Louis Sullivan is considered “the father of modern architecture”  and after this period Trost’s architectural style clearly shows the influence of the experience. Mission, Pueblo Revival, Art Deco, Spanish  Colonial and Prairie were styles of over 600 buildings by Trost & Trost throughout the Southwest.

Adept at designing large and small buildings, churches, public buildings and a few homes, Trost is also famous for pioneering the use of steel‑reinforced concrete.  Trost left a major mark on El Paso’s skyline with the first skyscrapers and large downtown buildings were designed by Trost & Trost.

In 1901 Trost resided at 127  N Church and had an office at 30 W. Congress in Tucson. It is here in Tucson that Henry formed a partnership with Robert Rust to design the Carnegie Public Library. Trost & Rust were commissioned to design several buildings in Tucson; Ronstadt building, Gardiner Residence, George Kitt Residence and University of Arizona South Hall. Louise his sister  and his nephew George joins Henry in Tucson between 1901-1903.

Louise was in need of a drier climate for health reasons .

During his short time in Tucson, Henry formed a partnership with Robert Rust and designed or contributed to several landmark Tucson buildings as well as a precious few private residences survive today. Even fewer of the rare Queen Anne Victorian style by Trost are to be found.

The Big Blue House stands proudly as one of those few ‘Trost Treasures”. Henry Trost moved on to El Paso, Texas  where he later formed a partnership with his brother. Trost & Trost.

  • The Santa Rita Hotel
  • Ronstadt House 1904
  • Bayless House 1905
  • Gardiner / Ramsey House 1899 (The Big Blue House)
  • Steinfeld Manson (First  & Second Owls Club) 1898
  • Pueblo Hotel & Apartments 1902
  • 721 East University Blvd 1905
  • 288 N Church Ave Tucson, AZ 85701

  additional references: Margaret Smith


Photo ofHenry Charles Trost
Henry Charles Trost
Job Title
Trost & Trost Architects

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