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William Roskruge Kitt Residence
Tucson, Arizona


Description: W. R. Kitt House
Other Names: Katherine Kitt house, Robert O’Connor house
Address: 319 South Fourth Avenue, Tucson, Pima County, Arizona
Type: domestic: single-family house
Original Client: Mr. William Roskruge and Mrs. (Katherine Florence i.e. Daniels) Kitt
Historic Inventory: Tucson Community Development Program, Historic Areas Committee, Tucson Historical Sites (Tucson: author, 1969) page 150: designation as site #48
Date: 1899
Condition: extant

Architect or Firm: Henry C. Trost
Associated Architect or Firm:
Dimensions and Orientation: faces East; 37 feet, 10 inches wide, 64 feet, 2 inches deep

Foundation: stone
Wall Materials: stucco
Roofing Materials:
Other Materials Used: wooden floors
Remodeling and Additions:

Present Owner: Privately owned
Location of Drawings: None known to exist
Location of Documentary Photographs: (1) Trost family collection, photograph of 1906 or 1907, showing Gustavus Trost working on a brochure, Trost & Trost, Architects (El Paso: Trost & Trost, 1907), with a picture of the W.R. Kitt house attached to a wall board behind him(The W.R. Kitt house was evidently considered for the brochure, but was not actually used.)
(2) Special Collections, University of Arizona Library, Tucson, identified as O’Connor house.

Bibliography: (1) Tucson Community Development Program, Historic Areas Committee, Tucson Historical Sites (Tucson: author, 1969) pages 150-157: site plans, floor plan, photograph of perspective view, biographical sketch of Katherine Kitt
(2) New Buildings in Tucson, Arizona Weekly Star, Tucson, August 10, 1899, page [4]: Architect H. C. Trost is comparatively speaking a newcomer, yet his showing of buildings now being erected and those planned, given ample testimony to his ability as an architect. Below we mention some of those buildings from his plans: Wm. Kitt will build a five room colonial cottage near Military plaza.
(3) Charlotte Cardon, Artist’s Studio Recalls 1900, unidentified clipping from vertical files in the Tucson Public Library, possibly from Arizona Daily Star, Tucson (photograph of exterior, description of changes made by Robert O’Connor)

Remarks: Concerning the wedding of the Kitts, see: Arizona Daily Citizen, April 13, 1899, page [4]: At the residence of W.F. Kitt on Military plaza last evening occurred the marriage of Miss Katherine F. Daniels and Mr. William R. Kitt. They went to their home on Camp Street, which had been arranged for their immediate occupancy. A similar account appeared in another newspaper: Orange Blossoms, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, April 13, 1899, page [4], reporting that The newly married couple will begin housekeeping at once in their residence at 19 East Camp street. Evidently the Kitts were married at the home of Mr. & Mrs. William F. Kitt , also known at the George F. Kitt house), the groom’s parents, after which they lived for a time where William R. Kitt had lived as a bachelor, at19 East Camp Street (Camp Street was later renamed Broadway). The W.R. Kitt residence was listed at 19 E. Camp street in: City of Tucson General and Business Directory for 1900 ([Tucson]: Charles T. Connell, 1899), page 84. On the same page the W.F. Kitt residence was listed at 129 S. 5th Avenue. On the dating of this city directory see: Arizona Daily Citizen, July 17, 1899, page [4]: The City Directory will be issued and delivery will follow tomorrow.

The W.R. Kitt house has a gabled porch, with six baseless Doric columns, including four in front and one on each side; there is a lunette window in the gable. The porch is very similar to the that on the central block of South Hall, on the University of Arizona campus (AZTUCSE.001), also designed by Trost, and at about the same time. It was once reported that Katherine Kitt had designed the house: J. Martin Haynes, Mrs. Kitt, Rebel with a Cause, Tucson Citizen, March 23, 1968, pages 6 and 12. However, it seems likely that the design was principally by Trost, although Katherine Kitt may have had some input, because she was teaching art at the Safford School, a grammar school, and later became founding head of the art department at the University of Arizona. Moreover, one of her students at the University was Lew Place, who became an architect and a member of the firm of Lyman and Place.

Prepared for the El Paso Public Library by Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1990.