Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bad News for the Mission

Built in 1783 by the Spanish, San Xavier del Bac mission south of Tucson is one of the country's best examples of Spanish colonial architecture. It's a must-see for any visit to southern Arizona. It was an original listing on the National Register of Historic Places back in 1966. But, like everything else in AZ, the clown cavalry that we call "state government" is working as hard as they can to mismanage how the state cares for the historic church.

Columnist Kathleen Ingly outlines the problems facing the mission from both time and idiocy in an article today in the Arizona Republic. To summarize, the mission is undergoing restoration and has been for over a decade. They recently finished restoring the west tower (see photo below) and were moving on to the east tower, but the idiotic state cut the funding. Tough economic times call for such measures, right? Well, not really. The money is supposed to come from The Heritage Fund, a fund appropriated by voters in 1990 for the preservation of natural and cultural state resources. The Heritage Fund is supported by state lottery. Still, couldn't hard economic times demand such actions?
San Xavier Mission
Listen to this. How much would the state have to put into the grant to restore San Xavier? Only $150,000 - small change for such a big project. If the state puts that in, private groups would match funds and help support the $1.5 million restoration. But our garbage government cut ALL the funding for cultural and recreational spending from the Heritage Fund. Ingly points out that the Heritage Fund still gives money to AZ Fish and Game, though. AZ F&G is a complete disgrace since killing Macho B. Macho B was perhaps the final wild jaguar in the United States. If there's money for Fish and Game and there's a little money for San Xavier.

Without the restoration, San Xavier mission is in danger of real structural deterioration. Personally, I would like to see the federal government take over complete management of as many of Arizona's historic and natural sites as possible. The government and many of the people of Arizona are completely incompetent and should not be trusted to preserve places of national cultural significance. For more info, visit Patronato San Xavier.

No comments: