This interview is with Lydia Otero, who has been, at different points in her career, an author, historian, commercial electrician, and professor of Mexican American Studies at the University of Arizona. She is a Tucson native and her family received the first Spanish land grand in Southern Arizona—that was in the late 1780s. Lydia is also the author of La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwest City. This interview is a little different from most of the oral histories we have recorded because it was taped in the field, as Lydia walked through the area of Urban Renewal in downtown Tucson. As you might expect, most of the interview focuses on downtown: Lydia’s memories of it as a child and her interest in writing about Urban Renewal as an adult. There’s not a lot of deep Otero family history here. That, perhaps, will be another oral history for another time.
This interview was recorded outside of the Tucson Convention Center on February 13th, 2017.