Schorr, Si

Archive Tucson is the oral history project of Special Collections at the University of Arizona Libraries. This interview is with Si Schorr and covers the following themes:

  • A brief sketch of childhood and family in New York City during the 1930s and 1940s.
  • First impressions of the West during Army service at Fort Bliss.
  • Meeting wife Ellie and honeymoon in Tucson in 1956 at the El Conquistador Hotel. Subsequent move to Tucson.
  • Work with the Pima County Planning Commission in 1958-1959.
  • Tucson annexation in the 1950s and 1960s. Challenges to incorporation for outlying communities.
  • Reasons for living in Tucson rather than New York.
  • Development of Painted Hills Estates in the 1950s.
  • East-side expansion and public desire for growth.
  • Rise of El Con shopping center and decline of downtown.
  • Pima County’s “Rincon Plan” for a low-density east side.
  • Work as Tucson’s Assistant City Manager and Urban Renewal Director.
  • Urban Renewal attempts from the 1960s to the 1970s.
  • Starting a law firm.
  • Early zoning cases and land use; development of Catalina Foothills, Continental Ranch, UA student housing, and G.A.C. Rio Rico.

This interview is part 1 of 2 and was recorded at Si Schorr’s office in Tucson, Arizona on September 19th, 2017.


Archive Tucson is the oral history project of Special Collections at the University of Arizona Libraries. This interview is with Si Schorr and covers the following themes:

  • Si’s work as Special Council to Urban Renewal in mid/late 1960s. Condemnation cases.
  • Housing and the ideal city of the 1960s.
  • The Broadway underpass and drainage.
  • Urban Renewal area and reasons for demolition. Historic preservation.
  • Cortero Farms development; a story of a failed farm, Dow Chemical, Charles Keating, and the channelization of the Santa Cruz.
  • Marana versus Tucson annexation case. Tucson’s failure to annex Catalina Foothills and Oro Valley.
  • Gulf American Corporation land fraud lawsuit.
  • Si’s role on the initial board of Pima Community College.
  • Lew Murphy’s mayoral term and growth versus NIMBYism. Growth challenges and opportunities.
  • The Schorr Family Award.
  • Formation of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council.

This interview is part 2 of 2 and was recorded at Si Schorr’s office in Tucson, Arizona on September 28th, 2017.