In addition to four show-worthy homes in Tubac, the upcoming Tubac Center of the Arts Tour of Homes fundraiser reaches a short distance north this year to include one distinctive home in Amado.

Call it glamorous, striking or exotic, in size alone the home is a standout. It’s a reincarnation of the original 2,500-square-foot Amado Schoolhouse built in 1923, and owners Richard and Barbara Blake enlarged it to its present 7,000 square feet.

The Blakes refer to their museum-type home as “Casa de la Escuela.” The original building was used for grades 1 through 6 until 1963. It was built and designed by Annie Graham Rockfellow, the first female architect to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

From 1964 to 1991, the Smithsonian Institution’s Astrophysical Project rented the school as its headquarters for construction of the Smithsonian Observatory on Mount Hopkins.

Once the old schoolhouse became available, the Blakes bought it and began extensive renovations and remodeling to make it the splendid home it is today.

“What I like about this house is that it’s open, airy, bright and a combination of the old west, southwest and the world from the Blakes’ travels,” said home tour committee member Pam Parkinson.

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