Festivals and Galas
Charles and Harriett Wright began construction on their grand Tucson home in 1898. Mr. Wright was an attorney who had served as attorney general of Colorado in 1879-80 before moving to Tucson in 1888. At that time national opinion was sharply divided over the admission of Arizona to the Union and congressional leaders debated "the inability of the people [of Arizona] to govern themselves wisely". Wright hoped that his family's stately Neoclassical contribution to Tucson's "Millionaires Row" would send the right message but died in 1900 shortly after construction finished. Mrs. Wright passed away in 1932 at the age of 89. Her memoirs recount their life together, including their covered wagon migration from Ohio to Denver, and are preserved by the Arizona Historical Society.
After Mr. Wright's death, the house was sold to the Zellweger family, millionaire cattle barons, who made it their home for the next 75 years. By the early '40s the house had been covered in stucco and faded into the background scenery of downtown Tucson while its peers were torn down one by one. In 1976, the mansion was purchased by Margaret Carmichael, property developer and co-owner of Secretariat, the Triple Crown-winning racehorse. She undertook a multi-year restoration, removing the stucco and revealing the perfectly preserved original clapboard siding. Her estate sold the Z in 1994 to the heir of the Pinkerton tobacco fortune, Jay Pinkerton Murray. The Pinkerton family were the first to see the house's potential as a venue, operating it as "Wedgewood Court" for several years in the late '90s.
In 2002, it was purchased by bestselling author, columnist and entrepreneur Thomas Langdon Hill and his wife Emmeline, a pediatric audiologist. Mr. Hill's multimedia production company was in need of new office space after a second floor ceiling collapsed at the previous Pennington location, and the house was purchased with the intention of it becoming a private home and office. After many requests, they hosted their first wedding in 2003 and have striven ever since to make their home one of Tucson's most affordable venues. They raised all six of their children in the house and still reside there with their youngest daughter.