Picacho Peak, Arizona: Modern Ruins (Gone)
Visitor Tips and News About Modern Ruins
This was the site of the "Der Fuhrer" restaurant. The large empty pole held the sign. At one time there were hundreds of military vehicles there, including a truck whose sides opened to reveal a shooting gallery complete with clay pipes etc. (A little odd for a war zone).
We used to stop and look around, but as far as I know it never opened. I do not know what the dome was for. The last time I was there was in 1980 and the owner came out of the house above the now defunct restaurant. He looked sickly and I guess this is why the place failed. At one time there were numerous restaurants at the park, they are mostly gone, although the best pistachios in Arizona (Arizona Nut House) are across the freeway at the park entrance. I still miss Nickersons restaurant, with a working beehive in the wall.[Barry Patterson, 11/29/2008]
A few years ago, I drove to Picacho Peak to view and photograph the old truck that used to be mounted atop the pole at the site of the Modern Ruins. That truck was a beacon to me for many years when driving from L.A. to Tucson. I was very disappointed to find it gone.
I read somewhere that the truck was still available for viewing in a compound behind the Dairy Queen, so I took another trip out to try to get a picture. Inquiring at both the Dairy Queen and the Bowlin's trading post on the site of the ol' ruins was fruitless. Apparently the truck is in storage elsewhere these days.[Amanda B., 04/04/2008]
The "Modern Ruins" that a tipster mentions at Picacho Peak, along with the truck on a pole, are what remains of a military museum that went bust sometime in the mid-1970s. This was according to the story I heard in 1977 when I moved to Tucson.[Brian Peck, 04/26/2002]
On the east side of I-10 near the odd rock formation known as Picacho Peak lie what seems to be the ruins of an abandoned "house of the future." A precursor to Arcosanti? Composed mostly of cinder block, rebar, and concrete, much of the of structures were constructed below ground level. Of highest interest was the domed circular building which was visible from the interstate. The easiest way to find this ruin was spotting what appeared to be an old army transport truck, not unusual in itself, except that it was mounted on a 50-foot high pole! Last visited in 1986.[Dan Kamikubo, 11/13/2000]