670 W. Congress Street • Tucson AZ 85745
The artist-sculptor, Felix Lucero (1895-1951), was born in Trinidad, Colorado. In World War I, he lay critically injured on a forgotten battlefield. He vowed to God and to himself that if he survived, he would dedicate the remainder of his life to the sculpturing of religious statues for which he had a natural talent. After 20 years of this pious work in various parts of the country, he arrived in Tucson in 1938.
The sculptures include the Last Supper, Jesus on the Cross, Joseph and Mary, and a reproduction of the tomb and a theater-like castle, with an open front, displaying a scene of Pontius Pilot washing his hands and another of a legion of Roman soldiers. The statues are all made of concrete, sand, and debris recovered from the Santa Cruz River.
The work, started in 1945, continues to survive the ravages of time, floods, and many acts of vandalism. The Garden of Gethsemane was first moved in 1971 for construction of the Congress Street bridge. The current facility was constructed in 1982 as a part of the Santa Cruz River flood control improvements.