St. Philip's in the Hills Episcopal Church
Backstory and Context
In 1936, architect Josias Joesler was asked to build a small, in-home chapel for two Tucson locals, John and Helen Murphey. Joesler attempted to change their minds about the private chapel, suggesting that they instead commission a small church on the corner of the Campbell and River roads. This idea was backed by local minister Reverend George Ferguson, and the Murpheys decided to begin construction on the church as soon as possible. Construction progressed at a brisk pace, and on New Year’s Eve 1936, St. Philip’s in the Hills held its first church service. The church was overflowing and the congregation increased steadily in the following years.
As the congregation continued to grow, it became clear that expansions needed to be made, and as a result, the first of these was the addition of a small chapel in 1947, as well as a baptistry soon after. The north wall of the church was also extended an extra 52 feet north, and a west and east transept were also added to the structure. Eventually, several gardens and an art gallery were added to the church, as well as a fish pond. In 2004, St. Philip’s was added to the National Register of Historic Places.