Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Walk In Santa Fe

Looking at building design and construction is what drives my curiosity for walks in old down town areas of cities.

The oldest building in Santa Fe is the Palace of the Governors (today a museum) dating to the early 17th century. Probably makes it the oldest continually used building in the United States. The history of the southwest is forgotten by the history books as the focus seems to be about what happened on the East Coast.

The Loretto Chapel is just off the main square. Its fame is a circular staircase to the choir loft. The staircase has no visible means of support. Completed in 1878 and built of local sandstone, today it is a museum to preserve the building and the circular staircase. During this visit to Santa Fe, there was no inside tour. The walk was to look at the building exteriors.

When New Mexico became part of the United States in 1848, the building was conceived as the territorial capitol building. Begun in 1853, lack of funding and the Civil War interfered. The building was finally completed in 1889. Never used as a capitol building, in 1930 an addition was made to the rear of the building. This photo shows the building from the rear with the new portion to the right of the photo. The contrast between the two parts of the building is the notable use of concrete in the 1930 addition.

The Scottish Rite Masonic Temple was built in a Moorish style in 1913. That bright pink is the original architect's specification. Today's Santa Fe building codes would not allow that color. Today the required color is adobe.

This building was originally a gasoline service station with a covered section. It was cleverly repurposed as a drive through for an ATM.

Many times new construction will include an adobe wall around a courtyard with a door/gate opening to the street. This is one of many that I noted in my walk.

Great day for a walk to view a variety of building construction. Life is great.


  1. We love the old town square in Santa Fe. This is a great time of year to be there.
    Box Canyon Mark

  2. I love the southwestern architecture as well. The faux-southwestern is just painful but the real thing is lovely. Santa Fe is a great place - thanks for posting the photos.

  3. Santa Fe is a great place to walk around. I like the buildings with a courtyard.

  4. Santa Fe is a great place to walk around. I like the buildings with a courtyard.

  5. Do I sense a budding Granny J at this blogsite? It could be a great development.

  6. Yes it was a great walk.

    Boonie, Interesting comment considering my most recent wonderings and what ifs.


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