Saturday, October 13, 2007

LaFonda, Santa Fe - 10/6 & 7

The La Fonda is located kitty-corner from the Plaza in Santa Fe. The information provided in the brochure says that there has been an inn (or fonda) on this site since 1607.

Among La fonda's guests was Capt. William Becknell, who arrived at the hotel on the Plaza in 1821 at the end of a successful trading expedition from Missouri to Santa Fe, opening the Santa Fe Trail.

Today La Fonda is known for its award-winning pueblo style Spanish architecture and decor with thick wooden beams, latilla ceilings, carved corbels, handcrafted chandeliers, tin and copper light fixtures and a myriad of other details created by local artisans.

The lobby, hallways and meeting rooms are filled with paintings, carvings, photos and other works of art that create a unique Santa Fe ambiance.

There was a hotel staff artist, Ernest J. Martinez. Ernest started working at the La Fonda in 1954 and over the past 50 years has painted all of the 400 plus windows in the restaurant, plus dozens more windows and French doors as well as murals, furniture and tile murals.

Front Desk area, picture taken from the brochure.
Dining Room, also taken from the brochure. Note the painted glass panes and mural.
This is one of many panes of glass that Ernest painted over a 50 year period.

Paintings from the 1930's by Paul Lantz depicting life in a Mexican village are found throughout the hotel. I used the brochure for the first mural. There are several different angles of this mural.

These is the murals from the dining room.

This painting is of Kit Carson and hangs in the main lobby.

Wood carvings by Jonathan Kendall are found throughout the hotel. We had one in our room ... I failed to get its picture ... I meant to take it ... oops. This one was in the lobby.
This is an 18th-century Bolivian bulto of Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion and a New Mexican bulto, circa 1820.

These were some of the lights throughout the hotel. They were really cool.

There was a French Creperie attached to the hotel. We had breakfast there and it was wonderful! They had great coffees.

The following pictures were taken in the parking garage and its stairway. No joke!
When we stepped into the stairwell to go into the hotel, this light was in the corner. It went from floor to ceiling and was just delightful.
All the steps in the parking garage had these tiles...
Even the entrance to the stairways were painted.
For that matter, the entire garage was painted, from ceiling to floor. Take a look at these posts ... it was the best parking garage I've ever seen ... by far!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

This one is for Carolyn...

Carolyn has this little thing going for Kit Carson ... just kidding. We tried to go to the Home of Kit, the mildew was so bad (in Taos?) I couldn't stay in the entrance more than 2 seconds. Not kidding. Anyway, Carolyn proceeded to visit the site and watch a video. I think I can speak for her when I say the structure was a little disappointing. Not the video, but the '3' rooms she saw out of the original '12' were more than likely not too impressive and certainly not what was.

So, after a little disappointment, we go in search of his grave. Yes, a cemetery ... what I do for my friend. It is located in the middle of the city park and let me tell you, the park is rather large. We went into several entrances and were giving up. As we were watching the kids with their coach kick the soccer ball and run through the park at the same time ... what did I spy you might ask. Yes, a headstone. We hit pay dirt. Well, we found it anyway. The cemetery is literally in the middle of the park and not well marked ... if marked at all. So, Miss Carolyn, these pictures are for you!

Millicent Rogers Museum - Taos, NM

Millicent Rogers (1902 - 1953) was the granddaughter of Henry Huttleston Rogers, a prominent New York industrialist. (Standard Oil Money somewhere in the family) She traveled and lived her life all over the world before settling in Taos, NM. The history and landscape of the region attracted her to Taos and she assembled a stellar collection of Native American jewelry and textiles and superb examples of Hispanic religious and secular artifacts.

OK, this lady had the money and know how when it came to collecting beautiful things. The 'stuff' in the museum was exquisite. But what really touched me was the letter she wrote to her son. Now, if I could get my hands on that ... everyone in the world would benefit by reading it! It was amazing what tremendous in site she had regarding self and the human race. WOW.

Toas Pueblo, NM

These pictures are from postcards. I must be honest and tell you that I didn't pay the fee associated with taking pictures.

Taos Pueblo has been continually inhabited anywhere from 700 to 1000 years. It is also the only living Native American community designed both as a World Heritage Site and as a National Historic Site. It is situated at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The pueblo is made entirely of adobe, which is earth mixed with water and straw.

The Tewo Indians live in this Pueblo. On the ground level, there were many shops open to the public. On this property there are the ruins of the St. Jerome Church. It was originally constructed in 1619. during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, the church was destroyed in an effort to remove Spanish reign from the territory. The revolt included all pueblos in New Mexico and was the only time in US history that a tribe was successful in removing a large group of foreign inhabitants. After Spanish reconquest in 1692, the church was rebuilt.

In 1847, during the US War with Mexico, the US Army attacked Taos Pueblo in retaliation to the murder of Taos Governor Charles Bent. It was believed the Taos Indians participated in the murderous act that was led by revolutionaries looking to overthrow US government in a town where Spanish rule predated the existing command. During the dispute, sanctuary was sought inside the church by men, women and children of the Pueblo only to result in total destruction of the church and the people inside. The bell tower is what still stands today and the courtyard became a place of burial thereafter.

In places these pueblos are 1-5 stories. The Taos Pueblo is known to have inspired what is now known as southwestern architecture. Each door is an entrance to a privately owned home. Homes are passed on from generation to generation and maintained by each family. This maintenance includes plastering with adobe, roof repair and woodwork.
The domed shaped object is there oven.

Santa Fe, NM

Do you think they have parking problems in Santa Fe?This is claimed to be the oldest house in America. It allegedly incorporates part of a puddled-adobe pueblo dating from about 1250A.D. The vigas (ceiling beams) date from 1740 to 1767. So who knows?
This is a monument located in the heart of the Plaza. If you will notice a word has been removed; it is unknown who removed it. The word was "Savage".
On a lighter note ... isn't he cute.
Flowers, flowers, and yes, more flowers.

Double Hollyhock; and what it that? a snowflake? OK, no it's Dusty Miller.