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Saturday, June 17, 2017

On 2:54 PM by Rachel Preston Prinz in , ,
So I recently was made aware that there is a 10 year old little girl who is coming to Santa Fe and loves architecture. Her dad reached out to Friends of Architecture Santa Fe and asked them if they knew anyone who could give her a 2-4 hour architecture tour. Now I'm not sure if anyone does have one and since this will be an evolving post, check back from time to time because I'll update the post if I find anyone! But I used to give tours of Taos and I know what I like, and I was able to build tours that I got great responses to, so hey, why not! Here's my stab at my "best of Santa Fe" architecture tour, with supplements from some of my amazeballs architect and creative friends.  This list will evolve as I have only really been here a year and a half, so I haven't seen everything, and I'm sure I'll remember more faves in the coming days!
First off: Here's a list of common Santa Fe Architectural Terms and their meanings!

Puebloan (1200-400 years or so ago)

There's just not any in town. There are several pueblos nearby but they aren't really open, unless you catch them on a feast or crafts show day. 
  • Bandalier and Tsankawi (Almost always open, unless there's a fire, like now. Check ahead to be sure.  A one hour drive from Santa Fe thru Los Alamos and SO worth it.
    See cliff houses and a D-shaped early pueblo in one place. Tsankawi has a really magical quality if you are up for a short hike.

Spanish/Mexican (150-400 years or so ago)


  • Pretty much anywhere you can walk. Look for: small+high windows, courtyard plazas.
  • San Miguel Chapel
  • Palace of the Governors (for context, more than anything, heavily modified)
  • Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts (for context, also great American period architecture) and their outlier house
  • Loretto Chapel
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine
    Thanks for the reminder Nicole Kleibert from Cornerstones Community Partnership!   
  • Canyon Road, and El Zaguan at The Historic Santa Fe Foundation (also great American period architecture) 
  • Sena Plaza is a late period/early American period building. It is wonderful to meander around. Thanks for the reminder from architect pal Eric Haskins.   
  • Alto St. (especially between Defouri and Closson), "It’s part of a historic district – the road narrows to one lane with narrow sidewalks and the houses are on the road – if you wander that whole neighborhood you’ll find some pretty cool doors too!" - Nicole Kleibert from Cornerstones Community Partnership

American Period (Past 130 years or so ago)


Outliers worth the trip


  • Los Golondrinas has architecture from all over the state and every period and it's only a half- hour from town.
  • Acoma Pueblo and the Sky City Cultural Center (1.5-2 hours drive. call to verify they are open.)
  • Santo Domingo Trading Post (half hour drive)
  • Tent Rocks (It's not architecture but sometimes I pretend it is! and the hike is awesome!)
  • 10,000 Waves. Amazeballs Japanese baths - an oasis in the desert.

Hope this helps~!
♥ Rachel