Castaneda Hotel Las Vegas, NM
Last week was still lifes and this week is buildings. Or lives that are still. To me buildings have a life; a youth, middle age, and dotage. I am rather more fond of the last as it is when they seem most full of ghosts and memories and silent lives which passed through their doors. I hate it when a grand old building is let to die or worse yet bulldozed into the ground. I am happy to report that a plan is in the making to restore the Castaneda Hotel this coming summer. I will be making more trips to Las Vegas to record the progress.
Grand Avenue runs in front of the train station and the Castaneda Hotel and this once grad house across the street. I would love to have the settee to restore. Once I would have wanted the house. My budget these days is more modest and I will settle for the photographs and the settee.
I wanted at one time to be an architect but when I began my studies and University of New Mexico women were not admitted to the College of Architecture. Probably would not have stayed if I had been because they were into faux adobe at the time. What had attracted me to buildings were the houses in the Prospect area of Kansas City where my mother grew up. This house looks like one Great Uncle Judge lived in. There was a window seat in the garret. I could have lived there.
Old buildings also collect junk. The older and more downtrodden the building the more and lower the trash and junk. It seems a sign the building is loved no more. Or that the occupants do not love their lives. I love photographing the junk too. I would love to go through the Castaneda before the renovation starts and photograph the before, but this building is better with the junk.
Back alley in Las Vegas, NM
Assemblages of old buildings are also a delight. Not planned and gated communities like we have today but streets which grew up one building or house at a time; each influencing the next. And the backs are always the best. Those days were when there were alleys so the trash collection could happen out of sight of the street. Backs of houses were more utilitarian but carried forth roof lines and colors from the front. I really miss alleys. They served a great community service. The one I lived on in Washington, DC had quite the neighborhood gathering on trash night. Everyone was remodeling their houses and what one row house was taking out another row house seemed to need. Big and informal swap meet on multiple levels.
Little church on the way to Montezuma
Sorry I did not get the name of this tiny church. There was now grand dedication plaque like the bigger churches in Las Vegas proper. But the art work set it apart. I wonder if it is as grandly painted inside as out. I was on my way to Montezuma Castle.
Montezuma Castle home of the United World College
The castle was built in 1885 by the Atchinson, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad as a hotel. A rail spur ran guests to the Queen Anne Style Fantasy building and its hot springs. The rails are now gone but the hot springs are still there and open to those who can find them. And the United World College is occupying and maintaining the building. I could not get in to take photographs. And while there are tours given the waiting list goes up through 2017.
BTW, did you know the Atchinson, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad never actually went through a single city in its name at the time it was built. Two of the cities grew up to meet it but Santa Fe only has rail spur from Lamy where the train actually went.