New Mexico History Museum

Adobe Summer

February 24, 2015


New Mexico’s iconic adobe buildings reveal the colors of the earth—pearly white, sandy tan, cinnamon red, chocolate brown and shades in-between. We all love our turquoise skies, but when we build a home, the color of adobe surrounds us. One of the earliest and greenest building materials, adobe stretches back through millennia and around the globe. Like pottery, it reflects the maker’s identity, incorporating handprints and personal style.

An exemplar of adobe construction is the 400-year-old Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe. Its Spanish Pueblo Revival style carries elements of European, Mexican, American and Native American influence. Both a National Historic Landmark and, as of this year, a National Treasure, the Palace, like all adobe buildings, needs constant maintenance. A $1.5 million campaign is underway to raise the renovation money.

Throughout the Summer of Color, the museum will heighten visitors’ understanding of adobe, the historical importance of this building medium, and how the Palace plays into that story. Events include:

Sunday, May 31, 2–3 pm: “Restoring the 1785 Roque Lobato House in Santa Fe.” A panel discussion and book signing with authors Chris Wilson and Pen La Farge, along with architect Beverley Spears, on the successful renovation of this historic Santa Fe home. A free event.

Sunday, June 28, 2–4 pm: Make sand casts of your hands for a keepsake. A free family activity.

Saturday, July 25, 1–3 pm: “Earthen Architecture—Past, Present and Future.” Get a multicultural perspective of how communities preserve adobe structures, featuring Jake Barrow, program director for Cornerstones Community Partnerships; Tomasita Duran, executive director of the Ohkay Owingeh Housing Authority; and artist Nicasio Romero of the Villanueva Valley. A free event.

Friday, Aug. 7, 6 pm: "Wars, Revolts, and Defining Collective Memory in the Context of the Great Pueblo Revolt,” a free talk by archaeologist and author Jason Shapiro.

Wednesday, Aug. 12, 9 am: State Historic Preservation Officer Jeff Pappas explores the theme of “action” at a free Creative Mornings event. Adobe buildings are always going up or coming down. How do preservation teams work to save the latter, with a focus on the Palace?

Friday, Aug. 28, 6 pm: “El Presidio de Santa Barbara: Its Founding, Heyday, Decline, and Rebirth.” Jarrell Jackman, executive director of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, speaks on the renovation of the city’s 1782 Spanish presidio. A free lecture.

Download high-resolution images by clicking here.

Related Photos

Burros at the Palace
Llano Quemado
Palace Portal
Replastering San Rafael Church
Replastering San Rafael Church
Palace of the Governors, ca. 1915
Palace remodel

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