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May 31, 2015
2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Restoring the 1785 Roque Lobato House in Santa Fe
An Adobe Summer event

New Mexico History Museum

Join author Christopher Wilson, along with writer Pen La Farge, architect Beverley Spears, and Alan “Mac” Watson, vice chairman of the Historic Santa Fe Foundation, for a panel discussion and book signing on the successful renovation of the historic Roque Lobato home. This free event is part of "Adobe Summer," the History Museum’s contribution to the city’s Summer of Color celebration. Free with admission; Sundays free to NM residents.

The 18th-century world that Roque Lobato, soldier and eventual armorer to the Royal Spanish Garrison of Santa Fe, entered was a dark, turbulent, and unforgiving place. Born into a poor family most likely in the 1730s, Lobato grew up during a time when the nature of the Spanish colony was changing. Brash and petulant, Lobato avoided almost certain indentured servitude by opting for the dangerous course of winning honor and wealth as a soldier. As a reward for his many years of participation in the Comanche Indian Wars, Governor Juan Bautista de Anza granted the land for the construction of the Roque Lobato House.

Built in 1785, the Roque Lobato House has not only witnessed transformative historical events but also actively participated in some. In the 19th century, the house was intimately involved with Don Gaspar Ortiz y Alarid and the activities of the notorious Santa Fe Ring, known for defrauding New Mexicans of their land titles. In the 20th century, the renovated house served as a prototype for archaeologist (and occasional spy) Sylvanus G. Morley’s Spanish Pueblo revival architectural style, ultimately adopted as the Santa Fe style that unified the city architecture and attracted tourists to the city.

Most recently, the Roque Lobato House underwent an extensive renovation that removed many of the changes made in the previous few decades. In The Roque Lobato House: Santa Fe, New Mexico (Schenck Southwest Publishing, 2015), authors Chris Wilson and Oliver Horn trace the long history of the house and its fascinating owners.

Wilson is the J. B. Jackson Professor of Cultural Landscape Studies at the University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning, and the author of many award-winning books about architecture, tourism, and the politics of culture in the Southwest.

La Farge was raised in Santa Fe by anthropologist, Indian-rights activist, and author Oliver La Farge and his wife, Consuelo Baca de La Farge. He is a freelance writer of both fiction and nonfiction, and is a historian whose specialization is intellectual history. His oral history of Santa Fe from 1920-55, Turn Left at the Sleeping Dog, is available from the University of New Mexico Press. President of the Old Santa Fe Association, he has been involved in city and neighborhood historic preservation work for 30 years.

Spears is a landscape architect and director Spears Horn Architects in Santa Fe. Her 1986 book, American Adobes: Rural Houses of Northern New Mexico Paperback, focuses on the vernacular architecture of rural adobe houses, documenting a true indigenous style.


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Roque Lobato House

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