Today, I just came into town and wandered around for a little while. The Plaza was a busy place, as well as a couple of the other courtyards, with vendors and crafts people.
The architecture of the downtown area also carries the adobe theme – some more prominently than others.
Because of the history of how the downtown area was designed, the roads are a bit challenging, insofar as knowing where they will end up.
I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking.
For a little extra added attraction, the narrative that follows was taken off the LaFonda web site: This offers a little history insight also.
Historical records suggest that La Fonda on the Plaza sits on the oldest hotel corner in America. When Santa Fe was founded by the Spaniards in 1607, records show an inn – or fonda – was among the first businesses established at this location. By the time Captain William Becknell’s party forged their maiden commercial route across the plains from Missouri to Santa Fe in 1821, they happily found a comfortable inn on the Plaza awaiting them. Thus, the Santa Fe Trail was born, as well as La Fonda’s reputation for hospitality.
During the 19th century La Fonda became the preferred destination of trappers, soldiers, gold seekers, gamblers and politicians. Through the Civil War, railroad expansion and New Mexico statehood in 1912, the old adobe structure changed hands and names several times but remained a Santa Fe landmark.
The current La Fonda, built in 1922, sits on the same site as previous inns, literally at the terminus of the Santa Fe Trail and the Plaza – a haven for travelers for more than 400 years!
In 1925, the new building was acquired by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway and then leased to Fred Harvey who was renowned for his hospitality. He turned La Fonda into one of the famous Harvey Houses and it remained a Harvey House until 1968 when it was acquired by local businessman, Sam Ballen.