Friday, August 20, 2010

Ranchos De Taos Plaza

Surrounding the St. Francis de Asis Church, which I covered in the previous post, 
is the Ranchos de Taos Plaza,
 which in itself gives a history of building with adobe in New Mexico.

Here is the complete series:

This is the church store with religious gift items.
Despite the beauty of the church and these old adobe buildings
 the plaza itself is only a simple dirt parking area
 used for parking for church services.

An east facing portal provides shade from the hot summer sun 
when it beats down in the late afternoons.
This is a very traditional area as can be evidenced by the simple beauty 
of the church and surrounding buildings.

This old adobe is still being used.

I believe this home was also a shop and store for a santero,
 one who carves images of the saints.

A beautiful example of what happens to old adobe buildings. 
It rose from the ground, and now is falling back to the ground.

Who lived here and why was this left to melt away?

The plaza was most likely a commercial center at one time 
so of course there were store fronts till the businesses
 moved out to the highway when it was built. 
Or with the advent of the automobile
 people could drive further away to shop.

This is one of the largest adobe buildings I have ever seen.
Being right on the plaza shows the prominence we place on alcohol.

Just across the highway is the landmark Old Martinez Hall,
which also used to be a dance hall and bar.
I don't know what it will be in the future but it shows the rebirth
of an old adobe using our modern materials and building techniques.
The simplicity of using just mud and wood with a little glass and metal is lost.
Is anything gained?