29 July 2010
DEATH SENTENCE FOR A LANDMARK
Albuquerque and Santa Fe both had glorious buildings in its rich architectural history, sadly, many fell into ruin and because of a lack of funds and low community interest in historical preservation at the time as a whole many were demolished by the 1970s. [To their credit, the people of Santa Fe have preserved many more historical buildings than Albuquerque.]
How I would have loved to have seen the Hotel Franciscan in downtown Albuquerque restored.
It was demolished in 1972 and is now a parking lot.
The grand Alvarado Hotel at the train station could have been an amazing shopping and tourist destination today if it had been preserved:
In 1970 a wrecking ball knocked it down.
It is said that after a heated discussion at city hall over $3000 was pledged to purchase the building from the owners - the Santa Fe Railroad. The very next day only $25 was donated to buying it and that came from the Mayor.
And now it seems another cherished landmark has met its doom: the Paolo Soleri Amphitheatre on the grounds of the Santa Fe Indian School in Santa Fe.
Tonight Lyle Lovett performed the last show ever at the theatre before it fades into history:
"Experience has shown collecting pledges is a lot easier than collecting cash...remember, we had to put the raising of funds for two antelopes at the zoo in the hands of the city's children."
-- Louis Saavedra, Albuquerque City Commsion, 1970, on trying to raise money to save the Alvarado Hotel.