Saturday, August 18, 2012

Historic Commitment

We left the Plaza in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and headed east on Bridge Street to continue (see yesterday's entry) our search for a few of the 900 structures listed on the National Register.
On the left in the photo above are the buildings shown in the next two photos.
Estella's Cafe (left) and the Ancieto Baca Building

Built in 1884, the two are loosely modeled after the palazzos of Italian Renaissance merchant princes. The style is distinguished by heavy, decorative hoods over arched windows and ornate cornices" (Historic Las Vegas, New Mexico brochure).

Stern and Nahm Building (right)

This 1885 building housed a weekly newspaper before being taken over in 1897 by the Stern and Nahm dry goods firm.

I could not find any historical information about Korte's Furniture Store, but I thought it had an air of history associated with it.

The artwork along the roof line was intricate and impressive.

E. Romero Hose and Fire Company

This 1913 Neo-Classical style fire house replaced the original 1909 wood frame fire house.

Unfortunately, I did not photograph the entire building on the right (above). "It was once home to the West Las Vegas Town police station and jail. The jail sequence in the movie Easy Rider was filmed in this historic building in 1968.

We headed toward the Carnegie Park District section of the town. At the Center of the Park was the Carnegie Library.
Carnegie Library

This library, modeled after Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello, is one of the many small town libraries built by a grant from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. It is "one of a handful of Carnegie Libraries that still perates as a library."

By the 1890s, the residential boom completely encircled the Park. Three of the homes around the Park are shown below.
Louis Fort House

This home, built in 1895, is "one of the finest Queen Anne houses in New Mexico.... Sheer exuberance is evident in the choice and juxtaposition of materials, the

variety of shingles and milled lumber, stained glass and bargeboards. Complex roof gables, window patterns, and shimmering facades all combine to great effect."

Waring/Rosenthal House

"The off-center columned porch of this 1895 Queen Anne style home is unusual but consistent with the eclectic spirit of the period.

It also displays a complex gabled roof system with decorative shingles and bargeboards."
Dr. H.J. Mueller House

We just photographed this distinctive feature of this home--the three-story octagonal tower with a Mansard roof, punctuated by porthole windows and capped by an iron-crested widow's walk." When built in 1881, this house "was the epitome of Victorian eclecticism...."

Then it was on to the Railroad District.
Las Vegas Railroad Depot

Built in 1899 and renovated in 2003, the Depot is the city's intermodal transportation facility. Amtrak stops here twice a day.

And for passengers planning a stay in Las Vegas, there is the nearby hotel. Well, maybe....
La Castaneda Hotel

Built in 1898 to be a jewel in Fred Harvey's famed chain of railroad hotels, La Castaneda was one of the early Harvey Houses to be built in the Mission Revival Style.

In the course of our conversation with folks in the Visitor Center, we learned that there may be plans to renovate the Hotel. That would be great.

And on to the Lincoln Park neighborhood, which was to become one of Las Vegas' most fashionable neighborhoods by 1900.

James H. Ward House

This house (1883) is "one of New Mexico's finest Italianate Villas. A square corner tower with mansard roof and cast iron cresting accents the asymmetry and massing of the house plan.

"The original cast iron balcony and fence remain intact."

Crockett Block (Murphey's Drug Store)

Built in 1898 and signifying a resurgence in the local economy after an economic panic of 1893, the building's "tile roofs on the corner pavilions and buff-colored Roman bricks mark the California Mission style."

(Behind the traffic light, the Murphey's Drug Store sign is barely visible.)

Masonic Temple

Identified as "the finest surviving example of Richardsonian Romanesque style in New Mexico," the 1894 Masonic temple is constructed from locally quarried purple sandstone.

The commitment to historic preservation runs through the life of Las Vegas.

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