Santa Fe Town
(Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA)

In Japan of 1991, a book of nude photographs titled ’Santa Fe ' became a million seller. It was the collection of photos of a popular actress, Rie Miyazawa who was 17 years old, and, after a while, Toshimaen, a big amusement park in Tokyo, carried out an emergency airlift of the old door photographed to the book cover and exhibited it. I admired not to be able to take Toshimaen lightly. So, since then, Santa Fe means an old door for me. However, in the present town in Santa Fe, I could not hardly find such a door .

The town in Santa Fe was founded at the beginning of the 17th century. It belongs to the oldest category as a city in the United States, and the oldest church and house in the United States also remain here. The most of the townscapes are designed by the so-called Pueblo style finished in stucco with soft texture, and, amng those are sometimes the colonial style buildings.

Therefore, it was natural that, before my travel, I had imagined Santa Fe as a place where time stopped. However, strictly speaking, actual Santa Fe was not a place where a historical townscape continued to be preserved except the surroundings of the central plaza.

This town was a result of a skillful townscape control by the ordinance established in 1957. It is said to derive from a decline and a sense of crisis that was caused by that the main line of the railroad kept out of Santa Fe at the opening at the end of the 19th century. Now, the ordinance is applied to 6000 buildings in the historical district equivalent to 20% of city areas. As the result, a traditional appearance is required even to a new building and the whole downtown is wrapped in an image called Santa Fe style.

So, even if a building looks like an old fashion style at a glance, it is often a modern architecture of a reinforced concrete covered with the Pueblo style in actuality. So, I could not find a door which was selected to the cover and accumulated time.

Now, Santa Fe is the United States leading popular tourist resort. The reason that it attracts people is because the town could achieve the clear image strategy and the differentiation by the townscape ordinances rather than a merely old town.

The abundant contents reinforce it. Historical buildings designated in cultural assets, the museums which specialized in the culture in the the Southwest, the souvenir shops that deal with folklore products abundant of Indian or colonial image, and an unusual number of art galleries for the scale of the town. According to a New York-based artist who is my friend, the galleries in Santa Fe acquires the position following New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Celebrity would select an art spending many hours when they visit here for the vacation.

And, a lot of cars! It means that it is impossible to take a picturesque photograph except early morning.
When I checked Google Maps beforehand, I was surprised at the number of the parking lot in the downtown, and, in reality, on-street parking was frightful. However, that might show that tourists visit Santa Fe, at which they can reach only by car, and walk around there after parking their cars. If so, it is a proof that Santa Fe is a wholesome tourist resort.

As is often the case with me, I suddenly had a craving to eat an acid muscat. In such case, I cannot hold my feelings back. So, I wandered about the downtown and I knew that there was even no store which sold ordinary daily necessaries, not to mention a muscat. Everyone advised to me that I had to go to the suburb by car. The store which I found out at last was a small supermarket in a residential district at distance of 20 minutes walk.

Well, the present Downtown Santa Fe was a sightseeing theme park where residents almost disappeared. Tourists stay at the downtown where the sense of a resident's life is washed clean while residents live in the outskirts apart from tourist's extraordinary behavior. Although Santa Fe doesn’t intend that, the consequent segregation seems to exist behind the success.

Possibly, has that door moved out to the outskirts together with residents?

To Japanese Version

Google Maps

Within the walking distance of downtown Santa Fe.
1 hour by car , 1.5 hour bytrain "New Mexico Rail Runner and 1 hour and 10 minutes by bus "Sandia Shuttle Express" from Albuquerque.

New Mexico Rail Runner
Sandia Shuttle Express

City of Santa Fe
Official Travel Site for Santa Fe

Encantado Resort
Hotel St. Francis
Inn and Spa at Loretto
Inn of the Anasazi
Inn of the Five Graces
Inn on the Alameda
La Fonda on the Plaza

Americas Best Value Lamplighter Inn of Santa Fe
El Rey Inn
Santa Fe Motel and Inn

Casa de Estrellas
El Farolito B & B Inn
El Paradero B & B Inn
Four Kachinas Inn
Inn of the Turquoise Bear B&B

City of Santa Fe

2018.01 Photos and text in English version and Japanese version


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Townscape of downtown Santa Fe

Photo by Daigo Ishii