Old Santa Fe Trail Building

  • Constructed: c. 1930
  • Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Seven young New Mexicans, members of the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, worked on a HOPE Crew project at the National Park Service's Region III Headquarters building, also known as the Old Santa Fe Trail Building. Home to roughly 70 Intermountain Region employees, the hidden gem of Santa Fe can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of the Santa Fe's plethora of varied historic sites. However, the New Deal-era office building, constructed in the 1930s, is the largest in-use adobe office building in the United States. Comprised primarily of adobe and stucco, the building also features a series of courtyards, the largest of which holds a fountain, pond and brick patio.

Due to deferred maintenance, the mortar joints and concrete coping in the brick walkways and patio were deteriorating. Additionally, stucco throughout the building was damaged, and the finish plaster coat protecting its historic elements was failing. Fortunately, help was on the way, in the form of an enthusiastic group of young people, ready to work, and eager to learn. Under the guidance and supervision of the Park Service and the New Mexico State Historic Preservation Office, corpsmembers worked to repoint the stone walkways and repair various stucco surfaces throughout the building. Repairing damaged stucco was integral to preserving the historic fabric of the structure, as it serves as an important component for protecting the foundations of historic stone and adobe features of the building and courtyard.

photo by: Ben Thomas

photo by: Ben Thomas

Members from Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (NM) worked on stucco and adobe preservation

“The effect on both the youth participants and the staff housed in the building was profound, to say the least. ”

Ken Hornback, National Park Service

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