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Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe, NM

photo by: Minesh Bacrania

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National Treasures

Palace of the Governors

  • Constructed: c. 1610
  • Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico

The Palace of the Governors is said to be the oldest continuously occupied public building in the country. Built around 1610 by Spanish colonists, it is a one-story adobe structure that was the seat of government over hundreds of years.

The Palace is located in the heart of downtown Santa Fe and it forms the north side of the Santa Fe Plaza. Owned and operated by the State of New Mexico, it has served as the state museum since 1909 and continues to preserve and interpret the history of the many peoples who have called New Mexico home over the last four centuries.

In order to maintain this key function, $1.5 million of state funding is needed immediately to address deferred maintenance needs.

Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1960, the Palace of the Governors is nationally significant for its multi-century role in the government of what is now New Mexico, as well as for its adobe Pueblo Revival architecture. It was the seat of government for Spain, Native Americans during the Pueblo Revolt, Mexico, U.S. Territory of New Mexico, and the Confederate occupation of Santa Fe.

In the early 20th century, a major restoration of the 1610 building was undertaken which included the re-creation of elements that were believed to be reflective of the Spanish Colonial period. The Palace became a seminal building in the formation of a new style of architecture—the Spanish-Pueblo-Revival style.

In addition to its national influence, the style was also highly influential in Santa Fe. In 1957, it and the Territorial Revival style were mandated by Santa Fe’s historic district ordinance, and this style defines the community as it looks today.

The National Trust and our partners, New Mexico History Museum, Palace of the Governors, Museum of New Mexico Foundation, and Los Compadres del Palacio, are working to secure $1.5 million from the state legislature for infrastructure repairs to this iconic place. In 2015, the state committed $680,000 for critical preservation needs including new fire panels, fire suppression upgrades, and roofing. In 2016, an additional $417,00 was designated in the state budget for exterior wood repair work, including an architect and an engineering plan. Additional repair work includes new exterior lime plaster in the courtyard and modernized mechanical systems, such as HVAC and lighting.

The next step: Secure the final installment of state funding for infrastructure repairs in the 2018 New Mexico legislative session, which is currently underway.

Opportunity

Secure adequate support in the New Mexico state budget to fully fund necessary capital repairs at the Palace of the Governors.

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