While the northeast was socked in with snow last Wednesday, a spectacular spring-like Santa Fe day offered a lovely backdrop for our announcement of the Palace of the Governors as a National Treasure. Over 400 attendees gathered in the lobby of the New Mexico History Museum for the event. The diverse participants included members of the public, the National Trust and our partner organizations; historians and dignitaries from all across the state; five State Senators; the SHPO; a group of 7th grade students; several Trust donors and Trust Advisors Theresa Pasqual and Ernesto Ortega.
The Sons of the American Revolution, dressed in 18th-century uniforms, began with a flag presentation. Barb Pahl, NTHP Vice President, delivered remarks, followed by former Museum Director Dr. Jon Hunner, of New Mexico State University; Javier Gonzales, Mayor of Santa Fe; Veronica Gonzales, the New Mexico Secretary of the Department of Cultural Affairs; and Keith Gardner, the Governor’s Chief of Staff, who filled in for Governor Martinez because she was sick.
Following the remarks, the audience followed the SAR color guard into the courtyard which adjoins the 400- year-old Palace, where they enjoyed costumed interpreters, conversations with Palace experts on the building and its needs, the opportunity to print a commemorative bookmark on a 100-year-old printing press, and snacks and drinks. The highlight was the “feedback booth” where we recorded video of individuals who shared why the Palace mattered to them, shared personal stories, and spoke to its significance nationally.
There was great media coverage throughout the day and we plan to parlay all this enthusiasm and media attention into success at the legislature where our goal is to succeed in securing the $1.5 million needed to make repairs to the Palace.