Carlos Vierra was an artist, sailor, soldier, archeologist, architect, builder, photographer, aviator, and visionary. So it comes as no surprise that this multifaceted personality was lured to Santa Fe, America’s oldest city and the repository of one of the richest cultural heritages in the world. Not only is it not surprising that he came but that he also became a pivotal figure in the small circle that conceived and created the Spanish Pueblo Revival style of architecture. His triumph was a timeless adobe compound he brilliantly integrated into a large lot that he purchased for one dollar—with the understanding that the illustrious artist would live there until he died. His vibrant vision lives on, delighting all who come with its massive walls, hand-carved vigas, and windows created to capture the jewellike views. Within the walled grounds, which lie adjacent to the Center for Contemporary Arts, colorful fountained courtyard gardens overflowing with flowers form a perfect foil for the four-bedroom main home, two-bedroom guesthouse, one-bedroom caretaker’s cottage, and indoor tennis court that was added in 1982. When the artist began his monumental undertaking in 1918, he first sited his house on a bare plain, then—by hand, over a period of three years—molded the adobe as the Pueblo Indians before him to rise from the earth in a setback of stories. Artist Joseph Bakos, one of the Cinco Pintores, laid the floors. Today, recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, the Carlos Vierra House bridges the city’s past and future. One historian wrote: “It was Vierra’s insistence on purity of style that saved Santa Fe from many an architectural monstrosity.” Quite a statement. But when you stop to think about it, everywhere you look in Santa Fe the words ring true— certainly nowhere with more poignance than in his house on Old Pecos Trail.

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