Architecture/Buildings (37)

Friday, 04 May 2012 16:09

The Stone House at #12 La Vereda

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In the late 1940s, my parents bought this house from my Great-grandmother, Marietta Renehan for $8,000.  We lived there until 1955 and I spent my early years roaming the hills above La Vereda.  I have always wondered about its origin, and the only thing I've found is that it may have been the main building of the Fischer Brewery.  I don't believe this to be the case, since the house is above and behind the brewery site and does not appear on city maps until after the brewery was demolished in 1906.  I asked my mom about it, and she said that she had heard that it was built by an old Italian stonemason who had worked on the Cathedral.  He also built all of the original stone walls on La Vereda and had built a second stone house somewhere in Santa Fe.  Since the Cathedral was completed in 1889, it is conceivable that the house could have been built by "an old Italian stonemason" after the brewery was gone.

I recently found the obituary of Joseph Anthony Berardinelli, Jr. which included the following:

"Joseph was a descendent of one of the oldest and best known Italian families in Santa Fe. Joseph's Great Grandfather, Gaetano Palladino, and his wife, Filomena Digneo Palladino, arrived in Santa Fe in 1877 where Gaetano and his nephew, Vicente Digneo, resumed stone masonry work on the Basilica Cathedral of Saint Francis at the request of Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy after the departure of his French stone mason, Antoine Mauly. They were later joined by Joseph's Grandfather, Michele Berardinelli, who married Gaetano's eldest daughter, Guilia Palladino Berardinelli. Michele and Guilia had eight children, Margarita (Maggie), Peter, Edward, Federico, Sophia, Annie, Michael had Joseph Berardinelli, Sr. The Palladino-Digneo-Berardinelli stone masonry firm prospered after completion of the Basilica Cathedral, going on to construct many New Mexico landmark buildings in the late 1890's and early 1900's. Among the many historic stone buildings worked on by Gaetano Palladino and Michele Berardinelli were the Archbishop's burial crypts under the high altar at the Basilica Cathedral, the Catron Block occupying the Northeast corner of the Santa Fe Plaza, Santa Fe's Guadalupe Church, the original dam in the Santa Fe water shed canyon, Hodgin Hall, the first unit of the University of New Mexico, original buildings for the Normal School in Las Vegas (now Highlands University), original buildings for Socorro's School of Mines, the original Bernalillo County Courthouse, the ornate brownstone Nicholas T. Armijo building in Albuquerque, and many of the brick homes along South Don Gaspar Avenue which is designated on the historic 1900 King Survey as "the Berardinelli Addition." The historically designated "Michele Berardinelli Building," constructed by Michele as his residence in the 1890's, still stands at 644 Don Gaspar Avenue."

The Palladino-Digneo-Berardinelli stone masonry firm could have very well built this house and the original walls at La Vereda.

If anyone has any additional information about the house, please post.

Photo by Mike Lord

September, 2011


Tuesday, 01 May 2012 23:58

Exchange Hotel Demolition, 1919

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From the Santa Fe New Mexican, May 9, 1919

The fighting tank from France which helped boost the Victory Loan over the top in Santa Fe and which has been shipped back east, created a sensation when it easily walked through the ancient but massive adobe ruins of the old "Fonda" or Exchange Hotel of the early days.  The tank also did a spectacular stunt in climbing the heights of old Fort Marcy.

"Mud Puppy," caterpillar, battle-scarred warrior from the fight, has left Santa Fe after crushing his last wall, downing his last tree, and leaping over his final ditch in the final drive for the last of the Liberty loans.

"Mud Puppy" and his crew, headed by Sergeant Weaver, left yesterday for the east, after receiving a warm welcome from the citizens of Santa Fe.  The little tank's tour during the past three weeks through Kansas, Colorado, and Northern New Mexico was one long demolition.  The tank first aroused curiosity, then amazement and finally enthusiasm - enthusiasm for the Victory loan.

Captain St. James of Telluride, Colorado, and Captain Parker, the one armed hero of the Argonne, accompainied the tank as orators.  Sergeant Weaver and Privates Mackenzie and Hamilton were the tank's crew of three who had charge of "every little movement" of this 7 ton "caterpillar," with its marvelous hill-climbing and handicap-overcoming machinery.  MacKenzie or Hamilton sat day after day in the driving compartment directing the curious craft over embankments, through old houses and against trees.  Sergeant Weaver managed the tour which was made on a special train composed of a flat car, a Pullman, and a chair car.  This train, known as the "Victory Loan Special," was met in Trinidad, Colorado last Saturday by a delegation from Santa Fe representing the ten northern counties of New Mexico in the loan drive.  The delegation was headed by Governor Larrazola and District Judge Holloman.

"Mud Puppy," camouflaged in yellow, blue, and purple, its curious coat unchanged except by the wear and tear of the elements since it advanced against the terrified Hun in the Argonne, everywhere was a drawing card.  Thousands saw the little steel jacketed fellow climb and whirl about in Las Vegas, in Raton, as well as in Santa Fe.  There were hundreds also in Wagon Mound to greet the tank.

Just as "Mud Puppy" figured prominently in the drive in the Argonne woods to vanquish the Huns, so the little fighter has also done good work in another drive, the drive for billions to float the last loan to bring the American fighters home again.

"Mud Puppy's" work is done, and mounted on a flat car the tank is now speeding to the east to receive the thanks of Washington's officials.

Photo from the Adella Collier collection

Photographer unknown

Thursday, 26 April 2012 15:47

Mi Casa

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Mi Casa


   This was the house I grew up in from birth to about ten or eleven year old. It is located at 610 East Palace Avenue. The picture above was taken in May 1936 by an unknown tourist passing through on a trip from New York to California. My father had the house built in the twenties. Part was adobe and part was hollow clay tile. The lot extended from East Palace to Alemeda. The house was built into a hill so that the front is one story and the back two stories. I well remember the huge steam boiler in the basement that provided heat to each room through three-foot high cast-iron radiators. There was a separate garage in the back facing Alemeda..

   Iron bars are evident on the last window on the left. The bars were installed in August 1933 as a result of a kidnapping scare involving my sister who was five years old at the time. Our grandfather, Governor Seligman, received a letter demanding a ransom or his grand daughter would be taken. The threat was taken seriously and twenty four hour guards of State policemen were stationed at the house for several days. Nothing actually happened.

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