The mission of the Old Santa Fe Association is to promote the prosperity and welfare
of the City and County of Santa Fe and their inhabitants, to preserve and maintain the ancient landmarks, historical structures and traditions of Old Santa Fe and to guide their growth and development in such a way as to promote that unique charm and distinction: born of age, culture, tradition and environment, which are the priceless assets and heritage of Santa Fe.
(Please bear with us, as we are currently re-designing our website. While a few of our pages may be lacking up-dated information– feel free to browse the site as it is, and make use of our current resources.)
Historic Preservation Week in New Mexico
Santa Fe's Heritage Preservation Awards were announced on May 18, 2017. Please refer to our News and Archives page to learn more about the event.
We are Excited to Announce Events of Interest to our Membership and the General Public
An Announcement from The National Geographic Society
World Legacy/"Sense of Place" Awards March 8, 2017
In case you missed this recent news, we are pleased to report that the City of Santa Fe has been recognized with a "World Legacy Award" from the National Geographic Society for our "Sense of Place". This award honors destinations or organizations that are driving positive transformation in sustainable tourism practices, and effectively sharing their history with visitors.
We are most gratified by this award, as The Old Santa Fe Association has spearheaded historic preservation efforts for nearly 100 years in the southwestern United States.
Click on this linkto view the awards announcement on NGS's webpage.
"The number one draw for Santa Fe is tourism, and the number one reason for tourism is the cultural authenticity of this town." (Pen) La Farge said. " ... If it is not guarded, this pride, this award– if its reason for existing and being given to us is not guarded and not seen as important, it can disappear along with all that attracts people here."
OSFA Continues Partnership with The Palace of the Governors Photo Archives
Photo by John Eddy
The Old Santa Fe Film Collection
In early 2014, Board Members of The Old Santa Fe Association conceived of a new initiative in historic preservation, unique to our previous list of accomplishments. We decided to become proactive in the search for archival film reels that are currently languishing in the attics and garages of Northern New Mexico, in order to facilitate their donation to the Photo Archives, where they can be properly curated, and made available to researchers, historians and filmmakers. The outgrowth of this effort, we are pleased to announce, is a "collection within the collection" so to speak. We are actively seeking film materials, either 8mm or 16mm, or even still photographs or transparencies that are still in the hands of local families, schools, or other organizations. These materials will enhance the vaults of the Archives, helping to cultivate the audio visual history of Northern New Mexico, adding images that might otherwise be destined for the landfill.
OSFA President, John Pen La Farge (left), signed a formal contract with the Archive's Daniel Kosharek to create the partnership in the winter of 2014.
Photo by John Eddy
Are They Headed to the Landfill?
Film reels such as these are rare to find these days: taking up too much space when they haven't been viewed in years. This material, though now eclipsed by the digital age, contains priceless information regarding our ways of the past, in fashion, activities, and historical personage. If you have any old films remaining in storage in your possession, donate them to The Old Santa Fe Film Collection so that they may be preserved for the enjoyment of future viewers. We will facilitate the legal transfer of your films, insuring proper handling, and you might even receive a tax credit!
Want to Learn More?
Here is a link to a charming and somewhat dated documentary from an English film archive which describes the motivation behind this effort, and gives a description of the process. It's about 12 minutes long.Click here to view the film.
Demolition of Francisca Hinojos House Forestalled April 28, 2015
The Historic Districts Review Board unanimously struck down a request to demolish the historic Hinojos House at their late April meeting. Negotiations are underway to create a preservation program for the restoration of this cherished and unique property on Palace Avenue. We will make every attempt to keep you informed as things progress.
Here is a link to a recent story in The Santa Fe New Mexican:
OSFA recently spearheaded the effort to place three of our town's remaining historic bridges under enhanced preservation protection. Here you can access a story published in the Santa Fe New Mexican's "Home" suppliment by Paul Weideman. We are most proud of this achievement, and encourage you to look into this often-overlooked piece of our architectural heritage.
Enhancing Preservation Status of Santa Fe Landmarks
This effort would not been successful without the aid of historian John Murphey of FirstLight Consulting, who prepared historical reports for each of these bridges in order to support our petitions to both city and state for greater protection and preservation.
He has gracioulsy agreed to allow us to make these reports available to you on this website. Choose the bridge you would like to research by clicking on the appropriate link below:
These reports are great reading, and an enjoyable way to deepen your understanding of Santa Fe's history.
OSFA's Vigilance on La Bajada Mesa
A proposed gravel mining facility threatens the geology, ecology and historic landscape of La Bajada, south of Santa Fe on the I-25 corridor. This area contains multiple spur routes associated with El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro: the early trade route connecting 17th Century Spanish Colonists with Mexico City. The Old Santa Fe Association has added its voice to hundreds of New Mexicans opposing the mining operation, with reresentatives speaking in public forums offered the Santa Fe County Comission. Beside the historic character of the area, which has been for centuries used only for subsistence grazing, citizen opposition centers on the operation's allegedly unsustainable use of precious water resources.