Chasing Schindler: Northern New Mexico
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I found myself in northern New Mexico late last week and decided, after my water meeting, to hightail it up to Taos to check out Taos Pueblo and San Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos. One of R.M. Schindler's goals when he came to the United States was to travel the country, and he did this in 1915 when he steamed his way west toward California. His travels brought him to Taos where he was permanently struck with the honesty and design of Pueblo architecture, something that strongly influenced his earliest work and echoed through his career. He even designed a Modern-Pueblo house (unbuilt) for a northern New Mexican client in 1916.
Sadly, I missed seeing Taos Pueblo: It was closed for another week before opening for the tourist season, but I was able to enjoy the San Francisco de Asis Church. Similar to Kim Kardashian, the church is most famous for its rear end, which is the first thing you see when approaching her from the main road. Built between 1772 and 1815, the church was greatly admired (and painted) by Georgia O'Keefe and photographed by Ansel Adams, among many others. The rear elevation is a gorgeous example of accidental abstract architecture, honest in its purpose of shoring up the building but sexily sculptural.