When I visited, the ABQ Garden Center was beginning to fill tables with flowering plants, preparing for their April Plant Show & Garden Sale fundraiser, above. Below is an open pagoda-style building, a perfect backdrop for the Ikebana International club, which studies & promotes the Japanese art of flower design. It's one of the unique clubs that share space at the Center. Read More
From Historic Homes in the DNA: "The R.A. Kistler House (above), 1301 Fruit Avenue NW. Built in 1907, this house is an excellent example of Colonial Revival
styling with its symmetrical design. At one-&-a-half stories, it sits under a gable roof with enclosed soffits & a small, lower side gable
projecting from the northeast corner. R.A. Kistler, president of Kistler/Collister, an important
Albuquerque clothing store lived there from 1912 through the 1940’s."
Architect Anna Gotshall
To a small home designed in the early 1920's by architect Anna Gotshall.
Anna Gotshall is best known for designing & developing one of Downtown's premier pocket neighborhoods, the one-block Manzano Court NW. Almost all the homes on the street were designed by her, & eight of them are on the National Register of Historic Places. From the Manzano Court pages in the Historic Homes in the DNA guide: "Although little specific information about Gotshall remains, the few glimpses that historical records offer concerning her & her work suggest that as one of the cities first female designers, she contributed to the changing tastes in domestic architectural style occurring in the city’s early suburbs."
More than that, Gotshall helped create the unique SW Vernacular house style. Instead of adhering to one formal way a house should look, she used a mix of regional styles & local materials. Walk up & down Manzano Court & that's apparent--with great result, she comfortably mixed Mediterranean & Pueblo Revival styles.
An excellent friend, who lives on Gotshall's famous Manzano Court cul-de-sac, on the map above, located another house of hers to see. The home, in the historic Eighth Street Forrester district, is below. The design was a simple mix of SW Vernacular: adobe-built with a tile roof over an original (perhaps enclosed) porch, alongside & surrounded by stepped parapets. A few different styles that work well together--typically Gotshall...
The deep charcoal-grey of the historic Gotshall home seemed to shimmer in the late afternoon sun. That light is just another reason to find yourself Downtown in winter...
Cool Color Combinations in the Historic Fourth Ward
A sweet couple worked with me to purchase a 100+year-old home Downtown about a year ago, & immediately began sprucing-up & remodeling the place. It was past time to see how it turned out...
The reimagined home, above, lives among many dozens of other 100+/- year-old homes in the exceptionally unique Fourth Ward neighborhood. I love the new, crisp caramel color façade, & the horizontal splash of deep crimson creates a great scene, as if the front porch was an extension of the interior living space.
From there, turn in any direction & again, Downtown impresses--more interesting homes sporting cool color combinations line the streets for blocks. Below is a small color palette sampling from homes a short walk from Mary Fox Park, in northwest Downtown.
The interesting blue & white (& red) home immediately above even has a name: it's the R.A.Kistler House at 1301 Fruit Ave NW. The name is familiar to me because of the cool Mid-Century Modern two-level former Kistler-Collister Department Store on the corner of San Mateo & Lomas Blvds.
There's a lot more to be discovered about many of the homes in the historic Fourth Ward. A fantastic guidebook called Historic Houses in the DNA, from the City & MetroABQ's Downtown Neighborhood Associations (DNA), describes the origins of the many Downtown neighborhoods. There's the Fourth Ward, the Eighth Street Forrester area, the one-block Manzano Court cul-de-sac, Leon Watson Adobes on 16th & 17th Street, & features other historic homes situated in the peripherally to these neighborhoods.Read More