Lost treasures - Buildings removed as Contributing Structures of the Taos National Register Historic District

During a project redocumenting the Taos Historic District in 2011, several buildings were removed from listing as Contributing Structures to the historic district by the NM State Historic Preservation Office because of renovations that rendered their historic facades no longer  authentic. It is worth sharing here to help our readers avoid having their own buildings delisted.

The buildings no longer considered "authentically historic" include:

  • Twirl Toystore at Teresina and Scheurich off the Plaza, removed because of its massive second story and extensive obscuring of the old structures with Asian wood details, which has a merit of curiosity that might allow it to be relisted in 30 years.
  • 146 Paseo Norte completed a construction that covered a facade with unique stone details with a Craftsman-style entrance. There are no other examples of Craftsman style in Taos. This is completely fabricated and inappropriate.
  • The Taos Territorial compound at Padre Martinez and Don Fernando, for renovations that exaggerated the details of the old compound's true Territorial design.
  • Enos Garcia Elementary.  Changing the windows changed this buildings status, and it will just about every time.
  • The "Antonio's building" at Dona Luz and Don Fernando. Despite the attention to detail of changing material, size, and shape of details on the additions, the new shape of the building (second story especially) and new portions obscuring the actual historic building is what made this building considered no-longer contributing.
These are posted because they represent a hard lesson in what happens when the Taos Town Planning office isn't allowed to do its job. Each of these buildings' owners would have been eligible for $25k in tax credits for restoration work on these buildings. Now they are no longer eligible. As a preservationist, I know how hard cash is to come up with for preservation projects which can easily cost more than new work. I think that's a terrible shame.

A second lesson in this is be careful which architect you select. Make sure they have a track record in preservation that does not include having their buildings de-listed.