Taos Architecture Tour: Extended: Outliers

To the North

Arroyo Seco
Just go. Enjoy this awesome, tiny little village. Eat at Aceq if you are hungry and then go for Taos Cow ice cream. Check out the galleries, too. I think this is one of the sweetest villages in the state.

Taos Ski Valley
The Ski Valley resort is being redesigned under new ownership. And I suspect they'll lose some of the things I find most charming about it, so I'll pass over that til they are done. The one thing that I am willing to drive all the way there for, every time, for no reason at all, besides the gorgeous drive (especially for fall colors!!!) is The Bavarian. Real German food and real German beer. nom nom nom. And it's a gorgeous Swedish-Cope log Chalet! So worth it! Just don't go without 4wd in the winter and you'll be a-ok. It's also a great place to rest if you are taking runs at the ski valley.

To The East

El Monte Sagrado
Architects and architecturalists just HAVE to stop at El Monte Sagrado resort at 317 Kit Carson. Go enjoy an expensive glass of wine in the Anaconda Bar. And then just take a walk around the main building and check out the pool, bathrooms, spa, and casitas (not the hotel-type lodgings, they aren't all that). From the awesome landscape, to the living machine of water that fuels the place and the pool, to the amazing architectural detailing throughout.... there's just so much here that's extraordinary. 

Gaspard House
If you are heading East on Kit Carson, towards Angel Fire or on the Enchanted Circle tour, be sure to drive slow going out of town, so you can take a quick from-the-street peek at the now private Leon Gaspard Home at 615 Kit Carson. What makes this home really stand out, besides its "hot salmon" color (yes I made that up) are the unique Moorish and Russian fusion details that he implemented in this otherwise traditional Spanish Pueblo Revival style home. Definitely worth a look! 
(and if you are the owners, I'd LOVE to come by and say hi sometime!!! please let me know if you'd ever be up for a visit so I can photograph the inside and share it! LOL! )

Wheeler Gallery
Artists Thom Wheeler's amazing home and gallery is a bit further out on Kit Carson, almost as you are going into the Canyon. It's Spanish Pueblo Revival house with Victorian fusion landscape unlike anything else in Taos. It can take an hour just to take in all that's going on on the outside. Then, head in and visit Thom's amazing studio. His work is quite something, and his home, at 939 Kit Carson Road, is a very special Taos treasure.

To the South

Ranchos Plaza
Head south to the tiny village of Ranchos de Taos, just south of all the sprawl of Taos' south side. The San Francisco de Asis church has fantastic massing, made ultra-famous by being painted and photographed by Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keeffe. And don't miss a walk around the little village with it's many old adobe ruins. It's quite special and features a couple great little shops. Be sure to stop in at Two Graces Plaza Gallery. They have a great mish-mosh of old and new items, and even a tiny little bookstore.

To the West

Definitely go check out the earthships, if you are into that. Just be sure to take a heaping helping of salt grains with you as you go so you can filter out all the "wouldn't it be nice if it was true" fluff. They aren't all they claim be. (I've written a whole book on it, but here's a place to start if you really want to know.) But, they DO offer some cool ideas and ways of looking at the world of sustainable design. It's just one of those "if it seems too good to be true, it probably is", things.