remodeler’s corner

Grande Dame of Garcia Street

grande dame of Garcia StreetAn artist revives a Santa Fe adobe of a certain age that had fallen on hard times.

Kirby Kendrick likes to say her house, which she affectionately calls the Grande Dame, has gotten the reverse of a face-lift: the Grande Dame still looks her age—she was built in 1932—but she’s all new inside.
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heavy lifting with a light touch A remodel steeped in Santa Fe style deftly matches modern updates to the wavering imperfections of an old adobe home.

Back roads in New Mexico sometimes lead to distant times and surprising places. Wedged between the tract homes of Rio Rancho and the commercial strip of northwest Albuquerque sits the still sleepy, slightly funky village of Corrales, a charming oddity in a sea of suburbs.
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exploring Albuquerque’s bungalows To this day the bungalow remains the most obvious reminder of the city’s health-seeker era.

One of the best ways to appreciate Albuquerque’s historic neighborhoods is to walk them. A stroll along their tree-lined streets offers not only exercise but also an opportunity to read the built environment and to envision these early suburbs as they began to envelop the core of the railroad town founded in 1880. Whether you choose to explore the older neighborhoods west and north of downtown, those lining the sandhills rising to the East Mesa, or those atop the mesa around the University of New Mexico, architectural delights await you. Although the residential building styles of each neighborhood vary—a reminder of changing popular tastes during each district’s development—the housing design common to all is the Craftsman, or bungalow, style.
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let it beHewing close to tradition, architect Sam Sterling creates a small masterpiece of New Mexico design.

Driving me down to see his award-winning renovated adobe house in Peralta, New Mexico, architect Sam Sterling takes the “scenic route.” He chooses the byways threading through the rural and architecturally chaotic South Valley below Albuquerque, where Mexican restaurants, zapaterías, mariscos stands, and the like eventually yield to broad alfalfa fields and crumbling adobe ruins. Shortly after passing under the interstate and running across the farms and marshlands surrounding Isleta Pueblo, Sterling veers onto a narrow, snowy, muddy road into the Pueblo proper, a warren of alleys and abbreviated driveways and homes of indeterminate but wide-ranging vintage. A late-model Corvette sits outside a mobile home. Slouching exposed-adobe dwellings lean like tired dogs against freshly plastered additions, while abandoned sheds—barns? houses? garages?—nearby melt back into their native earth.
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pearl in the desertA New Mexico treasure, George C. Pearl combines innovation, problem solving, inventiveness, and a deep sensitivity to place.

Architect George Pearl, FAIA, has been called a “New Mexico treasure.” He’s done so much good for so many folks and communities in our state, and designed and renovated so many major buildings, that most people might not know that George loves to roll up his sleeves and work on houses, his own and other people’s.
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reversing the spiralAn ingenious renovation and thoughtful interior design preserve the quirk while celebrating the magical spirit of a ’70s foothills adobe below Sandia Crest.

Archaeology was the last thing on Dr. Teresa Reed’s mind when she purchased a 2,300-square-foot house in the Sandia Mountains in 1995. But three years’ worth of trash removal (“They’d stuffed their garbage under the terrace,” she says), aggressive rodent eradication, and dismantling of inappropriately enclosed spaces revealed a classic “hippie house” built by Ivor Williams.
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every room tells a story

Northwest of Albuquerque near the village of Corrales, high-tech development and urban growth claim once barren ridges. Traffic hums around sparkling new neighborhoods and funnels over bridges on the Rio Grande. The big river—big by desert standards, anyhow—flows in calm patterns heedless of the human energy careening around it. Overhead a hawk follows an ancient predatory pattern, ignoring the cars and bridges and neighborhoods, scanning instead the forested river bank in hopes of glimpsing a chance movement.
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