Petrified Forest, Santa Fe & the CCC

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From Tucson, I drive north up State Route 77, then east on I-40 to Petrified Forest National Park.  The Painted Desert Inn is a must stop/must see.  Built in 1928, it was remodeled by the CCC in 1933 when they covered the petrified rock with adobe.  Today it is a Visitors Center.

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The glass ceiling is where to look.

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Here are details of the ceiling beam work and hand painted glass panels.

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The old bar chairs are exquisitely carved.  This is vintage CCC

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The blue rail-work covers a hidden radiator system at the rear entry door.

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This is the stonework when it was initially built in 1928–the CCC workers left a ‘window’ of old rock to show off the petrified forest stones–built with local materials…..

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The roof perlons and gable details.

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This bedroom ($2.50 in 1930) boasts a simple kiva style fireplace.

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And a simple sink.  The cracks in the walls opened up this year after 90 years–from expanding gypsum due to the increase moisture–global warming knows no bounds.

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In the main lobby, a simple bench.

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This CCC worker was put up in Santa Fe near the State Capitol Building….

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….and in the plaque below was my name!  I must have been in a generous mood years ago.  What a surprise!

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This is the interior of the State Capitol rotunda–designed like many capitol buildings in a round configuration.  This idea must have come from the Painted Desert Inn, perhaps.

DSCN6469 The upper mezzanine and main lobby spoke-like halls are chucked with New Mexican artwork–some historic and some modern.  It’s a very beautiful building.  I gave an impromptu talk at the Painted Desert Inn, one to the National New Deal Preservation Association at the old NPS SW Regional office–also built by the CCC.  There, I met the Superintendent of Bandelier National Monument, who in turn invited me up to the park for a couple days to give a talk in Los Alamos.  This was my 20th talk so far.  Next stop is Alibates Flint Quarry National Monument, Texas.  Stand by!

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