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SANTA FE — Most New Mexicans outside of Santa Fe know that some pretty weird things happen in our capital city. And most of what you’ve heard is true. Here’s another one to add to your list.
The city of Santa Fe has a number of committees and boards designed to protect our 400-year heritage. It’s a good idea. No other communities in the nation have buildings that truly are 400 years old. But Santa Fe gets carried away protecting every other building in town.
Last week, the Historic Districts Review Board declared four Depression-Era houses across the street west of the capitol as too precious to be torn down to make way for a state executive office building.
One can certainly ask why the state needs another executive office building, especially in a time of austerity when the governor is said to be trimming staff.
But that wasn’t the board’s decision to make. Its task was to decide whether the four houses were essential to the historic district that includes the main capitol complex. The decision, predictably, was that the houses should remain.
They were the last remaining examples of home construction during the 1930-33 era, said one committee member. Another member countered that they are not unique and, in fact, are vestigial.
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