Taos Downtown Historic District
courtesy Taos Historic Museums
After the period of Mexican rule, New Mexico was claimed as a territory for the United States in 1846. President Fillmore established New Mexico as an official territory in 1850, and Taos became a county in 1852. Taos Valley flourished during this period and other cultures found their way into the territory. Taos was a very solid trade center for the region. In 1898, two young artists from the East named Ernest Blumenschein and Bert Phillips discovered the valley after their wagon broke down north of Taos. They decided to stay, captivated by the beauty of the area. As word of their discovery spread throughout the art community, they were joined by other associates. In 1915, six artists formed the Taos Society of Artists. Soon other intellectuals such as Mabel Dodge Luhan and D.H. Lawrence joined the Taos scene, adding greatly to the social and intellectual life of the community. To date Taos is known world-wide by artists, art patrons, and inquisitive minds who continue to find it a mecca of inspiration. Taos, one of the oldest Spanish settlements in the Taos valley, has examples of Spanish Colonial, Mission Revival, Pueblo Revival and Territorial architecture. In 1930 several buildings on the plaza succumbed to fire, including the courthouse building and the Don Fernando Hotel. A new courthouse building was built and in 1933 and 1934 the Work Progress Administration funded the creation of murals within the courthouse. The frescoes were painted by Taos Art Colony members Emil Bisstram, Victor Higgins, Ward Lockwood and Bert Geer Phillips.
Ojitos Rd., Quesnel Rd., Martyrs Lane,Camino de La Placita, Ranchitos Rd. | Taos, NM 87571
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