Santa Fe, New Mexico: Oldest House in the U.S. 350-year-old Adobe house (the sign states 1646), situated atop an 800-year-old Pueblo ruin foundation. A small museum exhibit and a gift shop are available. On the exterior of the house is a plaque that reads "Oldest House." Inside the living room there is another plaque that reads "1646-1936." That makes this house officially the oldest surviving building in Santa Fe.
The town's founders had hoped to create a European-style city out of the wilderness, but because they didn't have enough builders tools, they hired Mexicans to help them build their new town. As a result, most buildings down here are built with adobe, which is a type of brick made from clay mixed with water and straw or wood chips. The bricks are shaped by hand and then stacked on top of each other without any mortar between them. Over time, wind and rain will break down the stack until only the strongest block remains standing.
There are also many limestone buildings in Santa Fe. Limestone is a hard rock found near volcanoes so these buildings look very modern. But actually, they're quite old too! Some were built as early as 1713 but most were constructed between 1820 and 1880.
Limestone buildings are rare in Santa Fe because there aren't that many volcanoes in New Mexico so it was difficult for people to obtain stone for construction.
The Oldest Structures in America
This building, located at 215 East De Vargas Street in Santa Fe, was built in 1646 and is one of the oldest residences in the United States. This edifice, located in the ancient Analco Barrio, practically across the street from the San Miguel Chapel, housed a cross-section of Santa Fe society, ranging from Mexican Indians...
The building is a two-story structure with a stone foundation and adobe walls. The roof is made of wood and covers an area of about 40 feet by 60 feet. There are four rooms on the first floor and three on the second. There is no electricity or running water inside the house.
It is now part of the Museum of New Mexico collection and is open to the public free of charge.
This old house was built by Spanish settlers who were brought over as colonists by King Charles I. They were given land grants in what is now northern New Mexico by Don Juan de Oñate, the founder of New Spain. These people were called Poblanos because they came from Pozuelo de Alarcón, a town in Old Castile, Spain.
Santa Fe, located at 7,000 feet in the foothills of the southern Rocky Mountains, is the highest and oldest capital in the United States. It is America's second-oldest city, having been founded between 1607 and 1610. New Mexico was admitted to the Union as a state in 1912.
Santa Fe was once the end of the road for explorers, traders, and settlers traveling across what were then Indian territories. Today, it remains an important cultural center where thousands of Native Americans live on tribal lands surrounding the city.
The city is known for its annual art festival, which takes place for approximately two weeks in late February or early March. The Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper publishes an annual list of the top 100 artists from around the world.
Santa Fe has a population of about 70,000 people and is surrounded by public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service.
In addition to being the oldest city in New Mexico, Santa Fe is also the home of one of the first universities in the country, now known as University of New Mexico. It was established in 1892 with funds provided by Andrew Carnegie. The university includes several colleges for graduate students and numerous research centers. It is located about 20 miles south of town.