An ambitious project that could see the construction of a hotel, events center, and exhibition space has been unveiled by officials with the Taos Pueblo in northern New Mexico.
What is being billed as a heritage center, will go up on a 14.3-acre site at 501 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, north of the mixed-use and popular Taos Plaza.
That site, which currently includes a 14,000 square foot mansion built in the 1930s, was at one point owned by painter and philanthropist Duane Van Vechten, who worked in a studio on the property.
The heritage center will also include a town square and will be designed to both promote the history and culture of the Puebloan people and the ancient Taos Pueblo, but also to serve as a source of regional economic development.
In a presentation made to the Taos Town Council, Gary Lujan, Taos Pueblo war chief, said the center will “complement what is already in place in the Town of Taos and enhance the Taos Valley as a destination place and for visitors to come and enjoy what we have here in the Taos Valley.”
The site was formerly the home of the Lineberry Estate, which the Taos Pueblo purchased in the fall of 2018. That site, ironically, was once a part of the original Taos Pueblo’s property.
As envisioned, work on the project will entail three phases, with the first devoted to infrastructure construction and upgrading of the mansion; the second centered on the building of an underground parking structure; and the third seeing the construction of the main heritage center building.
Total funding for the project, with the Albuquerque-based Peter Butterfield Architects serving as designer, has not yet been secured, although it is expected that some backing may be found through a federal Economic Development Administration grant.
Early stage development work on the ambitious project could begin sometime next spring.
By Garry Boulard
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