Santa Fe History: The City Different

Pueblo Bonito bed breakfast- Santa Fe

 After serving Santa Fe visitors for over 33 consecutive years, Pueblo Bonito b&b innkeepers Herb & Amy Behm pride themselves on creating an authentic historic adobe pueblo experience for their guests. Santa Fe’s rich, diverse history lends itself to easily creating a one of a kind historic travel experience especially when coupled with the popular Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast inn- Santa Fe accommodations which bring the area’s history to life via modern day accommodations. “We bring New Mexico travelers into our 158 yr old adobe property and surround them in historic architectural elements of the region (adobe, nichos, santos, horno, flat roof, canals, etc) and local traditions and flavors which enhances an authentic historical vacation experience. Below are provided a few elements of Santa Fe’s rich history to enjoy!

 Did you know how Santa Fe became known as “the City Different”?

Santa Fe History

The Spanish laid out the city according to the “Laws of the Indies”, town planning rules and ordinances which had been established in 1573 by King Philip II. The fundamental principle was that the town be laid out around a central plaza. On its north side was the Palace of the Governors, while on the east was the church that later became the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi.


An important style implemented in planning the city was the radiating grid of streets centering from the central Plaza. Many were narrow and included small alley-ways, but each gradually merged into the more casual byways of the agricultural perimeter areas. As the city grew throughout the 19th century, the building styles evolved too, so that by statehood in 1912, the eclectic nature of the buildings caused it to look like “Anywhere USA”. The city government realized the economy was in decline after the railway moved west to Lamy and did not locate in Santa Fe and the federal government closed Fort Marcy. Government officials believed it would behoove Santa Fe to promote tourism. So, to achieve the goal, the city created a unified building style – the Spanish Pueblo Revival look. Based on work done restoring the Palace of the Governors, this style came from the many defining features of local architecture: vigas (rough, exposed beams that extrude through supporting walls, and are thus visible outside as well as inside the building) and canales (rain spouts cut into short parapet walls around flat roofs), features borrowed from many old adobe homes and churches built many years before and found in the Pueblos, along with the earth-toned look (reproduced in stucco) of the old adobe exteriors. This style became official and all buildings were to be built using these elements. By 1930 a broadening included the “Territorial” style which included the addition of portales (large, covered porches) and white-painted window and door pediments (and also sometimes terra cotta tiles on sloped roofs, but with flat roofs still dominating). The city had become “different”. Thus Santa Fe was nicknamed “The City Different”.

Like what you see here? Feel free to visit past blogs on Santa Fe History, Things to do on Santa Fe travel, adobe, and more!

Historic new mexico b&b inn- Pueblo Bonito Inn

1930’s photo of Pueblo Bonito Santa Fe

Coming to Santa Fe for vacation, family travel or business? Give us a try: 1-800-461-4599    Pueblo Bonito b&b inn; 138 W Manahttan Ave; Santa Fe, NM 87501