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About the Book

What was there before, on the streets of Santa Fe? If you could step into a time machine, zip back to Santa Fe in the post-World War II era, and walk around downtown and up Canyon Road, what would you see?

Kids ice skating on the Santa Fe river in January? Architect John Gaw Meem, the godfather of Spanish-Pueblo Revival, shopping at JC Penney on the Plaza? Or maybe you’d be drinking cocktails with artist Will Shuster, inventor of Zozobra, at George King’s Bar on Galisteo Street or congregating with artists and politicians at the rowdy Claude’s Bar on Canyon Road.

Today, the memories of Santa Fe‘s oldest residents reach no further back than the 1950s and soon those memories will be gone. This book seeks to preserve their colorful and classic recollections. The Streets of Santa Fe takes you on a walking tour, backward in time, from 1880 to the present. Block by block, it preserves the memories of local landmarks, the buildings, shops, and schools that everyone knew.


  • Four neighborhood maps created solely for this book
  • 10 photographs from New Mexico Historic Photo Archives
  • More than 30 walking tour segments through downtown Santa Fe
  • 19 sidebars with discussion of special topics in Santa Fe history
  • A list of websites, books, and other resources on Santa Fe history

2 Responses to About the Book

  1. Mary J Straw Cook says:

    I and many others still alive have lived in Santa Fe since the 1930s. We are not dead yet and remember well the streets of Santa Fe. Why? Because we had no cars.

    • jgonze says:

      I spent about five years researching the book, motivated solely by a desire to preserve the history of Santa Fe in the 20th century, which was in danger of being forgotten. My principal sources were interviews with old-timers who grew up here, other books on Santa Fe, the archives of The New Mexican, and the old phone books at the History Archives. Every fact in the book has an authoritative source. Of course newspapers can make mistakes, and the old phone books can be misleading, when, for example, a business changes its name, which could lead me to state that the business closed, when really it simply changed its name. Of course I was careful, but also aware that errors and omissions were inevitable. That’s why I asked readers to contact me with corrections, additions, and suggestions. I’m already well along on the second edition, which will incorporate those corrections. JG.

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