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Tag Archive:   san-luis-valley


These are images from a roofless church in Las Mesitas, in southern Colorado on the western edge of the San Luis Valley.  I have been going there over a few years now and I am hopelessly fascinated by the stark simplicity of the place and its robust, stoic presence. Photos by Boulder architects M. Gerwing Architects

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The sky was as full of motion and change as the desert beneath it was monotonous and still, – and there was so much sky, more than at sea, more than anywhere else in the world. The plain was there, under one’s feet, but what one saw when one looked about was that brilliant blue […]

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I have finally gotten around to processing some more film from a very rewarding trip to the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado last year.   I will certainly be going back there again this year, later in the Spring when the heavy snows have past but before the major snowmelt swells all the local […]

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A number of months ago a wrote a series of posts about Colorado’s vernacular architecture.  I attempted to categorize the vernacular buildings by the dominant material – log, stone or frame.  Sadly missing from that collection was the base building material used by the Spanish colonial settlers in southern Colorado – adobe. As most folks […]

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San Isadore is a church in Mesitas, Colorado, on the west side of the San Luis Valley. It lost its roof and much of everything else that would burn in a fire in the 1970′s. It is still used for services, under the bright, aluminum sky of southern Colorado. The fire reduced the building to […]

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I went down to the San Luis Valley to photograph some of the small village chapels that dot that flat, dusty landscape.  So as I was driving around, I was keeping a keen eye out for any structures, like a steeple, that might pop up out of the surrounding buildings or clusters of wind-ravaged trees. […]

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Ever since LeCorbusier identified them in Toward An Architecture in 1928, grain elevators and silos have been of endless fascination for architects.  Their simple geometric austerity and utilitarian “dumbness” is fascinating, their forms clearly derived from the function of storage and the volumetric efficiencies of a circle extruded. It is not a coincidence that the […]

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On a recent trip to the San Luis Valley, I took along a map, my phone’s GPS, and a couple of satellite images.  From that elevated perspective, the Valley is a playground of geometry.  The large circles of center pivot irrigation fields overlays with the strict orthagonal grid of roads creating an ordered and rational […]

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