September 22, 2020

John Gaw Meem gave us the Delgado House

The timing was great on one important aspect: the roof. The Historic Santa Fe Foundation replaced the entire roof in 2011. It was done in the original material, terneplate, which lasted 120 years. So Victory should have no worries about that.

He wants to take up all the carpet and redo the floors, and he is able to put in a kitchen, which was removed years ago.

Right now he’s landscaping the large courtyard in the back — that feature is larger than the courtyard at the New Mexico Museum of Art, kitty-corner across Palace Ave. “I want to turn it into a real pretty sculpture garden. I went up to the Sculpture in the Park show in Loveland and saw some really cool sculptures, so we picked up several that I think will look really neat in the courtyard.”

Victory may be getting some star power in the building soon. “A movie company called me the other day about the Tom Hanks they’re going to shoot here and asked me if they could use the building. The setting is 1870 and they thought this would be perfect for a lawyer’s office or something. So that would be alright.”

The Historic Santa Fe Foundation was founded in 1961 in reaction to the destruction of the 19th-century adobe Nusbaum House to create a parking lot. The foundation purchased its first historic building in 1974. Over the next three decades, the foundation bought six more, plus the Cross of the Martyrs.

But in recent years, the foundation’s board of directors has decided to give up its owned buildings, which cost a great deal of money and time for maintenance — not to mention losing rent revenues when vacant.

“John Gaw Meem gave us the Delgado House, and before we tried selling it we cleared it with Nancy [Meem Wirth] and Peter [Wirth],” Warzel said. “Peter said the foundation is finally doing what he was struggling with when he was the chairman of our board. He always wanted this, for us to get out of ownership.”

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