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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Drugstore Noir: 1940

Drugstore Noir: 1940

July 1940. "Street scene at the fiesta in Santa Fe, New Mexico." Photo by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

It's the Claire Hotel building

Yes, this is Santa Fe, New Mexico. If you want to see a good shot of the building as it was, here's a link to our online catalog.

The previous poster is correct; the building burned in 1946, and the replacement building is much smaller and less notable than the historic one.

Santa Fe has changed a few times

The adobe-covered Santa Fe we know today is mostly a deliberate 20th-century creation inspired by a citizens' movement in the 1910s or so. If you peruse photos from a hundred years ago, you'll see Santa Fe looked like any other Western town of the era with buildings like this drugstore on every corner. We would consider the styles quaint today, but at the time they were derided as cookie-cutter architecture that could have come from anywhere and didn't honor New Mexico's history. Laws were actually passed around then requiring new and renovated buildings to adopt a pueblo-like adobe (usually stucco in reality) facade. In fact, pretty much any adobe-style building in central Santa Fe that was built before the 1920s now looks nothing like its original appearance.

I've seen older buildings under renovation near the Plaza, and it's always jarring when the stucco comes down to reveal briefly a Victorian brick facade underneath!

Just Saying

Now that we've settled on Santa Fe as the location. Am I wrong or is this photo not in focus?

[Motion blur from camera and subject movement due to slow shutter speed. -tterrace]

Manhole cover

I think the manhole cover in the 1940 Shorpy photo is the same manhole cover of on the southeast corner of the Santa Fe Plaza shown in the Google Maps street view link below:

No question

The building in the picture no longer exists as it burned in 1946 and was eventually replaced by the building that now houses Ortega's. The new building retains the 'bevel' in the corner seen here. One clincher is to go to street view and see the manhole cover in the same place.

cf. Hammett, 'Santa Fe, A walk through time'. This reference contains a photo showing the identical brickwork above the entrance, as well as the information given above.

Yes, Santa Fe - Stowe's Drug Store

From the Wednesday, September 5, 1934, Santa Fe New Mexican. Stowe's Drug Store, located on the SW corner of the Plaza.

Santa Fe?

I lived for many years in Santa Fe, New Mexico and I doubt VERY HIGHLY that there has ever been that type of archetecture in that city.

[Yes, Santa Fe. And the word is "architecture." - Dave]

Just making comment according to my experience from having lived in Santa Fe. I see little need in you making "nasty" about my spelling, Dave... Getting a bit burned out, are we?


I don't care! It isn't Santa Fe. You said on Facebook that it probably isn't Taos, but Santa Fe. That means you don't really know, now do you?

[Scroll up. -Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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