View From the Plaza

The Old Lady Needs a Face Lift (and I am not talking about me)

Cornerstones Community Partnerships is a nonprofit organization based in Santa Fe. Its mission is to work in collaboration with communities to restore historic structures, encourage traditional building practices, and affirm cultural values. I have to admit that I am a huge fan of this organization and I am honored to serve on its board.

San Miguel Chapel, located on the Old Santa Fe Trail, is said to be the oldest church in the United States. A church has been on this site since the early 1600s and the present structure was reconstructed in 1710. It is owned by St. Michael’s Corporation (which also runs St. Mike’s High School here in Santa Fe – boasting such famous graduates as St. Mike’s board president John Fox (Co-owner Southwestern Title and Escrow), Cheryl Sommer (owner of Kaunes), Greg Quintana (comptroller of the very popular hotel, La Fonda on the Plaza), Larry Delgado (former mayor), Art Jaramillo (head of the GSA for NM), Dr. David Gonzales (CMO of the Heart Hospital of NM), City Counselor Matt Ortiz, City Attorney Geno Zamora, Monsignor Jerome, Federal Judge Judy Herrera, just to name a few. St. Michael’s asked Cornerstones to get involved and develop a preservation plan for the chapel. Not only has Cornerstones done this, but it applied for and was awarded a Save America’s Treasures grant to help fund the preservation.

Cornerstones and St. Michael's Group Shot

The two boards came together at my home to meet and greet and solidify this collaboration. Pictures from this event are attached. Preservation work will begin this summer and volunteers are needed. If you want to learn about adobe structures or just want to grab a few friends and spend time together outdoors mudding the mission and helping a great cause, call the Cornerstones office at 982-9521 and sign up. Hours for volunteer crews are 9-3:30 Wednesdays and Saturdays. If you can’t help mud, how about donating lunches for our volunteer work crews? To feed an entire work crew for the day would be a max of 20 lunches and our volunteers would be very appreciative. So get out, get your hands dirty, and feel good about giving your time to help restore an historic icon.

PS – If you’re looking for a picture of Cornerstones board President Jim Gautier, you won’t find him. He wasn’t avoiding the camera, he was behind it. Many thanks to Jim for taking the photographs.

Betty Montoya, Cheryl Sommer, Marci Sullivan

Jake Barrow, Dr. David Gonzales

Ann Caldwell, Kurt Sommer, Bruce Chemel

Dave Blackman, Max Myers

Boni Armijo, John Fox

Exilda Martinez, Bill Garcia, Max Myers, Monie Blum

Group Shot

Group Shot

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