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Santa Fe Style

Acequia
Man made irrigation ditch.

Adobe
Mud brick that is dried in the sun. The first adobe bricks were used 8,500 years ago in the Middle East.

Alameda
Spanish for “Cottonwood Tree.” This word has come to mean a road bordered by cottonwoods.

Anasazi
Ancestral Pueblo Indians; the “Ancients”.

Arroyo
Dry riverbed that fills occasionally.

Banco
A bench made of adobe and covered with plaster.

Bosque
Low-lying area near rivers, densely forested with cottonwoods and other deciduous trees.

Camino
“Road” in Spanish.

Canale
A roof spout that carries water off a flat pueblo roof.

Casa
“House” or “home” in Spanish.

Coping
Decorative detail on the top edge of a building and around doors and windows.

Corbel
Short sculpted beam lying on top of a post or wall.

Escarpment Ordinances
Laws in the Santa Fe area prohibiting building on and excavation of mountainsides beyond a certain steepness.

Farolito
“Little Lantern”, typically a paper bag with a sand ballast and candle, lighted for Christmas festivities. Referred to as a Luminaria outside of Santa Fe.

Flagstone
Flat sheets of red or white stone mined locally, used for flooring in homes and on patios.

Historic Styles Ordinances
Regulations governing the architectural style of all buildings within the Historic District of downtown Santa Fe.

Horno
Freestanding adobe bread oven found at most pueblos and Indian homes.

Kiva
A small “beehive-shaped” fireplace.

La Fonda
“The Hotel” in Spanish.

La Posada
“The Inn” in Spanish.

Latillas
Small branches used as ceiling planking, made of Aspen, pine or cedar.

Lintel
Wooden beam bridging window or door openings.

Luminaria
Fire built on the sidewalk on Christmas Eve for carolers to gather around. (See also Farolito.)

Nicho
Small shelf carved into a wall.

Paseo
Passage or walkway, or “to promenade.”

PiÃ’on Tree
High-desert nut-bearing evergreen tree.

Plaza
Public square in the center of town, site of traditional evening paseo or “promenade.”

Portal
Patio attached to a home, covered with a fixed roof supported by posts.

Puerta
“Door” in Spanish.

Rumford Fireplace
Tall, shallow fireplace known for great efficiency.

Saltillo Tile
Simple fired earthen tile made in Saltillo, Mexico.

Stucco
Final cement color coat plastered in the exterior of an adobe-style building.

Talavera Tile
Colorful hand-decorated Mexican tile used for counter tops and trim.

Ventana
“Window” in Spanish.

Vigas
Round logs used as ceiling beams, either shaved or raw.

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