On East Santa Fe Avenue, less than a block from the Roundhouse as the crow flies, is the Bella Donna: a complex of nine condominiums built over a roughly thirty year span as homes and apartments. Once bathed in strawberry crème pink stucco, the Bella Donna still looks like much as it did back then—from the outside—with dramatic interior revisioning. The main house, Unit #6, built in 1912, was the residence of one of the first Mayors of Santa Fe.
The Bella Donna is located in the Don Gaspar Historic District an area roughly bounded by Paseo de Peralta on the north; Old Santa Fe Trail to the east; Houghton Street on the South and Don Cubero on the west. This mostly residential historic corridor, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has an admixture of architectural types including Victorians, stucco and brick bungalows, and Pueblo revivals. Here it is found on Trulia.
The Bella Donna is an example of the Pueblo Deco wing of Pueblo Revival homes. Marcus Whiffen, an architectural historian at Arizona State University, coined the term Pueblo Deco to describe the integration of Art Deco elements—zig-zags and geometric motifs and clean lines—into the Pueblo vernacular.
Santa Fe Historic Preservation Ordinances mandate that the exterior appearance of the Bella Donna remain essentially the same as it was when it was built. As a result, most visitors are surprised when they enter the condos themselves and find stainless steel appliances, glass tile, granite counters and contemporary styling. Core traditional details, such as transom windows, built-in cabinetry and kiva fireplaces, have been preserved and original materials, like the wood floors, restored. The interior is a dance of Old World and modern sensibilities, with the strengths of each in full furl.
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