Sunday, July 08, 2012

Las Vegas!

Las Vegas, New Mexico that is, was founded in 1835 when settlers received a land grant from the Mexican government.  Las Vegas prospered as a stop on the Santa Fe Trail and it was in Las Vegas in 1846 during the Mexican-American War that Captain Kearney delivered an address claiming New Mexico for the United States.

In 1880 when the railroad was established in Las Vegas, the town quickly became one of the largest cities in the the American southwest.   Turn-of-the-century Las Vegas featured all the modern amenities, including an electric street railway, the "Duncan Opera House", a Carnegie library, and a major Harvey House La Castaneda Hotel built in 1898.  
Main entrance facing the railroad tracks
Tower at the entrance of La Castaneda
East entrance facing Railroad Avenue
South side entrance
1910 Newspaper Photo
Build as a 'jewel' in the Fred Harvey's famed chain of railroad hotels, La Castaneda is one of the early Harvey Houses to be built in the Mission Revival Style and is approximately 25,000 sq. feet.  Its main facade and courtyard face the railroad tracks.

In the 1980's the rooms at the La Castaneda were converted into apartments but the building is currently abandoned.  No longer owned by the railroad it is now privately owned; no work is currently being done to restore it or to reopen it.   

The Harvey House 'jewel' is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Photo taken late '70's, early '80's

There is still an Amtrak Railroad Station next door.