From Tucson, I drive north up State Route 77, then east on I-40 to Petrified Forest National Park. The Painted Desert Inn is a must stop/must see. Built in 1928, it was remodeled by the CCC in 1933 when they covered the petrified rock with adobe. Today it is a Visitors Center.
The glass ceiling is where to look.
Here are details of the ceiling beam work and hand painted glass panels.
The old bar chairs are exquisitely carved. This is vintage CCC
The blue rail-work covers a hidden radiator system at the rear entry door.
This is the stonework when it was initially built in 1928–the CCC workers left a ‘window’ of old rock to show off the petrified forest stones–built with local materials…..
The roof perlons and gable details.
This bedroom ($2.50 in 1930) boasts a simple kiva style fireplace.
And a simple sink. The cracks in the walls opened up this year after 90 years–from expanding gypsum due to the increase moisture–global warming knows no bounds.
In the main lobby, a simple bench.
This CCC worker was put up in Santa Fe near the State Capitol Building….
….and in the plaque below was my name! I must have been in a generous mood years ago. What a surprise!
This is the interior of the State Capitol rotunda–designed like many capitol buildings in a round configuration. This idea must have come from the Painted Desert Inn, perhaps.
The upper mezzanine and main lobby spoke-like halls are chucked with New Mexican artwork–some historic and some modern. It’s a very beautiful building. I gave an impromptu talk at the Painted Desert Inn, one to the National New Deal Preservation Association at the old NPS SW Regional office–also built by the CCC. There, I met the Superintendent of Bandelier National Monument, who in turn invited me up to the park for a couple days to give a talk in Los Alamos. This was my 20th talk so far. Next stop is Alibates Flint Quarry National Monument, Texas. Stand by!