At 120 years old, La Castañeda Hotel has seen better times--for 50+ years it was a Fred Harvey Hotel & considered the "Queen of Las Vegas," New Mexico. Las Vegas is a small town with a stunning number of historic buildings, especially with just 14,000 people. Around mid-century though. the railroad made way for cars & motels, & The Queen, a fantastic Mission Revival example, was left alone & neglected...
Now La Castañeda Hotel is coming back...From the Santa Fe New Mexican:
“When the Castañeda opened along the tracks in Las Vegas, New Mexico, in 1898 it offered travelers on the Santa Fe Railway an excuse to get off the train and stay in and explore a region of the Southwest few had seen,” said Lesley Poling-Kempes, author of the book, The Harvey Girls: Women Who Opened the West.
"The high and mighty dined alongside the hoi polloi in the hotel’s restaurant and bar, enjoying the famous Harvey House hospitality. The hotel’s 40 rooms were invariably filled with politicians, celebrities, soldiers and travelers looking to stop for the night before moving on, be it northeast out of New Mexico or south toward Albuquerque and then points west.
“Las Vegas, New Mexico, is the great undiscovered town of the Southwest, with more remarkable history and architecture than Taos or Albuquerque,” said entrepreneur Allan Affeldt, who is restoring the long-shuttered hotel to its former glory. “And La Castañeda Hotel, where Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders held their first reunion in 1899 around the corner from Doc Holliday’s saloon, is the crown jewel.”
Affeldt believes that once he reopens La Castañeda — hopefully in the summer of 2019 — it will once again make Las Vegas a “must stop for travelers who love history and design.”
The last stop on the self-guided tour was La Castañeda Hotel by the railroad tracks, currently being restored & redesigned. The belvedere, prominently on the left side of the La Castañeda roof, just below, is "an architectural structure sited to take advantage of a fine or scenic view," according to wikipedia (I had to look belvedere up...). And what a view it will be when it opens next summer!