Inside an Extraordinary Santa Fe Compound

T-shirts in popular shops around Santa Fe are emblazoned with a lighthearted description of New Mexico: “Not really new, not really Mexico.” While that sentiment is clever, it also happens to be true. New Mexico may take its name from the nation to the south, from which many of its founding settlers traveled, but the state has a style and feel of its own, and Santa Fe even more so. This peerless six-acre compound—perched on a hilltop in one of the city’s prestigious neighborhoods—conjures some of the ambience of “Old Mexico,” blending it with an abiding love for the singular aesthetic, wide-open spaces, and expansive views for which the area is widely renowned. It is an unparalleled getaway of impressive proportions and style.

Santa Fe, New Mexico | Francesca StedmanNaomi HirschMary Kehoe, & Stephen PollackSotheby’s International Realty – Santa Fe – Main Downtown Brokerage

The property’s provenance begins in 1947, with a residence designed by the illustrious John Gaw Meem, father of the Pueblo Revival school of architecture and Santa Fe’s unique style. The home has been thoroughly transformed into a chic oasis, now measuring 12,329 square feet and offering every contemporary comfort and convenience. In keeping with the traditions of the iconic hacienda, the residence and its guest casita are centered around a courtyard with a classical fountain and vibrant roses and other flowering plants. Barrel tile for the eye-catching roof were reclaimed from a 100-year-old hacienda in the Yucatan, and that striking silhouette directs the eye to the impossibly blue New Mexico sky and the expanses of mountains and badlands unfolding in the distance. In point of fact, the estate offers sweeping 360-degree views from every vantage point, with multiple terraces and “disappearing” walls of glass designed to make the most of them.

While it honors the traditions of the region, the estate is still decidedly contemporary, created with consummate modern living and the display of art in mind. Surprising new elements were added—beams from a Pennsylvania barn found new life in the vaulted dining room ceiling, and pecky cypress wood from Louisiana adds distinction to an island in the spacious kitchen. Expansive wall space was retained, and windows throughout were thoughtfully placed to admit dazzling natural light and dramatic vistas. Spaces inside and out are ideal for installations and sculpture as well as exceptional entertaining. Every desirable amenity has been included, from superior appliances and an impressive 500-bottle wine cellar to a luxurious owner’s bath that rivals the most indulgent spa.

Affording ultimate flexibility and versatility, the property has been expanded and dramatically improved to offer both a guest casita and a two-bedroom guesthouse, perfect for hosting several short- or long-term visitors. The estate also allows for enjoyment of a variety of activities, even in rare inclement weather. A former chapel now serves as a relaxing entertaining pavilion with a bar and space for multiple televisions. The alluring resort-caliber swimming pool is surrounded by sun-washed terraces, a breezy arbored cabana with a fire pit, and cool, shady traditional portales. In the dining pavilion, which includes an alfresco pergola overlooking the extensive vegetable beds, a love of the land and a passion for gardening are readily apparent. Completing the comprehensive picture are a putting green, a bocce court, a charming potting shed, a superior chicken coop, and two private wells. New Mexico is often referred to as the Land of Enchantment, and this incomparable retreat, which stands out as truly one of a kind, helps the state live up to that name.

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