Tranquility trails the long, tree-shaded driveway, reminiscent of an old Southern plantation even though it’s in the Southwest. By the time I reach the house, the city atmosphere has dropped out of my consciousness. Serenity settles around as softly as evening shadows.
Larry and I have arrived at Los Poblanos Inn, just a magical moment away from the sounds of Albuquerque, New Mexico, but a world away in attitude.
Built more than 70 years ago by Albert and Ruth Simms—both U. S. Congressional representatives and members of the Washington elite—the present-day inn was originally designed as their home and a place to accommodate guests. The couple hired John Gaw Meem, widely recognized as the “father of Santa Fe style” of architecture, to remodel the existing farmhouse and to create La Quinta Cultural Center, hub of the city’s political and cultural activities for many years--a work of art itself as well as a gallery for showcasing art forms.
Settled centuries ago, the river valley looking toward the Sandia Mountains became farmland during the 19th century. After the Simmses purchased the land in the 1930’s, they reassembled the ranch and began activities that assured its historical importance.
Ruth brought her herd of Holstein dairy cattle from Illinois and launched Creamland Diaries, still in operation today. Various crops were farmed, and today Los Poblanos operates two community-supported organic farms growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The Simmses established the Albuquerque Little Theater and other arts organizations and built Albuquerque’s first swimming pool. Academic institutions they started remain vibrant forces in the community.
Check back for more about this incredible place.
Photos by Larry Burmeier
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