Nothing represents “New” Town more than its Railroad District. The century old train depot is still in use … Amtrak stops here twice a day. The interior has been modernized but the Mission Revival facade is unchanged. Click here to see the vintage photo Danny used as a template for his photo.
When the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad arrived in Las Vegas in 1879, a "new" town sprung up a mile east of the Old Town. The railroad more than anything shaped this side of city. It brought wealth, and most importantly, the Anglo immigrants who brought new attitudes toward architecture. They shunned the indigenous adobe, favoring instead to emulate the building styles typical in the Midwest. Using imported brick, locally quarried stone, structural cast iron and pressed metal, they put up scores of fancy Victorian-style buildings. With its brick and stone buildings, trees, parks and grid-like streets, "New" Town stands is stark contrast to Old town with its adobes and meandering streets.
Across from the train depot and La Castaneda Hotel is the Rawlings building. It was built in 1899 to house the Harvey girls who staffed La Castaneda's dining room. Though in deteriorated condition, the building's pressed-metal front is still impressive.
The area around the depot contains many turn-of-the--century brick buildings that currently house businesses like Moonlite Welding. We loved the old sign advertising "Wool Hides and Pelts".
Since the early 1920s when cowboy legend Tom Mix filmed here, Las Vegas has been a favorite Hollywood film location. This mural was first painted for the Red Dawn film set, but it looked so old-fashioned and authentic, the town decided to keep it. The 1969 film classic Easy Rider was filmed here as well.
The lobby of the El Fidel Hotel exudes a warm comfortable elegance. Built in 1923, it was originally known as The Meadows Hotel.
In 1886 the Women's Christian Temperance Union erected a public drinking fountain located near the saloons to serve as an alternate beverage in hopes that the availability of water would diminish the consumption of alcohol. Now the fountain is dry while people sit in the park with a bagged beverage. How's that for irony?
The old city hall was built in 1897 and has the distinction of being the first municipal building erected in New Mexico.
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