Tuesday, June 21, 2011

La Posada

Yesterday we had some sales calls to make in Winslow. I called on the manager of La Posada and then went to get Linda, who was waiting in the truck. There is so much to see and rooms to explore that I thought we might as well do it while we're there. I found a video that someone made of the hotel so you can see some of the things that we saw.

There is beautiful artwork throughout the resort, a great gift shop and their famous restaurant....The Turquoise Room. In a little room off to the side, we found a video playing about La Posada; explaining Mary Colter's vision for the property and talking about the restoration process. The gentleman in the video showed the massive ballroom and explained that in present day, public spaces aren't incorporated into buildings because they don't generate revenue and are therefore not wanted....it costs money to heat and cool these spaces thus they need to "make money". How familiar that sounded. I don't know how many times I would hear, when we were working on the design for the new student housing project, at the college where I worked, that we couldn't have any "common spaces". As the narrator in the video explained, the concept of time (back in the 30's) was so much different than now. Value was placed on leisure activities such as sitting in the corner and playing chess with someone or curling up in front of the fireplace with a book and spending the afternoon reading. As I would try to point out, in our design process at the college, these common spaces are what create the memories and relationships with others that a student will hold forever. If a student only remembers a time of rushing from class to class, bricks and mortar...they will not create that lifelong connection with the institution which is what any university wants. Especially when that student may grow up to become a successful businessperson and "donor" to the university. Common spaces are so important to build that collegial atmosphere, through hanging out with your peers doing activities, etc. Society (and architects) understood it back in the 30's but it's become all about revenue since then. A very sad commentary for our culture. There is a need for one to slow down and enjoy the "quiet" activities in life.

After we looked around, we were very hungry so we decided what better time to try the Turquoise Room. What a treat it was !
Old Placemat at our table
The dining room is beautiful, with artwork like this painted glass panel that was behind our booth.
There were two antique placemats on our table that were really cute. Here is one of them.

Linda had the grilled chicken Caesar salad and I had the black bean veggie burger with portabella mushroom on top and some type of cheese. A small Caesar salad, topped with roasted pumpkin seeds completed my plate. Everything was so good and it was the best meal we've had since arriving in Holbrook.  Definitely a place I would recommend to anyone coming through this area. If you come for the evening meal, chances are you'll need a reservation.
Ceiling fixture in dining room
Wall sconce in ballroom
It was a neat experience and so glad that we got to go there. There was an exhibit in one area of the hotel on influential women of Winslow. That was really interesting and as you'd expect, there was info on Mary Colter, the designer of La Posada.

There are several train tracks running through the back of the property and as you walk out the back door, you can just imagine life in the 30's and people strolling out to catch their train. A wrought iron gate, separating the hotel patrons from their ride. Beautiful grounds, with lots of holly hock, roses and desert hardy plants. So glad that a group of people had the vision to purchase and restore this property. It is truly a gem and a must see !

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