Friday, May 25, 2012

Adaptable Adobe

Back a long time ago when I was working in historic preservation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, we found Albuquerque's many historic adobe buildings really challenging because they were such shape-shifters.  A new generation in the family?  Add another room at the back of the house.  Too many leaks in the east wing?  Let it return to the earth.  It was hard to say what part of the classic adobe houses came from which period, what part had been added, what part had been changed.  That, of course, is the beauty and delight of an adobe building.

It's equally true here in Central America, and in Suchitoto.  I walked down the street the other day and came on men putting two parallel brick pillars into the wall of a delapidated adobe house.  What could they be planning?  A couple of days later, the arch appeared, linking the pillars, and it was clear that they were creating a new door. 
A second archway -probably a tall window - has now been put in to the left of the new door.  It'll be fun to see what shape this old building has after all the work is done. 

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