Southwest art mecca is high on adobe charm and hot cuisine.
By Susan R Pollack
n her heyday, Julia Staab
presided over lavish parties in
her Palace Avenue mansion,
hostess to such notables as Kit
Carson; Archbishop Lamy (later
immortalized in Willa Cather's
novel, Death Comes for the
Archbishop); and New Mexico terri-
torial governor Lew Wallace, who
penned the epic, Ben-Hur. As one of
Santa Fe's pioneering German-Jewish
merchants, her husband, Abraham
Staab, was among the early movers
and shakers of this high-desert out-
post that has blossomed into a multi-
cultural- mecca steeped in history,
adobe architecture and chile-accent-
ed cuisine. After his small store had
grown by 1860 into the Southwest's
largest wholesale operation, Staab
founded and was first president of
the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce
and a director of First National
Bank. He also fought successfully to
keep Santa Fe as the state capital and
to bring the railroad to town.
But it is Julia Staab, social maven
and mother of eight, who, more
than a century after her death, main-
tains a haunting presence in her for-
mer home, La Posada de Santa Fe.
La Posada is the centerpiece of one
of the city's top resorts, a complex of
adobe caritas on six acres of land-
scaped grounds near downtown.
Sipping a Turquoise Sunset or mar-
garita in the inn's Staab House
Lounge, where a mezuzah still gra:ces
SANTA FE on page 20
Boots and more boots.
Patricia D. Anderson, a Navajo arti-
san, is among Native artists who
offer their wares under the portal on
Santa Fe's historic plaza.
Sculptures enhance the Santa Fe