Monday, December 23, 2013

Ajo Architecture

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December 18, 2013

For a very small desert town (population 3,300) Ajo has some amazing architecture.

Of course the reason behind many of the beautiful buildings here is that this is a mining town laid out and built for the mining company.  There was a purely capitalistic reason for the nice plaza, beautiful school, railroad station, post office, etc. Happy families makes for stable workforce.  Living at a mine site is hard enough, the company sought to soften that a little by having the workers live with their families, and that means making some concessions to the spouses.  
The company made sure there were at least two churches- one catholic and one protestant, so they funded those also.

The architecture is both beautiful and graceful in the spanish style- now if we could just fill all the storefronts.  This once vibrant plaza used to be hopping with activity.

The mine provided rental housing to most of it's workers.  Size and style of the house varied with the workers race and importance.  Yeah I said race.  There was a separate area of town for Mexican workers and for the Native American (Indian) workers.
This is fairly typical of a home provided in the workers housing area of Ajo.  When the mine was closed, most of the housing was sold.
Most of the homes have been extensively remodeled.  Here are some examples of nicely remodeled homes in town.
Joan checks out a stucco wall built around one nicely fixed up house.

Now this house must have been one heck of an extensive remodel

This house (the two culverts are joined together like a habitrail) shows a lot of imagination!

Although it's not technically an Ajo house, this next one is by far our favorite desert house.

Your Traveling Friends

Joan and Jeff

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