Casa San Ysidro offers an intimate examination of historical details about New Mexico.
Window glass, imported from the United States after 1850, changed the character of New Mexican architecture.
Early Colonial and Mexican era windows were small and often closed against the cold with heavy blankets or wooden shutters that allowed little light to enter the room.
This window with its four small panes of glass represents a distinct improvement in the homeowner's "life style" and is a testimony to the family's prosperity as well.
Wooden doors were introduced into New Mexico by the Spanish.
Because of the immense amount of labor involved in their construction, such doors were generally reserved for churches or the homes of the ricos. By today's standards, most of these doors were quite small -- perhaps four feet tall by two feet wide.
Small openings helped to keep out the cold of winter as well as the heat of summer, and also forced those entering to bend down and duck their heads, thereby providing the inhabitants with a measure of defense from unwanted intruders.
These hand-hews and adzed double doors with wooden pintle hinges date to approximately 1838 and lead into Casa San Ysidro's chapel.
Private chapels were common in large homes and were typically an integral part of the floor plan rather than separately built structures.
The presence of such a specialized room within the home was marked by a small belfry on the roof or a cross over the doors.
With the arrival of the railroad in 1879-1880, the style of New Mexico's architectural details began to change radically.
Access to milled lumber, window glass and new tools changed the look of traditional homes as New Mexicans enthusiastically adopted and adapted design influences form the United States.
These fine doors reflect the popularity of the Greek Revival style in New Mexico following the Civil War.