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In the winter of 2020, the Historic Santa Fe Foundation named SAR’s 1920s campus a site worthy of preservation (read the announcement). We invite you to learn about the origins of the buildings and the historical significance of the sprawling estate that is now SAR’s campus through our virtual tour. Join your guide, SAR scholar-in-residence Nancy Owen Lewis, for this delightful twenty-minute online experience complete with archival and contemporary visuals from SAR’s collections. Enjoy this short preview and register below to receive a link to the full online tour.


Heading down the walkway, we come to our next site, the White sisters’ impressive Spanish Pueblo Revival style home built in 1926. To design their home, they hired William Penhallow Henderson, a well-known artist who had recently partnered with two other men to form the Pueblo Spanish Building Company. He modeled the adobe building after the mission church at Laguna Pueblo, complete with a choir loft where an orchestra could perform. It now serves as the school’s Administration Building.

Down the hall, we come to the White sisters’ living room, which they designed to accommodate theatrical performances, concerts, and, of course, parties. Hanging from the ceiling is a nineteenth-century tin chandelier likely made in Mexico. Today, the White sisters’ living room is used for board meetings, colloquiums, and other events. The original hand-carved Mission style doors remain, as do their benches, chests, wardrobes, and tables, many of Spanish colonial design.

Dog Cemetery

The White sisters raised Irish wolfhounds and Afghans and competed in shows around the country. Some forty-eight dogs are buried in the dog cemetary on the grounds, including twenty Irish wolfhounds and nineteen Afghans, as well as Sandy, their Scotty, and eight dogs belonging to friends and staff. Although a lot of champions were buried here, none was as famous as Elizabeth’s Afghan Amanullah, who by 1940 had won nine best-in-shows. Considered the leading Afghan of the time, his portrait currently hangs in SAR’s library.

Our tour ends where it began, at the Reception Center. One of our newer buildings, this facility opened in 1999, where their swimming pool had once been, its changing rooms incorporated into the new building. This swimming pool was one of the first amenities installed by the White sisters for use for their guests, as well as themselves, and dedicated in July 1926.