Less than a mile from Santa Fe Plaza, down a short paved driveway just beyond the solar-powered security gates, is 938 Old Taos Highway, a newly renovated home with stunning mountain views, tasteful finishes and a history of throwing parties for dignitaries.
“We’ve hosted a lot of important people,” said former New Mexico state senator Roman Maes, who built the three-bedroom home while he was in office. Events held at 938 Old Taos Highway included fundraisers, meetings between New Mexico lawmakers, and private dinners with national and international politicians.
Originally built by Charles “Charlie” Rudolph of Rudolph Design and Development, a well-respected builder in Santa Fe, Maes remains proud of how the home turned out.
“It’s a really well-designed, well-built house,” he said, crediting the work of architect John Alejandro for its success. “My heart is still in this house and in Santa Fe.”
Now residing in San Diego, Maes recalled many treasured memories of family Christmases, parties and quiet nights with his wife on the Portal.
“You can see the Zozobra fire from there,” he said. “It’s a special house and the location is great.
The unit underwent a complete interior renovation in 2021, according to Amanda Godlove Erwin, listing agent for Barker Realty. She said the house was briefly owned by her clients – part-time Santa Feans who discovered several grandchildren were on the way shortly after buying the updated property. Ultimately, they decided to spend more time in their home state of Oklahoma.
It took three days for the Old Taos Highway house to find new owners. Felix Magowan and his wife Virginia Eaton settled on the property in early 2022.
“It was love at first sight,” said Magowan, who is moving from Boulder, Colorado. “I walked the property line and the moment I walked through the door I said ‘let’s make an offer’.”
Magowan and Eaton felt this would be their new home even before they saw it in person. “I knew this house was the one I saw it online,” he said.
The couple were drawn to the property for many reasons, including the rare-to-find oversized garage.
“I don’t want this to come across as sexist, but my wife loved the kitchen and I loved the garage,” Magowan said. “I have a lot of ‘toys’.”
Magowan and Easton also liked the layout of the house and the separation of space with different wings. “My office will be on one side and my wife’s on the other.”
Bedrooms and offices separate from the open-concept living room and kitchen, which features an 18-foot cove with exposed beam ceilings, matte-textured gray plaster walls and wood-framed sliding doors that lead to the exterior to an east-facing portal with a view of the Sangre de Cristos.
“Having it face east will keep it shaded and cooler in the summer,” said Magowan, who has made repeated visits to Santa Fe since the early 1970s and has business ties to the area.
Magowan convinced his father, a retired college professor who married into a deep-rooted Santa Fe family, to permanently move to the different town in 2012. Following this, Magowan and Eaton also wanted to live out their years gold in Santa Fe – with the family dogs, of course.
The couple plan to make just a few adjustments at home. Fencing the yard beyond the back patio for their four-legged family members is high on the priority list.
Most of the design elements will remain as is, including the wood beams accented by the Southwest style corbel, the decorative black and white tile bathroom with designer sink and wrought iron candelabra light fixtures.
The mountain views, including the Ski Santa Fe slopes within sight, are a particular highlight for Magowan, an avid sportsman. He can monitor snow conditions at a glance through one of the forward-facing windows.
“I am a skier, cyclist, hiker, hiker,” he said. “Nothing? Really. I’m really an outdoors person, so Santa Fe suits me.
Magowan and Eaton are also looking forward to a quieter environment. “Boulder is like a big tech Silicon Valley now,” he said. “Google has its second biggest operations there. It’s really intense and just business all the time. Santa Fe is much cooler.
Santa Fe’s mix of different civilizations and cultures, its restaurant scene, and natural beauty made this Santa Fe home an easy pick for the couple.
This is the most amazing fusion I have ever seen, from anywhere in the world,” Magowan concluded.
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