El Castillo

Gerry McKinney, 95, a resident of El Castillo for 29 years, and CEO Al Jahner celebrate the retirement community's 50th anniversary during an event earlier this month.

El Castillo — a downtown Santa Fe retirement community, assisted living center and nursing care facility — celebrated its 50th anniversary this month.

This year will bring another significant milestone for the community, as an expansion off Old Taos Highway, called La Secoya, is underway. The expansion is a sign of El Castillo's growth in the past half-century, from its early modification of a downtown apartment complex into the broader senior living community it has become, serving nearly 800 residents.

Board members, residents and staff gathered for a celebration and ribbon-cutting April 2 — the community's first celebration since the coronavirus pandemic started over a year ago.

One of the celebrants was Geraldine “Gerry” McKinney, 95, who has been an independent living resident for 29 years.

The retirement community also honored longtime staff members, including Anna Hayes, who has served for 35 years.

“We’ve always been passionate about setting the gold standard for our residents’ quality of life,” said Al Jahner, El Castillo CEO, who has been with the company for 30 years.

“I am proud of our reputation and our family-like atmosphere," Jahner added. "I hope we will continue that for years to come.”

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