An estate for the ages
A charming, multipurpose and storied estate on Old Santa Fe Trail has come on the market and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the right buyer. Perched on just over 20 acres, joining the main house is an array of multi-use buildings and expansive grounds.
Dr. and Mrs. Harold Corbusier originated the estate in 1937. They christened it Sol y Sombra (Spanish for sun and shade), terms used for the two seating options at a Spanish bullring. More famously artist Georgia O’Keeffe bought the property in the 1980s and lived out her final years there.
The main home is a three-story, Spanish Pueblo Revival-style structure with original beams, vintage hardware, doors, wood floors, handrails, and stylized custom gates. Most of the bedrooms have fireplaces and private bathrooms.
A massive steel and glass greenhouse is filled with plants and features one of the most precious items on the property -- a Bodhi tree grown from a seed that’s said to be from the Bodhi tree under which Buddha sat for enlightenment. It was gifted to former residents Beth and Charles Miller from the Dalai Lama himself.
The greenhouse has an attached cafe-style kitchen and dining area, and office and storage spaces.
Formerly the carriage house, what is now the theater building was renovated in 2015. In addition to the screen room, it has a kitchen/concession area, a bedroom and bathroom, and access to a patio with a verdant garden.
Dubbed Lucy’s Cottage, the administrative building was originally built as quarters for family. The Pueblo guest quarters are made up of 11 units, varying from single to triple occupancy, each with kitchenettes and private bathrooms.
Next door is the Kiva meeting center, which was once O’Keefe’s artist studio. During a 1993 remodel it was expanded and now boasts offices, meeting and breakout rooms, as well as a tech-hardware room and restrooms.
The Lodge entertainment and gathering venue serves as a performance space and can seat 80 guests for a formal meal. It bears a water feature in the central room, a connected sunroom, roof deck, catering kitchen, restrooms and even a sauna.
Drip and subsurface irrigation systems, fed by two wells and a rain catchment system, water the extensive landscaping.
Not only does the property have a security and surveillance system but also has voice and video service to the audio/visual and communication systems in the main buildings.
Among the principal structures are:
Main House 9,139 square feet
Kiva Meeting Center 3,127 square feet
Pueblo Guest Quarters 4,431 square feet
Theater Building 1566 square feet
Lodge Gathering Venue 5,093 square feet
Guest House 888 square feet
Lucy’s Cottage 989 square feet
Guard House 209 square feet
Gate House 68 square feet
In addition, there are ancillary buildings, including a carport and security office, a maintenance barn, a greenhouse and botanical garden, tractor sheds, and more.
Walking paths, sculptures, a wood bridge, landscape boulders, and mature, cultivated trees and shrubs populate the entire property. Residents and visitors can enjoy the wildlife that takes refuge in this beautiful, quiet place.
For the duration of its life, the estate has been well cared for by its series of owners, with different sections remodeled through the years. An onsite caretaker tended to its every detail.
This property is a short drive from downtown, but due to its immense acreage and quietude, feels remote. The home is perfect for entertaining on a sizeable scale, and the rest of the property lends itself to group functions and retreat-style options.
Each individual building has its own history, and the property has an endless list of fascinating details. Contact Sol y Sombra’s listing agent, Paul Duran, to learn more. He sold the property to its last owner 20 years ago and is intimately familiar with its many facets.