A.M. Bergere House
135 Grant Avenue
The A M. Bergere House was built in the early 1870s as an officer's quarters on the Fort Marcy Military Reservation, created by President Andrew Johnson's Executive Order of August 28, 1868. Quarters for the commanding officers were established north of the Palace of the Governors and fronting Washington Avenue. Six other adobe houses for officers of lesser rank and their families were also constructed, symmetrically positioned so that half the houses faced Lincoln Avenue and the other half faced Grant Avenue. Of these six structures, only the Bergere House at the northwest comer and the Fort Marcy's Officer Residence at the southeast corner have survived.
The army abandoned the Fort Marcy Military Reservation on October 10, 1894, and the post was placed under the custody of the Interior Department disposal. Until this could be accomplished, the property was to be administered by the governor of New Mexico. During this period, the six officers' quarters were used as rent-free residences by politicians and prominent New Mexicans.
On June 3, 1899, Solomon Luna was granted permission to occupy the Bergen House. The Lunas, Oteros, and Chaveses were the most influential and politically powerful families of the Rio Abajo (Lower River) region during the Mexican and Territorial periods. In addition to Solomon, the Luna family also included Tranquilino, Jesus, Maria, Luz, and Eloisa, who married Manuel B. Otero in 1879. Three years after the death of her husband, Eloisa Luna Otero married Alfred Maurice Bergere. Of Italian ancestry, Bergere immegrated to the United States from England in 1872 and six years later moved to Valencia County where he was involved in mercantile, stock-raising, and insurance interests. On February 28, 1901, the secretary of the interior authorized Governor Miguel A. Otero to permit Bergere, then district court clerk of the first judicial district, to occupy a building on the Fort Marcy Abandoned Military Reservation as soon as one became available. In a letter dated May 4 of the same year, Governor Otero informed the Department of the Interior that no houses were vacant but that A. M. Bergere was occupying the house assigned to his brother-in-law, Solomon Luna.
On January 5, 1904, the Fort Marcy Abandoned Military Reservation was conveyed to the City of Santa Fe, which in tum transferred the property to the Santa Fe board of education. Mrs. Otero purchased the house and the two lots from the board of education on December 22, 1905, for $2,700.
Originally, the A. M. Bergere House was L-shaped, with a cross-gabled roof of pleated "tin" crowned with three fired brick chimneys. The exterior walls were mud-plastered and the two front corners were rectangularly etched to simulate dressed stone corner trim. Over the years the exterior of the house has been altered. In 1926 the cross-gabled roof on the main portion of the house was removed: the upper story was squared and a flat roof added to make the structure conform to the Spanish Pueblo of architecture that was experiencing a revival in the capital city at that time. The stables and tennis court constructed by Bergere no longer exist, but the trees he planted are still bearing fruit.