James L. Johnson House & Garden
545 Canyon Road
James L. Johnson, a Santa Fe Trail merchant, bought two parcels of land, including a house, and corral on Canyon Road in the mid-1850s. By 1875 his business was thriving, his family had grown to seven children, and he had added on to his house. The Johnson home was described in the newspaper as "one of the finest villas on the edge of the city." The Johnson family was associated with the house for over 75 years. The house combines a Spanish Pueblo style flat roof, linear floor plan, and softly rounded adobe outlines, with features of the later Territorial style, such as brick coping at the parapet and classical wood door and window trim. The garden is similar to the one that may have been originally planted by Mrs. Johnson.
For a short time in the late 1920s, Margretta Dietrich operated El Zaguán as a hotel. The property was purchased in 1928 by Margretta Dietrich, a wealthy widow who had recently resettled in Santa Fe from Nebraska where she had been a leading organizer of women's suffrage groups. In New Mexico she devoted herself to the cause of Indian rights. Eventually Kate M. Chapman, one of the earliest practitioners of Spanish-Pueblo Revival style adobe architecture, directed El Zaguán's restoration and enlargement. In 1979 a private corporation formed by John Gaw Meem transferred the property to HSFF. Today El Zaguán houses the Foundation office, exhibit area, and private apartments. For rental information, please contact us for availability and rental rates. (Office and exhibit area are generally open Mon-Fri from 9-5; garden is open from 9-5, Mon-Fri).