505 Don Gaspar
This home of two prominent merchant families still stands in pleasant solitude at the busy corner of Don Gaspar Street and Paseo de Peralta. It was built in 1909 by the Nathan Salmons. Their daughter's family, the John Greers, moved into it in the 1930s.
The Salmon-Greer House was designed in the Mission Revival style, which originated in California in the 1890s. Now that its original red brick has been stuccoed white, it adheres more closely to the style today than it did when first built. The floor plan based on a center hall is not characteristic of the Mission style, however, the arcaded porch and "tile" roof (actually tin molded to imitate tile) have always left no doubt of its California Mission Revival inspiration.
Nathan Salmon immigrated to the United States in 1887 and came to Santa Fe in the 1890s. When he decided to build this house shortly after the tum of the century, his choice reflected the current fashion of using styles that evoked a Spanish Colonial past. Another example is the Bronson M. Cutting House built in 1910. The more regionally appropriate Spanish Pueblo Revival and Territorial Revival styles would soon come to dominate Santa Fe's architecture.
The house and exceptionally large garden are surrounded by a wall, decorated with inset tiles and wrought iron arabesques, that was built in the 1920s after Salmon saw a similar wall in Mexico City.
Excluding a square, two-story addition at the rear, the main block of the house appears more horizontal than vertical, its two-story height muted by the low slope of the hipped roof and wide dormers. The exceptionally high sandstone foundation is tall enough to accommodate windows and encloses a full basement, an unusual feature in New Mexican houses of the period. Among the original furnishings was Nathan Salmon's pool table.
Located near the capitol, the house with its beautiful garden was both hospitable and convenient, and saw many gatherings of business and political leaders. As the home of early and influential Santa Fe
entrepreneurs, the Salmon-Greer House represents a significant chapter in the growth of the territory and is of interest as a local adaptation of the California Mission Revival style during its brief period of vogue in Santa Fe.