The construction of the Casas Reales (Royal Houses) was completed in 1610. The newly constructed building represented the Spanish crown and government of the capital city of New Mexico. Part of the structure that has stood the test of time and remains today is the Palace of the Governors. It is the oldest continuously occupied government building in the United States. Since its completion, it has served as the home of governors and their families through the Spanish, Mexican, and early American history. During those eras it was the political hub of New Mexico where decisions made in Spain, Mexico and Washington became mandate in New Mexico.
Since the latter part of the 19th century, tourists and locals have had the opportunity to purchase jewelry, pottery, basketry, Kachina dolls, and other handcrafted work under the portal of the Palace of the Governors. This 1925 photograph of the daily commerce represents New Mexico’s Pueblo Indians and other Native American tribes from the region. The Palace of the Governors became a Registered Historic Landmark in 1960, and in 1990 an American Treasure.
Church & State
When L. Bradford Prince became the governor of New Mexico in 1889 he held many church related-functions in the reception room at the Palace of the Governors for the Holy Faith Episcopal Church. Holy Faith of Santa Fe is the oldest Episcopal Church in New Mexico. It was founded in 1863, with lay people conducting services. Some of the early worshippers were the Anglo soldiers and officers stationed in Santa Fe during the Civil War. Within five years the small congregation became the Parish of the Good Shepherd. The name was later changed to the Church of Holy Faith to reflect the English translation of Santa Fe.