The Santa Fe Railyard is a public/private space in the downtown area of
the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, that is enjoyed by residents and visitors. It
made use using a former railyard, and it includes a park, a farmers market, art
galleries, restaurants, and shops. It was also designed to serve as a
environment-living exhibition of environmentally-friendly infrastructures and
efficient urban systems.
The railyards, built in the late 19th Century by the
Atchison, Topeka, and Sante Fe Railroad (now part of the Burlington Northern
Santa Fe Railway), was originally very active, but as railroads declined, the
site fell into disuse. In 1995, the City of Santa Fe, with the help of The Trust
for Public Land, purchased 50 acres of this area with the intention of
preserving its character and historic significance. After an in-depth,
community-based planning process, the re-envisioned Railyard that opened to the
public in 2008. The city signed a long-term agreement with the Santa Fe Railyard
Community Corporation to provide nonprofit management of the site. The
award-winning design by Ken Smith, Frederick Schwartz, and Mary Miss was chosen
for the plaza, park and walkways.
Frederic Schwartz Architects
Santa Fe Railyard Plaza
The Plaza and the Park
The Santa Fe Railyard Plaza (shown above) is the heart of The Railyard and
the focus of
community and social activity. Its design offers
opportunities for special events, temporary performance areas, community
gatherings, and every day uses for individual food vendors and performing
artists. A line of telegraph-style light poles capped with solar powered blue railway
run the length of the site, demarcating the main circulation path. A
grand pedestrian walkway continues along the
Farmers Market where a long shade structure is used by market vendors during the
day, and provides a well-lit passageway at night.
Trees are carefully placed to preserve long distance views to the
Sangre de Cristo mountains.
The park includes shaded and grassy sections, children
playgrounds, and picnic tables. Over 300 trees and several thousand
drought-resistant plants in the Railway Gardens and elsewhere create an
oasis in Santa Feís often dry environment.
SantaFe.org, Santa Fe Railyard Park
Photo © Branden Klayko
The Farmer's Market
Santa Fe Farmersí Market
, with over 150 vendors offering diverse agricultural products.
Fresh, local produce is available from May through November on the outdoor Railyard Plaza
and year-round inside the Farmers' Market Pavilion.
The Farmers Market, the largest in New Mexico, assures that all
products sold by its vendors are always locally grown by the people selling
them. 100% of the vegetables, fruits, and nursery plants available at Santa Fe
Farmers Markets are grown right in northern New Mexico. The year-round inside
market is open on saturdays, and the outside market is open on tuesdays.
The Railyard Artisan Market is held every Sunday, 10am-4pm, year-round,
in the Farmersí Market Pavilion. This event features
and over 40 artists, including fiber art, paintings, hand blown glass,
herbal products, sculpture, photography, jewelry, and lots more.
SantaFe.org, Santa Fe Farmersí Market
The Railyard Arts District is home to a group of contemporary art
galleries joined in the Santas Fe Gallery Association. The goal of this effort
is to create programming, bring together world-class international contemporary art,
and to advance the message of contemporary art to the community.
These galleries, including the major SITE Santa Fe museum,
are housed in warehouse-style buildings within walking distance of each other.
An Artwalk is sponsored on the last Friday of every month from five
to seven PM.
Warehouse 21 Teen Center
The Santa Fe Teen Arts Center, Warehouse 21, is a center for youth
entertainment, entrepreneurial opportunities and artistic production. The center
offers programs in the performing, media and visual arts which have served over
25,000 youth ages twelve to twenty-one from all socioeconomic and cultural
backgrounds. The mission of the center is to inspire youth to empower themselves
through artistic expression and productivity. The warehouse structure houses two state-of-the-art performance spaces, a
recording and mixing room, a silk-screen and fashion studio, and amedia
Part of the center's mission is job skills training, and kids with minor
convictions can work off part of their sentences doing community service at
the center. Many of these teens return to the center, sometimes being
employed, after their sentences are served.
By permission/Santa Fe Railyard Community Corporation
Warehouse 21 Teen Center
The Santa Fe Depot
The Santa Fe Depot is
the northern end of the New Mexico Rail Runner Express commuter rail line. This line
runs from Santa Fe south through Albuquerque to the city of Belen, and it was completed in 2008.
The station was originally built by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad (now part of
the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway) in 1880.
New Mexico Rail Runner at Santa Fe Railyard
Wikipedia: Santa Fe Depot,
Author: Sunil Prasannan
Much of the railyard serves as a living exhibition of
green infrastructure and efficient urban systems. For example, the water tower
that is arguably the railyard's iconic feature is also an innovative water
harvesting system. Rainwater is stored within the tower, and this harvested
rainwater is used to irrigate the
railyard's various plants, trees, and community vegetable gardens, which are
carefully planted to require as little water as possible.
This website is not a professional guide, but an editing of existing referenced
material for educational purposes. The website author assumes no responsibility
for any problems resulting from using the material presented in this website.
American Planning Association: Santa Fe Railyard
Frederic Schwartz Architects: Santa Fe Railyard Park
Project for Public Spaces: Reclaiming the Heart of Santa Fe
Santa Fe Tourism: Satna Fe Railyard
Warehouse 21 Teen Center
Wikipedia: Santa Fe Depot