Sanborn Time Series: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Building styles and materials often reflect cultural and economic development. Early settlers
in an area may have adapted local materials. Over time exotic materials may have been imported
into an area by immigrants seeking to build structures that reminded them of home or by those
who created buildings with functions new to an area. The fire insurance maps of Santa Fe, New
Mexico, provide detailed insights into this process of cultural diffusion and adaptation.
In the following examples, one city block of Santa Fe has been reproduced from
three different editions.
The annotations provided are not meant to be exhaustive. Rather,
they point out some changes that occurred over time as a way to illustrate the types of
information that can be gleaned from a careful study of fire insurance maps.
This illustration is the section of a panoramic map of Santa Fe drawn in 1882 that
shows the same block rendered by an artist. This is example of how fire insurance maps
can be used in conjunction with other cartographic materials.
Gary L. Fitzpatrick