10 That Changed America Blog

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Taos Pueblo

Dan Protess

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We finished filming “10 Homes that Changed America” at homes that are older than American itself. By some estimates, the mud brick “apartment buildings” at Taos Pueblo in New Mexico are more than a thousand years old.

The Native American families whose ancestors have been living here for generations have a sacred connection to these homes. We filmed them restoring portions of the pueblo using their traditional building methods: they layer the thick walls with sun-hardened mud bricks, mud plaster, and decorative mineral coatings, all topped by a multilayer timber roof. We had two fantastic interviews, with Richard Aspenwind and Tony Duran. Neither is a trained architect, but they don’t need to be—they understand the engineering and design of their ancestral homes in a deep and soulful way. Everyone here was so extraordinarily warm and welcoming (and funny!) that we all had the experience of a lifetime.