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Hidalgo County Herald
Lordsburg, New Mexico
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August 27, 2010     Hidalgo County Herald
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August 27, 2010
 

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12 HIDALGO COUNTY HERALD FPIDAY. AUGUST 27.201~) Pr.eservation News na mission fa hurdles By LAUREN WALSER I Preset-and a school and attracts more years, the restoration crew has re- vation Magazine - Online Only I than 200,000 visitors annually, moved much of the cement plas- Aug. 17, 2010 "It's a national treasure, but ter and repaired the damage un- More than 20 years after a it's also certainly a community derneath, re-pointing the mortar major restoration project was treasure" says Linda Mayro, cup joints and refinishing the exterior launched at San Xavier del Bac. rural resource manager for Pima with lime plaster. a Spanish Catholic mission nine County, Ariz. "It speaks to the A team of art conservators miles south of Tucson, Ariz., the depth of all the traditions that also spent more than six years church suffered cleaning a major setback: and sta- state legislators bilizing cut the state's the inte- Heritage Fund, rior art- which desig- work, in- nated a ~ cluding $150,000 grant the fres- to the mission, coes and The resto- s c u 1 p - ration team was tures. planning to use Pat~ the grant to re- S a n pair the X a v i e r mission's 200- h a s year-old east h e 1 p e d tower, one of the r a i s e final exterior m o r e projects on the than $6 . decades-long Although one of San Xavier del Bee's towers has been restored, the million undertaking, other is still in need of restoration, in the last But the archi- Photo Credit: Michae/McNu/ty 20 years. tects have sus- But the pended work on the tower and have shaped our" community, It's have turned their attention to a a real anchor for our identity and economic downturn has deliv- smaller project, theeast arcade off our sense of place." ered a blow to the group's efforts. the mission's courtyaM. In the 1970s, locals noticed In addition to the loss of the Heri- "We weren't willing to start the structure was badly in need rage Fund. the project has faced something we couldn't finish," of repair. Because the Franciscan other hardships, including the says lead architect Bob Vint. who friars who operated the church, laying off of two of the six crew has been working on the mission could not afford to restore it. in members and downsizing to a since exterior restoration began 1978 community members four-day work week. in 1989. formed a nonprofit group called "We're hanging in there," Vint estimates the east tower Patronato San Xavi.er to help .says Vern Lamplot. executive di- would take at least three years to raise funds for the effort, rector of Patronato San Xavier. finish and would require full scaf- Much of the damage was But the restoration team is folding. The mission's 80-foot caused by a series of unsympa- optimistic the project will have a west tower was restored after four thetic repairs made to the build- happy ending. years of extensive repairs in 2008 ing earlier last century, which "People have a real affection with the help from a Save used materials incompatible with for this place." Lamplot says. America's Treasures grant, a pub- the mission's brick. The mission "Once you enter, you really feel lie-private partnership between had been coated with cement like you're in another place at the National Park Service and the plaster, so decades of moisture another time." National Trust for Historic Pres- became trapped underneath, caus- ervation. Today, the west tower's ing major deterioration to the gleaming facade stands in stark brick. Email us at hcherald @ aznex.net or hcherald @ hotmail.com contrast to the weather-worn east While those repairs may tower, have extended the longevity of Completed in 1797, the mis- the church, they ultimately sion is a National Historic Land- caused more damage in the long mark that still serves as a church run. Vint says. Over the last 20 I I A special thanks to the people who helped make theimprovements to the arena: Ace Peterson, AndyPeterson, Kris Massey, Randy Walter, Owen Washburn, Pecos & Darr Shannon, Mark Williams, Lance Williams, Justin Kipp, Tyke Kipp and Nate Peterson. Please come and support your County Fair[ Funding the Commissione l Carnival Rid Playtime Amusement (Friday at 5 PM) Livestock Saturday Night! & Vendors bits Hidalgo County Fairgrounds Lordsburg, NM For general Fair Information, call 575-542-9291 or 575-534-5010 For Rodeo " " "Information :g,.~ . 575-548-Z305 ; 2;i