Keeping Alamos Alive

92… Restoration and repair keep buildings breathing…

Old buildings carry on with the hands and minds of people dedicated to maintaining and restoring that which has lasted centuries. For many it is their way of life. We salute the workers and the owners. For the owners it is pride, responsibility and investment. For the workers it is a livelihood that supports their families, and hopefully, moments of pride for work well done.

Worker on a winter day, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Restoring and repairing old structures is an unending process

This is the busy corner of Calle Allende and Calle Cardenas. The Primary school is to the left. The two story structure is the north side of what was the Governor’s Mansion in 1828. Behind the stop sign to the right is the rear, east side, of the Museo de Costumbrista de Sonora which opens on the Plaza. There is much work to do to keep these three buildings alive.

Working on Calle Comercio, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

There is no end to doing what could, or should, be done.

Two buildings down from the Cathedral and Plaza, on the north side of Calle Commercio, a workman surveys a rain gutter. The flat roofs of Alamos have a hard time shedding water during a heavy downpour. Blocked or damaged downspouts need to be cleared and repaired before the next rain, especially in the summer when coastal hurricane remnants may pass through Alamos.

Street repairs on Calle Rosales.  Al;amos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

It is a busy morning on Calle Rosales. Places to be, things to be done.

Work and play on the architecturally diverse Calle Rosales. This is one of my favorite streets in Alamos Homes line both sides of the streetand the two story primary school’s northern side seen in the background. A home owner discusses her plans and needs for the day with attentive workers. This is one day at a time, day after day, month after month, year after year and…

Man breaking up street, Calle Rosales, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

One man, one pick-axe, one street, one task. Life goes on.

All great plans and achievements are created by muscles with minds. There are rhythms to hard labor starting with the cycles of breath and heart beats. There are the exertion groans and, in this case, the pick-axe moving through the air, crashing into the street and sizzle of sparks from hard metal striking rock, over and over. All of the elements in this photograph, minus modern clothing and fancy wheel-barrow, could have been here 200 years ago. This is one of many Alamos charms.

Working on the Bishop's mansion on Calle Comercio, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Framed by a classic arch man and sky do their thing.

The Bishop’s mansion, kitty corner from the Governor’s mansion on the south side of Calle Comercio, is having roof and rain spout inspection. King Carlos III established a new Bishopric in 1781. It would cover the territories of Sinola, Sonora and the Californias. Franciscan Antonio de Reyes was appointed Bishop and moved into this Alamos residence in 1783. The building’s two story majesty illustrates the grandeur that was Alamos in the mid 18th century. This period was the height of Colonial New Spain, an era of pomp and circumstance. Just think of the moments and secrets this perfect portales could share.

Construction crew working on Calle Allende talk about pay checks, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

The construction crew working on the Primary school meet with the boss.

What is the kid on a bike in a red shirt listening to? Are the men discussing what needs to be done next? Is it a safety meeting? Are figuring out ways to restart the truck? Are picking straws to see who goes get tortillas? Was there a problem with suppllies arriving? Are they gossiping? Are they striking? Has the city run out of money? The correct answer is it is Friday and they are gathered to collect their paychecks. All is good. The primary school’s western entrance is to the right and the south side of the Museo de Combrista de Sonora is in the background.

©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.