Historic Taos Inn
Backstory and Context
Thomas Paul "Doc" Martin was born in 1864 in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania to Joab and Louis Martin. Martin later earned his M.D. at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Baltimore, Maryland in 1887. Later, he interned at various hospitals in Pennsylvania. After completing his internships, Martin and his wife and batik artist, Helen moved to Taos, New Mexico around the 1890s. Martin became one of the first American citizens of Taos. He became Taos's primary physician and surgeon for the county where he would make house calls to the surrounding pueblos. Originally, he would travel with horse and buggy, but later, as transportation evolved, he began using his automobile to quickly tend to his patients.
In 1895, Martin and Helen purchased their principle home, which also served as Martin's medical office. The adobe house exhibits the Pueblo-Colonial architectural style. Both Martin and Helen were strong advocates of the arts, and eventually, they held the 1915 formative meeting of the Taos Society for Artists at their home. Their home began to be used as a gathering center for inspiring artists and humanitarians. Eventually, the Martins began purchasing houses surrounding their home and renting them out to artists. After Martin's death in 1935, the only hotel in Taos burned down. Helen, who took a huge interest in hospitality, bought the rest of the adobe houses that surrounded the property and converted the property into a hotel, and in 1936, the Martin Hotel was open for business. The hotel quickly became a a gathering place for Taos's social, intellectual and artistic society. Helen and her second husband ran the hotel until 1946, and they sold it to S.C. Albright, Mary Albright, and H.J. Gerard. In 1952, the hotel's signature blue thunderbird neon sign was positioned out front. The trio then sold it to Hilda and Harold Streets. Later, the Streets later renamed the Taos Inn, and they owned the hotel until 1972.
Later in 1981, the Taos Inn was listed on the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Prosperities, and in 1982, the hotel was listed on the National Register for Historic Places. The hotel was listed for its well-preserved Pueblo-Colonial design commonly used in the Taos and Santa Fe area and also for its contributions to the Taos community. When the hotel was listed on the registers, there were seven buildings that made up the property including the Martin House, the Tarleton House, the Hinde House, the Sandoval House, a block of rooms, and two detached structures. In 1989, the hotel was acquired by Douglas M. Smith and Carolyn Haddock, and they later dubbed the hotel, the Historic Taos Inn. Under Smith and Haddock's care, they made several renovations to the walls of the buildings and the surrounding houses into up-to-date lodging areas where guests can stay.
After 29 years of being owned by Smith and Haddock, in 2019, IMPRINT, a Denver-based hospitality company acquired the hotel and is currently operating the hotel. The Historic Taos Inn contains 44 rooms, a two-story lobby, a restaurant named Doc Martin in homage to Dr. Martin, and a bar called the Adobe Bar. The Doc Martin restaurant won several awards for its food and hospitality, and the restaurant is known for its signature chile rellenos and green chile. The hotel also has 14 curio shops where local Taos artists can showcase their work through window displays. Some artists that are featured through these exhibits include Thom Wheeler, Ed Sandoval, Bella Sue Martin, and Inger Jirby. The hotel's accommodations include free Wi-fi, a pet-friendly atmosphere, complementary parking, an outside fire pit, and free access to Shree Yoga Taos, an off-site pool, and a health/fitness center. In addition, the hotel hosts music and social events for its guests and the Taos community.
Historic Taos Inn. n.d. Accessed June 15th 2020. https://www.taosinn.com.
Moulton, Candy. "Historic Taos Inn," True West Magazine. May 5th 2008. Accessed June 15th 2020. https://truewestmagazine.com/historic-taos-inn/.
The Associated Press. "Denver-based IMPRINT Hospitality acquires Historic Taos Inn in New Mexico," The Denver Press. January 9th 2019. Accessed June 15th 2020. https://www.denverpost.com/2019/01/09/imprint-hospitality-acquires-historic-taos-inn/.
Threinen, Ellen. "Taos Inn," National Register for Historic Places. February 5th 1982. Accessed June 15th 2020. https://s3.amazonaws.com/NARAprodstorage/lz/electronic-records/rg-079/NPS_NM/82003341.pdf.