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Old Santa Fe: 400 and still evolving

Old Santa Fe: 400 and still evolving

"Oldest house," panted Robert Chavez, steering his pedicab past a 17th century adobe. "Oldest church," he added a moment later, nodding left toward the 17th century San Miguel Mission Church. Santa Fe — rich, tan, relentlessly artsy and frequently artificial — is really old, by American standards. The city turned 400 this year. When I visited recently, my mission wasn't really to chase after old buildings, odd galleries and new restaurants. I wanted a look at Santa Fe's newest downtown neighborhood, a once-blighted railroad zone whose revival is nearly complete. But in the middle of such history and atmosphere, a tourist gets distracted. Before...

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