- Image 1 of 3
- Image 2 of 3
- Image 3 of 3
Known as Las Milpas, the property is the culmination of 25 years of renovation under the guidance of historical experts, spearheaded by an owner who has another claim to fame. Joe Pytka is considered one of the best directors of TV commercials, and he's yelled "Action!" at none other than Michael Jordan when he directed "Space Jam."
The filmmaker was determined to restore the compound while maintaining its historical accuracy. "He just did everything," listing agent Paul Duran. "From tearing up the floors and numbering the wood planks, to putting in a new roof, new stucco -- everything."
The compound sits on 1.5 acres and has over 12,000 square feet of living space, including the five-bedroom main house. The home has radiant heating, while its thick clay walls and inset windows keep the interiors cool.
While not all buildings currently on the property were around when the original structure was built in 1886, all additions were made with authentic materials and original building methods.
The compound was in poor condition when Pytka bought it from longtime Santa Fe residents. He rebuilt a few of the buildings, using mud plaster for the walls and natural dyes that indigenous tribes would have used.
The library, which was previously a stable, holds a valuable collection of rare books that novelist Larry McMurtry helped Pytka to acquire. Historian Ward Alan Minge suggested replacing a crumbling building with a chapel, which would have been part of a traditional New Mexico compound back in the day. Where possible, wood used was salvaged from other adobe structures.
Anita Rodriguez, an adobe expert, helped oversee the authenticity of the restoration and source era-appropriate furniture and antiques for the seven-building compound.
The furniture, artwork, and other objects in the home can be purchased for an additional cost. The entire collection is still being appraised, Duran says.
"Over the years, [Pytka] collected Spanish-American art that is representative of its [Northern New Mexico] culture. When you walk in the house, it's like a museum. It's like stepping back in time," Duran says.
Objects with cultural significance -- statues, tinwork, books, quilts, wood carvings, religious art, pottery, chests, and various forms of folk art -- were carefully selected for the home. The collection of tinwork chronicles the phases and artists of the decorative craft. Each room in the home includes an example of tinwork.
As for a potential buyer, Duran is looking for someone "who will continue to be a steward of true representation of Northern New Mexico life." He's also looking into the possibility of the city or state acquiring it for historical events.