Watch It Again: Return to Santa Fe
Even the guy in the mariachi band looked familiar
Back in the winter of 1989–90, TOH TV renovated a 1930s adobe house in the historic district of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The renovation included gutting original rooms, adding a library, building custom kitchen cabinets, and upgrading all the house systems. A few weeks ago, Norm Abram and Richard Trethewey returned to Santa Fe to see how the adobe house is faring, as part of TOH TV’s 40th-anniversary celebration this year.
It was a particularly fun revisit given that the original homeowners—artists Joe Anna Arnett and James Asher—still own and live in the house, and nearly everything the TOH team did 30 years ago is still intact. Joe Anna Arnett made a point of showing off the great condition of the kitchen cabinets that Norm built. Richard checked the mechanical systems and loved the fact that the radiant floor heating—installed using PEX tubing, which at that time was a new product for residential—was still warming the floors nicely; also, the mini-split AC units he suggested 30 years ago are still in perfect working condition.
John Wolf, the builder who worked with TOH during the project, came to the adobe house for the revisit too; he was just starting out in his career back then, and is now one of the most established builders in the area. And in a final moment of déjà vu, Southwestern style, when the mariachi band arrived at the end of the visit, it turned out the trumpet player had been in the band that serenaded the TOH TV team 30 years ago!
Insiders can get ready for these trips down renovation-memory lane by re-watching the original Santa Fe episodes (Season 11). In addition to Santa Fe, the team is revisiting the Manchester house (Season 23), the Cambridge house (Season 27), and the Key West house (Season 20)—with more visits in the works.