Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Historic Castle Burns Tuesday

Curator: Extent Of Damage Too Early To Tell
POSTED: 7:39 pm MST November 15, 2005
UPDATED: 7:43 pm MST November 15, 2005
SANTA FE, N.M. -- A national historic landmark in Santa Fe has been reduced to stone and ash.
On Tuesday, fire tore through the Seton Castle, which is very well known to some and virtually unknown to others.
The sprawling building was home to Ernest Thompson Seton, who was a noted naturalist and co-founder of the Boy Scouts Of America.
It was under renovation, and crews had just broken for lunch Tuesday afternoon when fire decimated the building.
By most accounts, the fire moved very quickly, collapsing parts of the third story onto the rest of the building with minutes.
The castle was designed by Seton and built around 1930. It rambled along according to his design, which made for a unique place 45 rooms large.
The Academy For The Love Of Learning bought the castle three years ago and was renovating it to become their base of operations and a learning center.
"We'll spend some time assessing. I'm sure we'll be talking with engineers to find out what's happened to the building. The wooden parts of it are gone," said David Witt, Seton Castle curator. "As (for) the rest of it, I don't know. They've done a lot of stabilization on it in the last eight months and so maybe that saved it. It's too early to tell."
Fire crews on the scene this afternoon weren't sure where or how it started, though some of the workers believe it began in the west end of the building.
Seton Castle is being restored using a grant from the federal government.
That grant is more than $300,000.

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