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The History of the Tlaquepaque Village

Since before Sedona as we know it was founded, the Oak Creek Canyon area was known for its natural beauty. The red rocks combined with the trees and forested area around the river attracted all kinds of visitors.

In the 1970s, Sedona still had very few permanent residents. The town boasted only one stoplight and around that time a man named Abe Miller began vacationing in the area. Miller was an influential businessman from Nevada with a love for travel. Mexico in particular was one of Miller’s favorite places, but Sedona soon become one as well. He began dreaming of creating a quaint arts village in the area full of the feel of Mexico and fell in love with a piece of creekside property dotted with enormous sycamore trees.

At the time, the land was owned by the Girards. When Miller first approached the Girards about his dream for the land, they refused, fearful of a large construction project that would destroy the the sycamores. It took two years for Miller to convince the Girards that the land and the trees would be cared for, but finally, they agreed. Miller immediately hired Bob McIntyre, a gifted, but unconventional architect.

Before beginning construction, the men traveled together around Mexico.Their goal was to visit the small villages and towns to document the look and feel of the gorgeous scenes. They returned with a plethora of photographs of rural villages and dozens of sketches of Spanish Colonial architecture. Focus was put on how patios, courtyards, and plazas created natural gathering places. They also began buying and sending things back to Sedona. They acquired a multitude of different things that reflected Mexican culture, including doors, benches, pots, lanterns, and ironwork. The actual building of Tlaquepaque was done by a multitude of different artisans. All of the amature artists were given almost complete freedom to create, and recreate, their parts of the project.

Tlaquepaque is actually a colorful Mexican city on the outskirts of Guadalajara. Miller borrowed the name for his artisan village. Tlaquepaque, which comes from Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, means the “best of everything.”

Miller kept his promise to the Girards to protect the sycamore trees. The building of the village was done around the huge trees. You can find branches twisting their way across rooftops and peeking into rooms.

Today, Tlaquepaque Village is a bustling center for artistic talents to meet, share ideas, and their crafts. They also host events throughout the year, such as meet and greets with artists or film showings. Make sure you check out their website before you visit Sedona to see what they have planned. Book your stay at HOTEL now and get a great deal on amazing rooms for a weekend or a longer family vacation.

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