Saturday, June 27, 2009

Inside Gertrude Zachary's Dream Home



Gertrude Zachary immigrated to New York after World War II. She's spent her life collecting antiques and designing jewelry. Now she's living in her dream home in downtown Albuquerque.

We went inside the fortress on Friday, and spent two hours interviewing the busy businesswoman for the August issue of Albuquerque the Magazine.

As you can tell by the photos, our personal tour was a real treat.

Enjoy the pics for now, and be sure to read our piece in the magazine next month. Also pick up this month's issue of ABQ the Mag which includes our extended interview with former Bush White House photographer Eric Draper. He had quite a journey on the world stage for eight years.


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14 comments:

Gwyneth"So Effing Jealous" Doland said...

Where are the pictures of you in a leopard-print mankini, skimming the leaves out of her lap pool? Or, wait, how did you say you got this tour?

Peter St. Cyr said...

Those pics are in the "private" collection. You should have come with me. Now I wonder if I can capture the essence of the opulence in an 800 word interview piece.

Christa said...

AMAZING...It is a palace.

-pauper

Anonymous said...

interesting- I remember this place under construction and was curious what it was. It's an interesting location for a palace such as this- next to the railroad tracks and overpass with no outdoor space to speak of. Did you get any indication of why this site was chosen. I know GZ has an antiques shop right next door.

Nancy Jenkins said...

Do you know if there are plans for Ms. Zachary to open her home to the public for a "tour"? It would be truly amazing to go inside.

Thank you.

Until I read this article, I thought this was going to be one of her showrooms, so am disappointed that it's private. I envy her, however, it's also MY dream home!!!

Justin Huntsman said...

Thanks for sharing the photos - always interesting to gain insight into the private homes of ABQ "celebrity".

But I have to ask, could this structure be any more out of place? I'm consistently annoyed (perhaps disappointed is a better word) by buildings, both public and private, which take no cue's from the regional vernacular. This structure adds nothing to the city, no less the streetscape, and I struggle to guess what will become of it 50 years from now.

I have no doubt that Gertrude Zachary is an interesting woman with an amazing story. And from what I can tell she has great taste and ability within her design domain. I only wish there was more thought and consideration given to this space – with an eye towards respecting the local design language and maximizing the adaptive reuse possibilities. Don’t get me started on the green aspects of this space either. “Opulence” is something to be embarrassed by, not celebrated, in this day.

Anonymous said...

These pictures are STUNNING! I would just LOVE to see this place in PERSON. This would be just like my DREAM HOME. I would dress the part as well since I feel that modern day clothing WOULDN'T do it JUSTICE! LOL. Well, that's MY opinion, anyway. I LOVE IT!

Sarah said...

Justin,
While I agree with a lot of what you say I am not sure we all need to be beholden to the "regional vernacular." I think this structure, like it or not, does add something to the streetscape:it is a dynamic, unique, point of interest. I remember when it was being built there was a lot of excitement about what it could possibly be. This excitement came mostly from friends living downtown. What will become of it 50 years from now? I cannot imagine why it wouldn't continue to be a private residence or perhaps house a museum or gallery!

I think there is something to be said for "respecting the local design language" but I also think there is something to be said for the injection of new or different ideas. Culture is not static and so cultural expressions change too. I don't see why this building cannot be seen as a contribution to the diversity of Albuquerque's cultural expression.

That being said, I do agree with the green aspects but I have no idea how it was constructed beyond that it looks to be a concrete castle. Still, she is also in the business of antiques so I am all for the re-use and re-purposing of old things (even if I cannot afford them myself).

Thanks so much for sharing these pictures: I look forward to reading the article and learning more about that house!

christie said...

Absolutely stunning environment! Thanks for sharing. I'm curious what the everyday living quarters of the castle look like. While I do believe the home is out of place for the area and certainly would not be my first choice given the span of the house, GZ has created a beautiful home for herself.

Wondering where the moat & alligators are.

Dennis H said...

Hehe...i thought it was a scientologist church at first...

Anonymous said...

I love it so much! I worked for GZ a long, long, time ago and what GZ wants GZ gets!! She supports local artists and is a true, unique, original individual. Go Gertrude! The house is spectacular!

Anonymous said...

Now this is what you call eccentric...The American Dream...it certainly makes you smile..

DEL JACK said...

Gertude Zachary's architect: The residence has much recyled content and is over insulated. Much was hand carried from next door now that is a low carbon footprint. There is a surprising amount of energy efficiency and green in her home.

Anonymous said...

I was just home this summer and NO ONE bothered to drive me by this...you suck people. When I first heard about this when yahoo reposted the article I thought is was about the weirdly placed mansion/house by the back side of the university. It's Mediterranean with a big fence around it, I always pictured exotic looking drug-dealers living there. BTW, she has rock and a few plants outside, I thought that counted as "green space" in ABQ. I'd rather see that over a big green fake lawn that wasted water any day.