Taylor-Mesilla Historic Property
Coronavirus Update 7/28/20
All Department of Cultural Affairs museums and historic sites, including this facility, are temporarily closed to the public as a public health precaution due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus). These closures are part of the larger effort by state government to minimize public exposure. Please continue to visit this website for updates and to explore online resources and collections.
Located on the historic plaza in Old Mesilla, the Taylor-Mesilla Historic Property embodies the rich history and heritage of the Southwest Borderlands. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and consists of two storefronts and a large residence in the rear. Since 1953, the three adobe buildings have been home to J. Paul and the late Mary Daniels Taylor and their family. The Taylor’s have an extraordinary collection of Spanish Colonial, Mexican, and New Mexican artwork and textiles from all over the world.
The historic property offers an exceptional setting for visitors to understand the history, culture, and architecture of Mesilla and the Southwest. The story of the home reflects the experiences of a multicultural family and community and serves as a reminder of a time in the nineteenth century when Mesilla was the center of political, commercial, and social activity in Southern New Mexico. The people who lived in the structure over time represent the cultural diversity of the community and were witnesses to important historic events that took place within the region.
The architecture, design and décor of the buildings provide authentic examples of different architectural styles and traditional adobe construction. The home has been a model for adobe preservation efforts in Mesilla and the surrounding communities. The Taylor’s were life long collectors of furnishings, art, and artifacts which provide exceptional educational opportunities to bring New Mexico’s culture and traditions to life. The Taylors have used their home and collections to help others understand and respect their own cultural traditions and to support arts education.
J. Paul and Mary Daniels-Taylor and their family have lived in the home for more than sixty years and it retains the features, furnishings, and décor associated with their values, lifestyle, and active participation in politics, education, religion, history, and the arts. Mary was an award winning writer, photographer and researcher. J. Paul is a well-known New Mexican who worked for many years as an educator, legislator, community leader and patron of the arts making many selfless contributions on behalf of the people of New Mexico. The donation of their precious home reflects their deep desire to promote a better understanding and appreciation of the history, culture, and architecture of New Mexico.