As I said last week: "I marked this entire folder MYSTERY, and I must have meant something." I did, and it turns out I gave it away last week without realizing it. But let's pretend you forgot, or didn't notice, or that I'm really hyping up interest when there's no mystery at all. (Hint: C) (No, I didn't say that!)

What was the mystery? Well, it’s not when this was built; if there’s glass blocks and a curved corner, it’s the thirties or early 40s.

Can't someone put aa coffee shop in there? Just don't cover it with pictures of 30s movie stars alternativing with faux-weathered signs for coffee and hamburgers.

HELLO you have traveled back to 1965. Enjoy your stay.


Guns, Ammo, Pawn Shop - but not here. There’s nothing here. Move along.

Poor building looks like someone got rid of all their excess putty and didn’t care how it looked.

That’s quite an overhang. Why would they need one? So people could pump gas in the shade.


It has the strange effect of miniaturizing the cars. The gaspump islands are gone; don't know about the tanks below. Some places had laws requiring the tanks come up, and that drove many a place out of business. Couldn't afford it. Didn't matter that there wasn't any gas to leak. Didn't matter at all.





Colors aside, an absolutely correct restoration. Narrow entrance to upstairs units. Glass over the store fronts for maximum light / ventilation. (The windows may have opened, once.)


Shuler theater.



Cinema Treasures:

The Shuler Theater opened on April 27, 1915 in the city hall in downtown Raton, and was designed by architects Issac H. Rapp & William Rapp. It was named after Dr. James Jackson Shuler, an early 20th century Raton mayor.

I'm sure no one thought that was the least bit self-aggrandizing.


Can’t be a store. You know it’s not a store.



A bank, once, if I had to say. Now it’s offices for an educational cooperative, whatever that might be

Remember: there’s a mystery. I said there was a mystery. Moving right along . . . .





They really have every possible archetype, no? 70s banks, 50s Government buildings, 19th century survivors . . .


. . . Like these two, which seem to have grafted together. Different buildings, if you judge the windows and brickwork at the top.



I have the feeling that people who wanted dance supplies might be disappointed.


If you know something of the stores of the bygone era, you’ll read this right away:



Mode O’Day.

The first Mode O'Day shop was founded in Glendale, CA, and by the mid 1960s, there were over 700 stores in over 30 states. Most of the stores were independently owned franchises. The individual owners would be able to purchase the dresses, on consignment, directly from the factory located in Utah.

More here, including old store pictures.



Another post-war metal grid, for Modernity’s Sake:



This has the look of a chain store. I can't say why, except that it looks like a standard idea they imposed across the land, a trademark look that said "we're that store."

Dead now, and from the looks of it likely to stay that way.



Peculiar decision: stick some columns in the corner to make everyone think they’re really not holding up the building at all. They’re not consistent with the stripped-down style of the building, and look like the builder picked them up cheap somewhere.



My Stars + Bars I took, what, 30 shots of tis town? Perhaps because of odd sights like this.



The broad sidewalk, the squished first floor, the expanse of empty metal where the name once was displayed, and the old original building up top.


“Damn it all! I said six floors! I don’t care what the plans say. I don’t care if you can’t get the same damned brick. Build it. ”



Why not work some ancient good-luck symbols into the project? They’ll always be attractive, and make people think of good things.



I say, what shall we call it? Oh, capital idea!



A good place to end.



Cinema Treasures:

The Raton Evening Gazette for April 18, 1930, reported that the ceiling was painted in a “….soft deep blue of the southern sky, studded with many twinkling stars, and here and there, (clouds) floating leisurely across the arched expanse are so real that we can hardly believe we are surrounded by four walls and a roof.” The side-wall murals were painted over sometime in the past (possibly in the late-1940’s when some remodeling was done by architectural firm Brittelle, Ginner & Neuner) and the ceiling’s stars and clouds have also disappeared.



Restoration began in 2008. A gallery of pictures here.


So what’s the mystery? I also wrote “two main streets” on the folder of images, and sure enough, that’s what it seems to have. One facing the railroad tracks, and another a block to the West. It looks as if they just started over, like Los Angeles in the 60s.

Have a look around. Nice little place.



And give my regards to Raton.

RAY-ton, thank you.