Except for two relatively short periods when it was rented to two art galleries, the house has been vacant since 2012. And it has been a weight on the foundation, minus the monthly $8,000 rent the bank had paid.
“We were getting killed,” Warzel said. “The property taxes were $13,000 a year. But we got a great price. And we have a good preservation easement on it.” Historic preservation easements protect certain features in perpetuity. Included in the Delgado House easement are the street facade, the fireplaces, the woodwork, and the windows.
“The first time I was in there was when First National Bank of Santa Fe used it for custom banking and I thought, what a neat old building,” Victory said. “So when I heard it was for sale, I got my name on the list as soon as I could.”
Victory (Cherokee/Choctaw) owns the Victory Contemporary gallery at 225 Canyon Road. He will move that operation to the Palace Avenue building, and he has plans to expand. “I’m working with Gregory Schaaf, the foremost authority on Indian jewelry [and the author of American Indian Jewelry and other books]. I want to do a jewelry show in December.”
The historic house’s front, streetside windows are beautiful but they’re not like gallery display windows. “I can’t change anything, structurally, but I think they lend a lot to the character of the place,” Victory said.
“I’m thinking about turning the second floor into a Poteet Victory museum. Back in 2000 I was at the University of Oklahoma and I did a mural on the Trail of Tears that’s 56 feet long and 16 feet high. It’s an oil painting on linen. I’ve got all the studies for the mural and I’ll display those.”
Victory’s current work represents a return to his roots.
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