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In October of 2007, The New York Times featured this home in its 'Great Homes' section. That article, including photographs, can be viewed by going to New York Times website and searching for 'Great Homes' and then 'Mineral de Pozos'.
The home was designed by the noted Mexican architect, Gabor Goded, and built between 2000 and 2003. The home consists of two buildings, a one and a half-story residence and a two-story studio. Each building is approximately 2,200 square feet. However, rental of the property does not include the lower (basement level) of the studio, which is a photography laboratory.
Rental includes the entire 2,200 sq ft of the home and the entire 1,100 feet of the art studio. A gardener/groundskeeper lives in a small casita on the property 24/7 and is available for errands, assistance and chores.
The residence consists of the following: on the ground floor, a large room (approximately 22 ft x 55 ft) which serves as combined living room, dining room, and kitchen (three double doors open from this room onto a spacious patio and the garden); a small library and adjacent half bath; a bedroom (queen bed) with a full bath. Stairs lead to a large master bedroom (22 ft x 24 ft, king bed), a dressing room, a full bath, and a very large (22 ft x 42 ft) outdoor patio. The house is fully and comfortably furnished, including a fold-out, queen size sofa in the library and a couch, which can serve as a single bed in the living room. The kitchen is fully equipped. The ground floor of the studio, 18 ft x 60 ft, is included in the rental of the property. It is divided into 2 rooms. The main room is 18 ft x 42 ft and serves as an art studio; the secondary room serves as additional studio space and/or office.
Entry to the home is through large double gates, and there is space for parking two vehicles inside the property.
* Approximate Monthly rates, actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay
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This great home is located in the center of Mineral de Pozos ('Pozos'), a 500 year-old mining town in the high plains of central Mexico. The region is known for its rocky, cactus-filled landscape and its many picturesque ruins of 18th- and 19th-century mining buildings. Once an opulent city of 80,000 inhabitants, at the turn of the 20th century Pozos suffered a decline that left it sitting as a ghost town for almost fifty years.
In recent years, the town has been making a remarkable resurgence. Its authentic and picturesque jardin has been refurbished and newly landscaped, power lines have been buried beneath its cobblestone streets, and the Mexican government – in a move to protect the authenticity and history of the place – has declared Pozos to be a “Pueblo Magico.” The town has now grown to about 3,000 people, an almost entirely Mexican population, but including a number of artists and writers from abroad, who have built homes and studios in Pozos.
Except for fiesta times, when the town comes alive with celebration -- a mariachi festival in early June, a blues festival in July, the fiesta of the patron saint on October 3, and the Christmas holidays -- Pozos is a quiet Mexican town. For tourists and other short-time visitors, the attractions of Pozos are its authentic Mexican atmosphere, its growing fine arts environment, and its surrounding countryside, which provides adventurous hiking, mountain biking, and spelunking.
Pozos now offers four hotels and B&B's, four restaurants, three art galleries, a dozen artists studios, and a new health spa. Ruins of the old mining buildings, which are among the favorite hiking spots, are located in the countryside surrounding the town.
Today there are two full-service hotels, two B&B's, and four restaurants in Pozos. The major hotel, Posada de las Minas, with its excellent restaurant and bar, is located immediately next door to this rental property. The Posada has also opened a spa and health club facility, which is available for a daily or monthly fee.
For long-term visitors, Pozos is ideally located as a base from which to explore all of central Mexico. The colonial city of Querétaro (“the great and relatively undiscovered city of Mexico”) is 40 minutes away; San Miguel de Allende with its many attractions is 30 minutes by car; the eastern range of the Sierra mountains, including all the Spanish missions and the famous fantasy gardens of Edward James, are just two hours to the northeast. Mexico Highway 57, the main north-south artery through central Mexico is ten minutes west of Pozos. There are international airports at Querétaro (one hour away), San Luis Potosí (one hour), Leon/Guanajuato (two hours), and Mexico City (three hours).
Banking, grocery stores and pharmacies, doctors and hospitals, and most other modern facilities can be found in San Luis de la Paz, a city of approximately 30,000 people, only a ten-minute drive from Pozos.
Year Purchased: 2000
About: The property owners are photographer Geoff Winningham and artist Janice Freeman, who purchased the property in 1999 and built the home between 2000 and 2003. When we are not at home in Pozos, we live in Houston, Texas, where Geoff teaches in the Department of Visual Arts at Rice University. The home is largely decorated with photographs and art by Geoff and Janice.
Why Mineral de Pozos: Mexico and Mexican culture have been important in both of our lives. Janice grew up near McAllen, Texas, riding her horse all along the Texas/Mexico border. Geoff has spent over thirty years exploring and photographing all of Mexico. He first visited Pozos in 1979, when the place was still more of a ghost town. Shortly after they married in 1996, they visited Pozos together and fell in love with the place. They hired Gabor Goded in 1999 to design the home, and by 2003 it was completed. Today, each summer, their home is the site of the Pozos Art Project, and they teach photography and art of the children of Pozos.
The Unique Benefits at this House: The beauty and attraction of Pozos is its true, authentic Mexican character. Except for the tourists who come over to Pozos each weekend from nearby San Miguel de Allende and the relatively few foreign born-residents of the town, living in Pozos is an immersion in the real Mexico. People in the restaurants and on the streets speak Spanish in Pozos, so visitors will want to learn a few words of Spanish (or go to San Miguel).
At the same time, Pozos is ideally located as a base to explore all of central Mexico. Highway 57 is only 10 minutes away, and it will take you north to Real de Catorce or south to Querétero, Mexico City, or even Oaxaca. The mountains and the missions of the Sierra Gorda are only a few hours to the east.