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Koshare Indian Museum

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1944, Damon O. Runyon. 115 W. 18th St. (northwest corner of Santa Fe Ave.)

This stuccoed cinderblock Pueblo Revival complex on the Otero Junior College campus surrounds a kiva that is 60 feet in diameter with a roof formed by 637 layered logs. The Nebraska architect supposedly studied Indian kiva roofs and designed the span using toothpicks and a teacup. This museum complex was developed by Explorer Scouts under the direction of James F. “Buck” Burshears (1909–1987), who in 1933 began studying and performing traditional Indian dances and making costumes. Burglar bars on the lower windows of the viga-studded museum building are designed to resemble corn plants. They guard a fabulous collection of Native American artifacts, including San Ildefonso Pueblo pottery and Taos School paintings by, among others, Ernest L. Blumenschein and Joseph Henry Sharp.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "Koshare Indian Museum", [La Junta, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 392-392.

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