I just met this guy who'd had a vision of transforming this abandoned cinema in downtown Taos into a community arts center. Maybe you already know all about this, but I doubt he was plugged into the permie community. I think if he'd been more knowledgeable about permaculture principles and strategies he could have made it work, but with the 2008 economy crash he lost ground and gave up on the project. He has been trying to sell it for years, and now trying to short-sell, but the bank makes it very difficult. (He lives in the Boston area now, where I live).
The idea is still a sound one, and I think it could be a great opportunity. If he could rent it out for a price comparable to what he could get for a short-sale it would be a win-win. This would be a great city repair.
If you know of anyone this might be of interest to I'll be glad to put them in touch. He's a really nice guy and very open-minded.
I don't know how strong the roof is, but I imagine it could have a trellis on the top and grow fruiting vines over that, make that into a gathering space without needing to add weight-bearing capacity. Herbs and small greens along the walls, in mini-"hugel"-pots, that sort of thing. The original plan was to have a bar and restaurant, then social events, a poetry series and cinema series (the last two of which are actually still going but not on the site), and attract people there that way. They had building code issues that were forcing them to renovate and that led to the bar idea. But even so renovating is less impact than tearing down and doing new construction, as far as I can tell. the university was going to use it too part of the time. I don't have more info than that but you could talk to him and find out.
The place was of great significance to the different populations in the neighborhood--for around 100 years it was the common gathering place for Indians, Spanish, and Anglos, and the many other groups there.
Community Building 2.0: ask me about drL, the rotational-mob-grazing format for human interactions.
Of course, I found a very beautiful couch. Definitely. And this tiny ad:
BWB second printing, pre-order dealio (poor man's poll)