National Geographic : 1914 May
A STREET IN THE VILLAGE OF CEDROS Photo by J. E. Kirkwood On the left the peons' quarters, on the right the garden wall. "The homes of peons are either huddled in groups or scattered about the outskirts, and, though mostly permanent structures built of adobe, they are arranged in no definite order, but are set up wherever chance or the convenience of the builder dictated" (see text, page 566). it, rambles over several acres of ground. Its front elevation, like that of many other mansions of the land, is innocent of any suggestion of artistic effort, and rises a plain, white-washed wall, broken only by the deep-set and securely grated windows and the heavy doors. It rises 30 feet to the parapet, providing two stories in the main building, though its adjoining structures have but one. Be fore recent improvements substituted a stronger wall for the old parapet, loop holes were still visible here and there. The doors of the main entrance, like those of the church, are ponderously built of hewn timbers and, being barred, offer effectual resistance to any seeking entrance by force. There seem to be no available records of the building of this house. A date legible upon one of the beams within is 1731, which appears to be the date of certain repairs. The building, however, in essential respects seems as good as when first built. The lower walls are nearly 4 feet in diameter, though 2 feet, the usual thickness of adobe walls, afford ample protection against the burning heat of summer. Notwithstanding the prejudice which might naturally arise against sun-dried brick as a desirable or durable building material, they have been immensely use ful in many forms of construction over a large part of the North American con tinent. They came extensively into serv ice, probably, through the force of neces sity, where other materials were scarce or difficult to work, but they have abun dantly demonstrated their usefulness. It would be difficult to imagine houses bet ter adapted to the hot, dry climate of the plateau than the adobe, properly con structed, which, when well finished, is clean and may be even beautiful in design.