I was in Santa Fe New Mexico doing research for The Strange. I was looking for the mysterious Santa Fe Staircase and I found it inside a tiny chapel in the heart of Santa Fe.
The staircase is strange because of two reasons. The first being the strange man that built it. The second reason being that according to many engineers and carpenters it is a marvel of engineering.
The story of the staircase is as follows. Inside the tiny chapel there is a choir loft in the back. This loft is ten or twelve feet above the floor of the chapel and when the place was new, the choir had to climb up a shaky ladder to go up into the loft to sing. It was getting to the point where many of the members were refusing to climb up the rickety ladder into the loft to sing on sunday morning. The women of the church were distraught and gathered one day to pray to God for a solution. Some days later, a mysterious stranger came out of the desert. A man no one knew, yet he said that God had sent him to build them a staircase. He set to work on it with only a hammer and saw and nothing else, except for a giant tub of hot water.
so very strange about this spiral staircase is the fact
that it was built with only a hammer and saw and that
there are no nails in the entire work. I got as
close as I could to this piece of craftsmanship to examine
it thoroughly. I can tell you first hand that I
couldn't even find a single peg. It looks as though
it was carved out of one gigantic block of wood.
Another thing about the staircase is that it is absolutely
beautiful. I stood there in awe of the sheer
aesthetic value of
this expertly crafted wonder. I wish I had one just like it in my home.
Some say the man who came out of the desert to build the spiral staircase was none other than Jesus himself. The carpenter of carpenters. In fact the descriptions that were written about the man say that he indeed looked like Christ. Who knows? As soon as he had finished with it, he disappeared without a trace and no one ever heard from him again. Some say that the man was an angel sent from God.
Scientists, engineers and carpenters come from all over the world to examine this spiral staircase. Many of them say that by all rights the staircase shouldn't even be able to hold up it's own weight, much less hold the weight of thousands of people climbing up and down its steps for well over a hundred years.
you're ever in Santa Fe, I urge you to visit the tiny
chapel and witness for yourself this beautiful and
mysterious wonder and, while you there, go to a nearby
restaurant and dine on the best southwestern cuisine you
interesting site with pics of the santa fe stair case:
http://binky.seas.upenn.edu/~jorj/trips/santafe/index.shtml ( UPDATE: This site was pulled down 25 years ago but remains in the archive )
This was sent in by Pete:
The mysterious man from the desert and his amazing feat in building the
famous staircase inspired the author of a great little novel called "The
Lilies of the Field". this was made into a film starring Sydney Poitier
as the gifted carpenter.
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