Paolo Soleri Amphitheater

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Paolo Soleri Amphitheater
Paolo Soleri Amphitheater Line Drawing.jpg
Line drawing of Paolo Soleri Amphitheater
Address1501 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe
Coordinates35°40′20″N 105°58′04″W / 35.672358°N 105.967787°W / 35.672358; -105.967787
Capacity650 (est.)
ArchitectPaolo Soleri

The Paolo Soleri Amphitheater is an amphitheater in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which was constructed in 1970 and closed in 2010. The structure, which was never considered finished, was designed by Italian architect Paolo Soleri.[1]

The amphitheater was built in Santa Fe in the late 1960s[1] on the campus of what was at the time the Institute of American Indian Arts and is now the campus of the Santa Fe Indian School. The concrete structure was created using Soleri's methods of earth-forming to create a type of desert-scape. The venue's wing-like, organic shapes emerge from a bowl-shaped depression in the high desert floor. Soleri's design was influenced by Native American themes.[2] Seating only about 650, the small theater hosted notable North American performers including Carlos Santana, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Phish, and Leonard Cohen.[3] In later years, in the absence of the establishment of the educational courses for which it was intended, an inclusive Native Performance and Expressive Arts training program, theater operations became unprofitable. The last performance hosted at the venue was a concert by Lyle Lovett on July 29, 2010.[4]

In 2011, the amphitheater was marked for demolition by the Santa Fe Indian School, which cited maintenance costs of about $100,000 per year and said that the amphitheater is only used twice a year.[5] Because the amphitheater is managed by the nineteen Native American Pueblos of New Mexico, it is not protected by state or local preservation laws.[6] No schedule for the structure's demolition has been set[3]and a "Save the Soleri Amphitheatre" initiative on the part of Santa Fe Indian School alumni has inspired a movement to preserve the unique building.


  1. ^ a b "Paolo Soleri Amphitheater". New Mexico Tourism Department. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  2. ^ Conrad Skinner Scottsdale Bridge and plaza to Santa Fe’s Outdoor Theatre 2011[unreliable source?]
  3. ^ a b Allegretti Architects The Paolo Soleri Amphitheater 2011[unreliable source?]
  4. ^ "Local news in brief". The Santa Fe New Mexican. August 29, 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  5. ^ "Pueblo leaders backed razing the Paolo Soleri". June 17, 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  6. ^ "Paolo Soleri to be demolished". June 11, 2010. Archived from the original on March 19, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2011.