von BACHMAYR, ALFRED COLLINS Alfred Collins von Bachmayr died Sunday, August 4, 2013 at his home in Tesuque, NM after suffering from cardiac amyloidosis for a little more than a year. Alfred was born May 17, 1948 in Salida, Colorado. He spent his first years on the Baca Grant #4 Ranch near Crestone, Colorado. Most of the ranch is now part of the Great Sand Dunes National Park. At the age of two he moved to a farm north of Fort Collins, Colorado. The farm is now the site of a large Budweiser brewery. For first grade he attended District #35, a red brick four room school house with eight grades and no indoor plumbing. In second grade he went to Graland Country Day School in Denver and continued there through ninth grade. He graduated from Fountain Valley School south of Colorado Springs in 1966. He graduated with a degree in Architecture from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Alfred apprenticed with an architectural firm in Aspen, Colorado where he worked on an early passive solar house for Steve Martin, the comedian and bluegrass musician. He then went on to design the award-winning passive solar dormitory at Fountain Valley School in Colorado. In the 1980's he became involved with low-income housing and was a founder of the Affordable Housing Alliance in Boulder, Colorado. In the early 1990's he moved to Santa Fe and worked with Habitat for Humanity designing a house for them that won a national award. Several examples of that house can be seen on Alameda Street in Santa Fe. He spent two years as the Director of Earthworks Institute. While there, he led a project in Fiji involving low-cost structures using local and native materials. He designed and was part of a group that built a straw bale house for an 84 year old great grandmother on the Navajo Reservation. In the late 1990's he co-founded Builders Without Borders with a group of straw bale builders in New Mexico. They formed a network of ecological builders and other volunteers dedicated to natural building. He also was the founder of World Hands which built many houses in several parts of Mexico as well as Nicaragua; this experience led him to design several machines to aid in the building process using natural materials. Recently he assisted the Tesuque Pueblo in designing and building their straw bale Seed Bank. Most recently he was part of the group that developed the proposed Tesuque Community Plan of 2013. Alfred was for many years the Mayordomo of the Acequia de la Cruz (Cy More Ditch) in Tesuque. He enjoyed working with his fellow parcientes to keep the Acequia flowing. Alfred was a superb athlete - a triathlete, a swimmer and a kayaker who ran most of the big rivers in the West (doing the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon six times). He went as far as the Northwest Territories in Canada to run the Nahanni River. He won the Fourth Annual Kinetic Sculpture Challenge race in Boulder in May 1983, setting a course record. Alfred is survived by his sister, Helen v. B. Larsen and her husband Mark K. Adams. He is also survived by a niece, Kirsten B. Scott, her husband Jason and their three children, Kildee, Indianola and Fletcher Scott. He leaves his great friend and companion Dr. Julie Breer as well as his two Labradors who were always by his side. Alfred's life will be celebrated on September 29th at 10:30 AM at the Santa Fe Children's Museum amphitheater which Alfred designed and helped build with cottonwood stumps from his property in Tesuque, NM. Memorial contributions may be made to the Santa Fe Children's Museum, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87505.
Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on Jan. 1, 1900