No castle for you

Author George R.R. Martin had a grand idea. He would build a castle – a magnificent, medieval castle – in which to keep his books and writings. It would rise high above a desert city named for a saint.

But the city had a different idea. The Historic Districts Review Board of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has denied Martin’s plans to construct a 24-foot tall, seven-sided tower inside his four-acre gated compound near the Museum Hill neighborhood.

Martin’s “A Song of Fire and Ice” series of books is the basis for HBO’s wildly popular “Game of Thrones” fantasy epic.

He wanted to build the tower, to be named Water Garden Keep, as his home and to house his large library. Plans included an elevator and roof deck.

But the review board ruled that the size and design of the keep were out of scale with Santa Fe’s traditional adobe architecture.

The board’s vice chair said it was obviously not an adobe building. “It is a medieval castle, and I don’t understand how we could possibly approve it in its style,” Frank Katz told The New York Times.

Neighbors also worried that “Thrones” fans would overrun the neighborhood, looking for Martin’s castle.

“We thought it was Winterfell when we first saw the plans,” a neighbor told “All it’s missing is Jon Snow and a couple of dragons.”

Moving on

Master photographer Mark Lambie, who took pictures for this fine publication – using film, believe it or not – before joining the El Paso Times, is moving on. He left the daily newspaper last week, after 20 years.

Friends and colleagues have always called him a giant in the business. He is tall, and his height frequently gives him an advantage. But he wouldn’t think twice about climbing a light pole or standing atop his car to get a better perspective for a photo.

He’s not saying what he’ll do next, but we wish him the absolute best, whatever it might be.

Sad news

Our condolences to the family of El Paso businesswoman Yolanda Arriola, who died suddenly Thursday while in Ruidoso. She was a founder and CEO of Southwest University at El Paso and was recognized as a Woman of Impact in 2018.

Got a Whisper?


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