Worrell's World
Newspaper magnate Tom Worrell rocks Taos with his architecturally faithful restorations marked by unconventional—and decidedly non-Southwestern—interior design.

Tom E. Worrell, Jr.’s architectural vision and lifestyle philosophy are the latest ripples in the bottomless and magical pond of Taos, New Mexico. Just a few years ago, Worrell began investing a sizable chunk of his newspaper empire fortune in a score of historic Taos properties. The scale and style of the rehabilitation projects have rocked the ancient community.

Taos is accustomed to strangers wandering in and becoming totally captivated by the powerful blend of pure, champagne air, clear light that reveals subtle colors of the spectrum, organic earthen architecture, and Old World cultures. The wise men of Taos Pueblo have watched the Spanish colonists, mountain men, Santa Fe trail wagon drivers, soldiers, and artists come and go for the better part of five centuries. But maybe they haven’t seen anyone quite like Tom Worrell.

Taos’ unique position at the nexus of spiritual, cultural, aesthetic, and environmental forces has produced a fascinating hybrid of New Mexico’s traditional architectural vocabulary. Taos architectural style may be generally characterized by an organic, sculptural quality of massing and form (in contrast to the formal Territorial style); a passion for rich texture and ornamentation in carpentry and furniture; and a color palette influenced by nature and artists. In some respects, Worrell fits neatly in this tradition. In other ways, he does not.

The living room of the Casa Cubana features Caribbean themes. Rattan furniture is complemented by hand-painted Haitian furniture and highly saturated tropical colors.