Alcove House, a popular site in Bandelier National Monument, reopened to visitors yesterday. It had been closed since spring, when the buttress wall on the reconstructed kiva began to show huge cracks in the stonework.
When the Vanishing Treasures crew removed that wall, underlying masonry was exposed that had not been seen in a hundred years – a combination of the work of the Ancestral Puebloan people who built it and the people who reconstructed it in 1910. New mortar was applied where needed, and visitors can now see this old wall.
The kiva at the site will remain closed until funds are available to redesign and redo the roof, rearranging the beams to place the weight more evenly on the walls. But in the meantime visitors may again go up the famous long ladders and enjoy the view from 140 feet above the canyon floor.