The Rebuilding Begins

Here are some recent pictures of the progress at La Kiva.  Last Friday represented the low (or high, depending on how you look at it) point of the demolition efforts.  Now things start to take shape from the bottom up.

View of the front door

As you can see, a lot of the structure around the old kitchen/cold room has been removed.  The front door itself remains intact, but will need some reinforcement in key areas to be servicable for the next 30-plus years.  To the left you can see the Pizza oven.

View of the bar

Here you can see the remaining walls of the old kitchen area, the bar area, and most of the rest of the inside.


The plumbing system is being redone to meet code.


Mesh is laid for the new floors.  Some of the old vigas that will remain can be seen above.  New vigas are scheduled for delivery soon.


About half the reinforcement for the floors is down already.   The rest is waiting on the plumbing to be finished and buried.

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These guys watch over the rebuilding efforts and remind us to be careful.

The La Kiva Time Capsule

This has been a busy two weeks for La Kiva.  The roof has gone from the area that we are going to re-roof but I am shocked, I tell you, shocked, that so many of you thought I meant “that” kind of topless.    😉  I meant without a roof kind of topless.

Gil's Krugerrand?
Gil’s Krugerrand?
Gils Kruger 2
Gil’s Krugerrand?

Last time I posted I mentioned the possibility of finding the sack of Krugerrands alleged to have been buried by Gil.  Imagine my joy when I discovered this, hiding under the bar.  A numismatist was immediately consulted and he assured me that this was actually genuine, but because of the unique nature of the piece and the dubious provenance, he would be unable to put a firm price on it.  You saw it here first folks.  A genuine gold tone artefact of dubious provenance.  WOW.  That’s way better than I could have hoped for.  I am putting it up for sale to the highest bidder.  All monies raised by the sale of this piece will go the the reconstruction of the bar.  By the way, what does dubious mean?

Check out the Terlingua Moon.  A proposal was made to place a time capsule beneath the new La Kiva concrete floor.   I think that it is a great idea and items such as Laphroaig single malt whiskey would be very appropriate ( and will receive my personal attention.  Other items such as mementos, written histories, favorite memories of La Kiva, humorous stories, a photograph of you and a short biography (anything beyond 300 pages will be severely edited), items of artwork, artefacts, C.D’s or messages to the people of the future.   Be creative and put a little bit of you into the capsule, (PLEASE NO BIOLOGICAL SAMPLES) so that the people of the future will get a glimpse of who you are, what you did and why La Kiva is important to the community.  Any photos or memorabilia  of Gil and Glen would be ideal and please write your stories out. The capsule will be clearly marked that it is not to be opened before the year 2114.  I am going to try to get something fabricated in stainless steel to ensure that it does not rot away and ruin the contents.  Get your contributions to me ASAP for inclusion in the time capsule.  I will have an engraved plaque embedded in the floor so that it won’t be lost.  Mail your items for inclusion to La Kiva, PO Box 146, 23220 FM 170, Terlingua, TX 79852.  Laphroaig single malt whiskey should be sent next day air and marked for the attention of John Holroyd, 23220 FM 170, Terlingua, TX 79852.  Personal:— to be opened by recipient only.

On the subject of the Moon.  I am told it is a reliable publication and that if anything appears in it you can take it to the bank.  It now being past the 16th, I can look back on the opening ceremonies with a certain satisfaction.  By some miracle I was apparently open for business on the 16th despite the fact that I had no license, no roof, no floor, no water, no propane, no electricity, no cook, no kitchen, no food and no stock.  I can say with some satisfaction that I served  everyone that turned up.  Clearly the attractions at Gareth Park were simply too great to ignore so the total customer count for the night was zero.  This weeks photo documentation consists of two panoramas of what is happening.  They may not be the greatest but this is the first time I have tried to embed them in a web page so be kind.  I will try and get better ones as the building progresses.

La Kiva panorama
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La Kiva Patio Panorama
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The destruction of La Kiva has slowed in the way that a supertanker slows and today it ground to a final halt.  Apart from a few holes in the ground there was no demolition going on.  In fact, there were signs that rebuilding was beginning.  There were people doing clever things with lasers and colored string and things that beeped.  Pegs were driven into the ground and there were many serious discussions going on.  Industrious looking people were moving sand from one place to another and smoothing and levelling.  It got quite exciting.

A very good night to you one and all and thank you for your patience.

La Kiva Is Now A Topless Bar

Last week the roof really came off La Kiva.  It was not without some very mixed feelings that we watched our fabulous crew ripping apart the very thing we are trying to save.  The bar, without it’s roof and without its furnishings is far from sad.  It is a powerful piece of architecture made even more imposing in its stripped down state.   The inside is spectacular with the dappled sunlight brightening the walls.  La Kiva is an amazing environment that has been responsible for creating important and lasting memories for a vast number of people over the last 33 years.  Now we have got to fix it without spoiling it.  No pressure!!!!!!  One of the comments we got in response to an earlier blog reads “This is a beautiful, practically sacred undertaking.  Blessings from Austin. I’m waiting for the grand re-opening and if I have to skateboard there I’m going to make it. That place has meant so much to me over the years.”  As I said, “No pressure.”.
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Quite a lot of the wood that was buried in the concrete was rotten and termite chewed and quite a bit of the roof was in a similar parlous state state.  A number of the vigas need to be replaced because of rot and some just needed to be replaced to make them match.  The old vigas in the outdoor bar are weather checked and a bit fragile so we are going to upgrade them and make them better able to cope with the new roofing that is going to be attached.

Outdoor bar gigas
Old Vigas Need Upgrading

When La Kiva re-opens it will be a non-smoking bar.  The outside bar will be equipped with a roof and three walls, so it will be a sheltered spot for smokers to visit during the more inclement weather.  The addition of a couple of ceiling fans and a heater will make it almost all  weather.

Evidence Of Three Earlier Roofs

The evidence of earlier roofs did surprise us.  We had heard that the roof leaked, more or less since new, so we were surprised to find evidence of at least three previous phases of roofing.  That was not exactly what we had been led to believe.  Let’s hope we finally get rid of those pesky leaks.

Clearing The Decks For The New Plumbing And Concrete Work

As part of the extensive  new septic system, a requirement before we re-open, we have to put in new drains and water lines.  Rather than looking at this as being a terrible imposition we are regarding it as an opportunity to fix long existing problems, to improve the back bar facilities and kitchen and to bring La Kiva up to the best, modern hygienic standards.  We are certain that our bar staff will adore the improved facilities and the kitchen staff will never want to go home.

One Of Our Staging Areas

We have collected quite a decent pile of corrugated iron waiting to be repurposed.  If you want any, drop by and see me.

One last thing.  In investigating the walls of the kitchen we discovered extensive rot.  To put the kitchen into a state that it needs to be, we need to replace the walls most of the way around.  This is a lot more work than we anticipated but we will end up with an even better kitchen than we had originally planned and it will be 90% new construction.

We are still looking for that sack of Krugerrands that Gil is reputed to have buried.  Now would be a real good time to find them and we hope it’s a big sack.

It appears the weather gods are being kind to us while we have no roof.  No rain in the forecast for the next ten days except for a 10% chance on Friday.