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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Jenny Kimball

Chairman of the Board of La Fonda on the PlazaSanta Fe, NM

Listen to Jenny Kimball's Oral History on Voices of the Manhattan Project

Jenny Kimball is the Chairman of the Board of La Fonda on the Plaza, a hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Established in the 1600s, La Fonda on the Plaza is the oldest hotel site in the country. In 2014, Kimball and her brother formed a group of investors to buy the hotel. She worked to remodel the architecture and interior of La Fonda based on the originally 1920’s hotel design by architects Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter and John Gaw Meem. During this process, Kimball partnered with an archivist to organize and preserve the long and rich history of La Fonda. She also created a docent program of forty experts, who volunteered to share the history of Santa Fe and La Fonda through educational tours.

In another effort to showcase the history of the hotel, Kimball helped pen La Fonda: Then and Now (2016), a coffee table book covering the history, culture, food and art of La Fonda.

In 2016, La Fonda on the Plaza was awarded Hotel of the Year by New Mexico Hospitality Association and Best Historic Hotel (of its size) by the Historic Hotels of America. 

Described by Kimball as historically the place to meet in Santa Fe, La Fonda on the Plaza also served as an escape and watering hole for many of the Manhattan Project scientists and workers at Los Alamos, such as J. Robert Oppenheimer and Dorothy McKibbin. 

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