Seton Castle destroyed by fire.

Historic Seton Castle (the home of naturalist Ernest Thomas Seton), southeast of Santa Fe, has burned to the ground. According to AP, a construction crew was halfway through a renovation of the 70-year-old building when the fire started November 15. The cause of the blaze isn't known. The 32-room, 6900 square-foot castle near Arroyo Hondo was a National Historic Landmark and New Mexico State Cultural Property.

All the main rooms of the home faced west, presenting an extraordinary view across the New Mexico plains with the Jemez Mountains in the distance. On the far horizon, 120 miles away, is Mount Taylor, rising to 11,300 feet above sea level. Mount Taylor is one of the four sacred mountains of the Hopi and Navajo world.

Sketch by Ernest Seton. Photo of Mt. Taylor: National Park Service.