Those eager to flee the COVID-infested confines of crowded cities might consider the remote art-centric hipster’s paradise, Marfa, Texas, as a possible destination. Deep in the Chihuahuan high desert, Marfa was colonized in 1979 by minimalist sculptor Donald Judd, who purchased a compound of decommissioned military buildings and transformed them into austere exhibition spaces for art by him and his friends. By the time of his death in 1994, Judd owned 32,000 acres of Marfa scrubland, and over the last decades what’s now known as The Chinati Foundation has become a pilgrimage site for fans of 1960s high minimalism.
Although Marfa has a population of just 2,000, and it’s three hours to the nearest airport in El Paso, it nonetheless has the vibe of Manhattan’s lower east side thanks to Judd. Marfa’s aesthetic palette is fairly strictly defined, however, it is in Texas, which has its own set of rules, and Marfa has some nicely unconventional approaches to housing for those looking for a fashionable and fairly remote getaway.
A fixer-upper train caboose — that’s right, folks, a train caboose — is available through Lauren Meader Fowlkes at Far West Texas Realty, while Mary Farley, Jason Gonzales and Carol Morrow at Marfa Vista Real Estate represent an plum opportunity to live above the store in a snazzily renovated downtown building.