Valentine, Texas: Prada Marfa

A fake luxury boutique store, set in the middle of a desert, and sealed so that no one can ever enter. Its remote location makes it a target of after-dark morons, sometimes with guns. Legally declared a "museum" in Sept. 2014 to prevent its demolition.
Address:
US Hwy 90, Valentine, TX
Directions:
On the south side of US Hwy 90 less than two miles north of Valentine.
Admission:
Free
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Visitor Tips and News About Prada Marfa

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Prada Store

I just drove by the Prada Store and it looked freshly painted, no graffiti, and windows were intact. I had to take a second look wondering what this little store is doing out here in the middle of nowhere. Interesting photo op.

[Wayne, 03/07/2014]

Sadly, the Store was viciously trashed by morons on March 8, the very next night after your visit!

Prada Store

It appears as though they've attempted to cover up the graffiti. They forgot some in the back, or maybe some kids recently did it. Regardless or not if this should be considered "art," it's interesting enough and worth a stop!

[Katie, 10/13/2012]
Prada. Prada Store

The Prada Store, which stands in an otherwise empty basin of the Chihuahuan Desert (and is actually an art project), has recently suffered some serious abuse. Lightning knocked out its security cameras. Vandals sprayed it with graffiti. Bullet holes scar its display window (the glass was replaced years ago with bullet-proof laminated plastic). Someone ran over its dedication marker.

Its local curators want to repair the damage, but money is tight and they reportedly may just let the Prada Store crumble unless they can get some regional support. A good first step would be to stop trying to destroy it....

[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 03/29/2011]
Marfa Prada Store

Established on October 1, 2005, Art Production Fund and Ballroom Marfa present Prada Marfa, "a site specific, permanent land art project" by artists Elmgreen and Dragset. The wonderful architects are Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello; Joerg Boettger. The Prada store was constructed by The Maxwell Company.For more info... go see it yourself! Sure you might have better things to do but hey this is a once-in-a-lifetime place to visit, I suggest you get off your lazy butt, take your eyes off the computer and come down to little Valentine, Texas right now! You heard me -- NOW! Go, go, go!

[Nicole Anderson, 04/09/2010]
Prada art work installation. Prada Window Display

The Prada Marfa is some kind of a permanent art work. There's a plaque on the right side of the building that explains why they put it there.

In a project description on www.pradamarfa.com: "The work will be located on the outskirts of Valentine, Texas near Marfa on desolate ranching land with no other visible trace of civilization. As one drives toward the artwork it will appear to be a large minimalist sculpture, as one gets closer it will look like a luxury boutique where a display of Fall 2005 high-heel Prada shoes and bags will be seen through the store front windows. Yet, one cannot open the door, it is a sealed time capsule and will never function as a place of commerce."

I don't know if this would qualify as a roadside wonder or not, but I think it is certainly unique. I love the idea of putting a very upscale boutique display in the middle of the desert, next to a ghost town and let it sit there to see what will happen. I just hope there won't be any vandalism...

[Genevieve, 01/30/2007]

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September 30, 2014

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