In 1976, Judd purchased Casa Morales located at the base of Chinati Peak, about 60 miles from Marfa in Presidio County. Formerly called Morales Ranch, and originally constructed in the 1920s, the 1,500-square foot two-bedroom rock house contains furniture designed by Judd as well as American craftsman furniture. Morales Ranch is where Judd and his family would retreat from Marfa every weekend.
Prior to 1976, Donald Judd had leased land south of Marfa to utilize for camping. The purchase of the Morales ranch allowed him to have a place of his own in a suitably isolated location. He began purchasing large tracts of undeveloped land in the Presidio County region, close to the Mexican border, on the north side of the Chinati Mountains in the Chihuahuan Desert. These properties, which Judd named “Ayala de Chinati,” included existing structures, which Judd transformed into spaces that reflect his approach to rural architecture and land conservation.