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National Hispanic Cultural Center (District)

By Edith Cherry and James See – September 12, 2019



1701 Fourth St. SW,  Albuquerque, NM  87102

Access:  505 246-2261  |  NHCC

The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) is dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and advancement of Hispanic culture, arts, and humanities.  The campus is composed of five buildings and a number of landscape features.  The new buildings and landscapes are contemporary interpretations of a variety of styles related to the U.S. Southwest, Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula.

Completed:   2000 to 2004
Early Master Site Planners (1993–1996):  Antoine Predock and Pedro Marquez

The Torreón recalls the watchtowers that were built to facilitate the defense of villages and lands.  It houses the fresco of the history of Hispanic peoples of New Mexico, entitled “Mundos de Mestizaje” by artist Frederico Vigil.

Completed:  2010
Architect:  Lloyd & Tryk, Architects, with Pedro Marquez
Contractor:  Telstar


A serpentine planter, flags of Hispanic countries, and a row of trees
lead the visitor to the Plaza Mayor


The Virginia & Edward Lujan Plaza Mayor, often called the “Fountain Courtyard,” is the heart of the complex.  Plazas are a basic component of Hispanic communities, their inclusion having been dictated by “The Law of the Indes,” the planning guidelines developed for the New World by King Felipe II of Spain in 1573.  Fiestas, religious processions, and other cultural activities are performed in plazas throughout Hispania. The wooden water conduit (canoa) recalls the traditional means of transporting irrigation water (acequias) across small valleys.

Completed: seeking info*
Landscape Architect:  seeking info*

Landscape Contractor:  seeking info*


History and Literary Arts Building (containing the Library & Genealogy Center, Salon Ortega, Special Collections/Archives, and a restaurant) is the restored West San Jose School (it became the Riverview School starting in the late 1950s).  This Spanish-Pueblo Revival style building was completed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1937 as part of the New Deal.  The original south portion is made of adobe bricks, a labor-intensive means of construction.

Completed: 1937
Architect:  Louis Hesselden
Contractor:  Works Progress Administration
Restoration Architect:  Lloyd & Tryk, Architects, with Pedro Marquez
Contractor:  Telstar

National Register of Historic Places:  #96001385 (1996)
NM State Register of Cultural Properties:  #1645 (9/27/1996)

Intel Center for Technology & Visual Arts houses the art museum, information desk, and administration offices.  The towers of this building evoke the bold masses of Mayan pyramids.

Completed: seeking info*
Architect:  Lloyd & Tryk, Architects, with Pedro Marquez

Contractor:  seeking info*

Roy E. Disney Center for Performing Arts Building completed in 2004, includes the Albuquerque Journal Theatre and Bank of America Theatre. The arched hallway that marks the east-west axis of this building and the Intel Center was inspired by the passage-ways of the Escorial in Spain. The slope of the massive walls also recalls Aztec and Mayan architecture.

Albuquerque Journal Theatre
Completed: 2004
Design architect: FMSM Architects

Construction administration architect: Dekker/Perich/Sabatini
Contractor: Gerald Martin General Contractor

Bank of America Theatre
Completed: seeking info*
Architect: Lloyd & Tryk, Architects, with Pedro Marquez
Contractor: Telstar

13a_DSC4229 Plazuela w copyright

Barbara Richardson Plazuela, between the theaters and the art museum, provides an outdoor area for performance intermissions and exhibition openings. The colors and walls recall the work of the Mexican architect Luis Barragán.

Completed:  seeking info*
Landscape Architect:  seeking info*
Landscape Contractor:  seeking info*


Pete Padilla and Manuel Mora Memorial Park is dedicated to all Hispanic men and women who have served this country.  The park has a small, sculptural gazebo on the west end designed by [seeking info*]

Completed:  seeking info*
Landscape Architect:  seeking info*
Landscape Contractor:  seeking info*


_DSC8637 Pete Domenci

Pete V. Domenici Education Building and Instituto Cervantes house classroom and research space.

Completed:  seeking info*
Architect:  Studio Southwest Architects
Contractor:  Jaynes Corporation

Learn More:
NHCC campus map

n.d.   Emmer, Regina N., National Hispanic Cultural Center,” in Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, eds. SAH Archipedia (University of Virginia Press, online).

Sandlin, Scott,  “Everything Old Is New Again,” Albuquerque Journal (October 17, 2000; accessed online August 28, 2019).

2006   Wilson, Chris, and Stefanos Polyzoides, eds., The Plazas of New Mexico. Trinity University Press, San Antonio, Texas.




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