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Simms Building

By Edith Cherry and James See – August 28, 2019

1-Sims Building Perspective Corrected
400 Gold Ave. SW,  Albuquerque, NM  87102

Access:  Lobby open during business hours

The Simms Building was the first International Style, high-rise building in New Mexico. It was representative of the post–World War II coming-of-age of Albuquerque as a modern city. It was also the first building here to use Thermopane (double-glazed) windows, and one of the first applications combining a geothermal heat-pump system that used groundwater for heating and cooling.


The 12-story design is composed of a horizontal volume at the ground floor containing retail spaces and mezzanine, and a vertical office volume. This basic scheme was used on the Lever House and the United Nations (specifically the Secretariat building[?/added–ok]) in New York City, both completed in 1952, and the Simms Building architects were very much aware of that innovative approach. The Simms’ horizontal volume is glazed on three sides. Its vertical volume is glazed on the north and south, taking advantage of the post-war availability of aluminum. The red sandstone wall on the north portion of the east wall is composed of stones salvaged from the Richardsonian Romanesque–style Commercial Building that once stood on this property.

Completed: 1954
Architect: Flatow and Moore, Architects
Mechanical Engineers: Frank Bridgers and Donald Paxton
Contractor: Lemke Co.

National Register of Historic Places: #97001653
NM State Register of Cultural Properties: #1693 (11/21/1997)

Learn More:
n.d.   Mead, Christopher C., and Regina Emmer, Simms Building, in Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, eds. SAH Archipedia (University of Virginia Press, online).

1978   Bergman, Edna Heatherington, The Fate of Architectural Theory in Albuquerque: Buildings of Four Decades, 1920–1960, pp. 228–230. Master of Architecture thesis, University of New Mexico.

Lever House, New York City (Wikipedia)
Lever House, SOM








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