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Roosevelt Park

By Edith Cherry and James See – July 27, 2020


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500 Spruce St. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

Access: Closes at 10:00 PM

Roosevelt Park is one of the Southwest’s best examples of New Deal Landscaping. Originally a sandy, garbage-strewn arroyo, the park design drew from English landscape imagery.

#2 Roosevelt Park Historic-11 1983-001-602

Albuquerque’s Mayor Clyde Tingley was a close friend of President Franklin Roosevelt, allowing Albuquerque and New Mexico to benefit with numerous New Deal projects. Construction of the park provided work for over 200 unemployed Albuquerque residents. Using manual tools, the rough desert setting was re-graded and sculpted to its present-day soft, flowing spaces. An extensive irrigation system turned the surface into an oasis.

This project involved the planting of over 2,250 trees and bushes, including Clyde Tingley’s favorite, the Siberian Elm. Some of these original elm trees have survived the many decades since. Masonry walls were constructed using stone from the former Fourth Ward School and Bernalillo County Courthouse.

The 2004 rehabilitation included the addition of new play structures, but the emphasis was on preserving and protecting the park’s character-defining features through key masonry rehabilitation work, tree care, and construction of an efficient irrigation system. Some new trees were added as well.

Completed: 1935
Landscape Architect: C. Edmund “Bud” Hollied
Contractor: Civil Works Administration (CWA) and Works Progress Administration (WPA)
Rehabilitation Completed: 2004
Rehabilitation Landscape Architect: William S. Perkins, ASLA
Rehabilitation Contractor: Mountain West Golfscapes

National Register of Historic Places, #84002885 (1984)
New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties, #1646 (9/27/1996)
City of Albuquerque Landmark; see website.

Learn More:
City of Albuquerque Park Guide: Roosevelt Park Website
The Living New Deal – New Mexico Website







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