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Kelly Residence

By Edith Cherry and James See – June 1, 2021

Previous names:  Robert J. Nordhaus Residence; John Kruger Residence,

Address:  6900 Rio Grande Blvd. NW, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM  87107-6334

Access:  Private Residence.  Curbside photography only.

Image #1 Kelly West Facade Partial small

This house, built in 1937, was designed by John Gaw Meem, one of New Mexico’s most well-known architects of the early 20th century, for the Robert Nordhaus family.  Located in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, on a now 9-acre site, it is a classic Meem Territorial Revival style, “u” shaped residence. The open portion of the “u” provides a private patio to the east. The recent addition to the south was designed by Richard Schalk, a dedicated student of Meem’s work.

Image #2 Kelly Site Plan small

This adobe residence is a classic example of the Territorial Revival style: brick cornice at the top of the parapets and white, painted, Greek Revival, triangular cornices over windows and doors. The deep-set front door illustrates the 28” thickness of the adobe wall on the west façade.

Image #3 Kelly Front Door

The house had been greatly changed through the years, and the current owners, the Kellys, worked carefully with architect, Richard Schalk, to restore the important major features of the house.  The living room has hand-adzed wood beams, window frames that show the thickness of the walls, and wood floors. The east-facing sun porch, with its traditional corner fireplace, opens onto a patio with a fountain and a view of the Sandia Mountains.

Completed: 1937
Architect: John Gaw Meem
Contractor: seeking info*
Restoration: 2007
Restoration and Addition Architect: Richard Schalk, AIA, Architect    
Restoration and Addition Contractor: Duncan Building Contractors

National Register of Historic Places:  #84002883 (1984)
NM State Register of Cultural Properties:  #942 (8/25/1983)
Individual residence included in the Albuquerque North Valley Multiple Historic Resources Area

Learn More:
On John Gaw Meem:   Wikipedia
Poling, Charles C., “Restoring a Family Treasure,” Su Casa Magazine, (Autumn 2010, page 39-47++)
Wilson, Chris, 2001, Facing Southwest: The Life and Houses of John Gaw Meem, W.W. Norton and Company, New York. This book does not include the Kelly House, but gives good background on Meem’s the residential designs.








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