New Mexico’s Earliest Architecture

Sometime between 1 AD and 500 AD, early New Mexicans shifted from subsisting exclusively by hunting-gathering, to a seasonal mix of hunting-gathering and agriculture.  Gradually, agriculture became the major strategy. New Mexicans became farmers and began to build more permanent homes and villages: New Mexico’s first architecture.

Mesa Public Library 

The architecture of Mesa Public Library is composed of two major elements: a long, wedge-shaped volume pointing north, and a segment of a circle that emphasizes the panorama of the Jemez Mountains.  

White Rock Visitor Center

The White Rock Visitor Center provides a gateway to near by national monuments and preserves.  The building uses materials that recall natural bluffs and mountain cabins. 

Santa Fe Art Institute

The Santa Fe Art Institute, designed by Legorreta and Legorreta Arquitectos, is one of the most colorful buildings in all of Santa Fe. It is an outstanding example of Mexican Minimalism architecture.

UNM Central Campus

The University of New Mexico was founded in 1889 when New Mexico was still a territory of the United States. The architectural development of the central campus balances a regional, Southwestern design identity with 130 years of architectural design evolution.

Erna Fergusson Library

Erna Fergusson Library is composed of three types of volumes:  a low rectangular box; high, half-arched volumes; and a tower. Each of these shapes has a different form and function.

Kelly Residence

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. It is a good example of Meem’s Territorial Revival style residences.

Old Albuquerque Municipal Airport Building

The Old Albuquerque Municipal Airport building was an important stop in the early transcontinental flights between Chicago and Los Angeles. It was the only major airport in the nation built in the Spanish Pueblo Revival style.

KiMo Theater

In the age of elaborate film palaces, the KiMo Theater fused the symbolism of Native American cultures with the exotic qualities of the Art Deco style to produce what New Mexicans call Pueblo Deco.

Borowski Residence

The Borowski Residence design emphasizes home, hearth, and light. A simple palate of materials and careful detailing are used to execute three levels of space in an unusual way.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

On a hill at the edge of the Moreno Valley in northern New Mexico, two
curved, white planes soar toward the sky. Where the surfaces almost meet is the Peace
and Brotherhood Chapel, the major feature of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

UNM Dreamstyle Arena (“The Pit”)

The University of New Mexico’s basketball arena is known nationally for the atmosphere created by the sunken court. The noise level created at a game generated the name, “The Pit.” However, the most interesting architectural aspect of “The Pit” is the way it was built.

Roosevelt Park

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.

Occidental Life Building

The most well known, and perhaps the only, Venetian Gothic Revival building in New Mexico, the Occidental Life Building brings Venice to Albuquerque.

Atrisco Heritage Academy High School

The architecture of Atrisco Heritage Academy High School is as bold and proud as were the original settlers of the Atrisco Land Grant given by King Philip II of Spain to colonists in 1598.

The Lodge Resort & Spa

The Lodge Resort in Cloudcroft is one of the oldest resort hotels in New Mexico and has been in operation almost continuously since 1911.

U.S. Historic Courthouse

This 1930 courthouse was the first one built in Albuquerque that acknowledged a southwest architectural heritage by using earth-toned exterior materials and artistic details taken from Native American motifs.