Glossary

Cities

Albuquerque Albuquerque is located in the center of the state and spans the Rio Grande River. It also happens to be the largest city in New Mexico. A blend of urban and rural, art and culture, history and modernism; every neighborhood in the city has a different flavor.
Artesia From the collection of bronze statues lining the streets, to the brand new library featuring a 15x46 foot mural by Peter Hurd this small town has big appeal. Its not just about the oil derricks that surround the town, there is a rich tradition of arts, culture and community in Artesia. Artesia’s two impressive theaters, the Land of the Sun and the Ocotillo form the core of an emerging arts district downtown.
Belen A quiet bedroom community south of Albuquerque, this little railroad town has some great claims to fame. From the Harvey House – currently a museum – to the plaza, Belen has served as the backdrop for countless Hollywood movies making it a great place to explore.
Carlsbad While most people have heard of the Carlsbad Caverns, there is so much more to see and do in Carlsbad. The Pecos River winds its way through town and the courthouse square is surrounded by fine dining, a boutique hotel, and shops with a little something for everyone.
Clayton Where the wild meets the west, the community of Clayton is a ranch town that holds a lot of history. Wide-open skies and spaces, and people with an independent spirit, are all part of this little cowboy town. The Eklund Hotel and Luna Theater are well-preserved, evoking the spirit of statehood aspirations of a century past.
Clovis Located on the eastern side of the state, Clovis is a growing community with a small town feel. Residents and visitors can enjoy antique shops, three historic theaters and a museum that celebrates the Clovis sound – a 1950’s style of music created by Norman Petty and made popular by artists like Buddy Holly and the Firebirds.
Corrales Just north of Albuquerque, take a turn into Corrales and you will leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind. Corrales is proud of its rural flavor and the shops and restaurants are delightful in this close-knit community. Don’t hesitate to take your pet alpaca for a walk along the acequia while you are there!
Deming Just west of Las Cruces, the streets of Deming salute their ties to the Mimbres culture and the pottery that has been found in the area with a Mimbres Museum and large pots painted in the Mimbres style in the streets.
Farmington Way up in the Northwest corner of the state is the busy community of Farmington. A hub for shopping and entertainment in the Four Corners area, the downtown is home to unique stores, galleries, a great local brewery and exciting events throughout the year.
Gallup Located in the far west of the state on Route 66 as it heads into Arizona, you will find Gallup, the heart of the Native American arts and crafts industry. Gallup boasts a strong multicultural identity forged of its remarkable history as a mining and railroad boomtown. With strong foundations in art, both visual and performing, this community is filled with opportunities to explore.
Grants On Route 66 going west from Albuquerque is Grants -- a diverse community rich in culture, beautiful landscapes and friendly people. With two National Monuments, a National Forest and several Pueblos in close proximity, this city is a gateway to culture and outdoor exploration.
Lovington Located in the southeastern part of the state, Lovington is a small town with big ideas. Farming, ranching and the oil and gas industry are all interwoven into the fabric of Lovington and activity in the downtown centers around the Lea County Courthouse.
Las Cruces The city of “three crosses,” Las Cruces is the second largest city in the state of New Mexico. Today Las Cruces enjoys a dynamic border economy of farming, tourism, nearby White Sands missle range, and retirees who have discovered its gracious lifestyle. New Mexico State University and the village of Mesilla add many attractions to the visitor experience. Downtown Las Cruces is enjoying a resurgence led by the restored Rio Grande Theater.
Las Vegas The warmth of a strong Hispanic heritage welcomes you to a place that is rich with cultural influence. Start in the tree-filled, grassy central plaza and work your way through the cluster of shops, studios and galleries that line the streets till you reach the historic railroad district -- Las Vegas awaits your discovery. Las Vegas’ rich architectural legacy was built by the fortunes earned on the Santa Fe Trail and the railroad boom of the 1880’s.
Los Alamos Los Alamos, meaning “the Cottonwoods” in Spanish, is a grassy, pedestrian-friendly community that feels more like a university campus than a small town. Science and history intertwine and the creative district offers you opportunities to taste their unique Atomic roots through public art, parks, galleries and museums.
Mora A quiet community found in a valley nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Mora speaks to times gone by with beautiful farmlands, an alpaca ranch, and a great cluster of historic buildings. Step back in time as you visit the Mora Valley Spinning Mill and see the way yarn has been spun for decades in this beautiful town.
Portales This quiet little college town has big appeal. Shops, restaurants and a brew pub surround the city square where events and activities are held throughout the year. The classic courthouse square features the impressive Roosevelt County courthouse and many hometown businesses.
Raton Raton is where the romance of wagons gone west isn’t just lore, but bona fide history. You can sense that history as you stroll through galleries, museums and shops located along the rails that still stop for passengers in this quaint mountain town. Be sure and visit the newly refurbished Raton Museum and the legendary Shuler Theater, two of the finest cultural institutions in the state.
Roswell Since the aliens landed in Roswell, things just haven’t been the same. This bustling town is packed with events and fun for the whole family. The downtown district has museums, restaurants and all things alien for the terrestrial traveler. Roswell offers outstanding city art museums at the Roswell Museum and the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art.
Roy/​Mosquero/​Solano Welcome to the real Frontier where there are more cows than people and blue sky as far as your eye can see. Roy, Solano and Mosquero sit along a 20-mile stretch of scenic byway that offers bird watching, antiquing and so much more. Slow down and enjoy all that Harding County has to offer.
Silver City Off the beaten path and perched at the gateway to the Gila Wilderness, Silver City is an eclectic creative hub, chock full of adventure seekers, artists and downright friendly folks! Panoramic Grant County has spectacular scenery and some of the cleanest air on the planet. The picturesque setting of Silver City, straddling the Gila River and sprawling up hillsides and canyons, offers many memorable vistas for artists and photographers. Historic Victorian architecture is well-preserved and charming.
Taos It is said that Taos is a visitors’ paradise, rich in history, culture and scenic beauty. The Native American, Spanish colonists and Anglo adventurers who settled here, have all added to the enchanted Taos culture found fascinating by artists, poets and lovers. At nearby Taos Ski Valley, Taos offers the best skiing in New Mexico renowned for its legendary powder snow and awesome vistas. The strong tourist economy also has fostered some remarkable restaurants and dining experiences, making Taos a culinary adventure.
Tucumcari On Route 66, Tucumcari is the eastern gateway to New Mexico. A small town with big appeal, the community has amazing examples of retro motels, gas stations and neon signs. With over 25 murals around town, a dinosaur museum and great dining, visit Tucumcari tonight!
Truth or Consequences In 1950 the town changed its name from Hot Springs to Truth or Consequences to win a contest sponsored by a popular radio game show. This exemplifies the quirky, artistic spirit of the community that is also known for the popular mineral springs sprinkled throughout the downtown district and is located just west of the popular boaters haven Elephant Butte.
Zuni Pueblo A place steeped in deep culture, where age-old traditions are still very much alive and reflected in the local arts economy, which employs almost 80 percent of the community. Covering more than 700 square miles and with a population of over 10,000, Zuni is the largest of the 19 Pueblos in New Mexico. It also has the distinction of being the first designated Native American MainStreet community!

Categories

Civic Buildings Government buildings in New Mexico have precedents in the early 1600s and now offer an impressive collection of city halls, county courthouses, libraries, fire houses, and other municipal assets that span over four centuries of history and architectural styles.
Designed & Cultural Landscapes Humans have impacted and transformed the high desert mountains, river valleys and buffalo plains of New Mexico for centuries, harvesting water for crops and shelter, celebrating life in ritual and ceremony, making landscapes sacred and special.
Historic Districts After the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 was adopted, New Mexico established historic districts in Spanish colonial neighborhoods, territorial boomtowns, American downtowns, eastern plains and oil patch towns. These districts preserve the best of New Mexico's architectural landmarks.
Historic Hotels & Motels Territorial and Victorian hotels are legendary in New Mexico (and some haunted!). Automobiles ushered in new family vacation favorites of motels and swimming pools and unforgettable desert sunsets. These memories are made every day in New Mexico lodging classics.
Historic Theaters & Drive-Ins From the days of vaudeville and silent films to the current digitally enhanced 3D spectaculars, New Mexico's theaters have dazzled audiences for over a century. Explore these timeless stages with us!
Museums & Libraries Before New Mexico became a state in 1912, Carnegie libraries flourished and the Museum of New Mexico led community efforts to preserve the state's rich archaeological and historical artifacts. These legacies continue to enrich intellectual life for all New Mexicans and visitors.
National & State Scenic Byways The dramatic landscapes of New Mexico provide unforgettable sightseeing adventures to the legions of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians that explore the state's system of scenic byways, from Route 66 to the old Santa Fe Trail, and many paths in between.
Plazas & Courthouse Squares New Mexico is home to original and authentic community plazas — beginning with prehistoric Native American ceremonial plazas and many distinctive Spanish Colonial era plazas, and evolving into the modern years with American courthouse squares. No other state can boast such a history of town and village squares.
Public Art & Murals New Mexico is home to a vibrant arts community that has created numerous spectacular examples of public art ranging from the monumental to the minimal, adorning plazas, parks, facades and sometimes the unexpected.
Railroad The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad steamed through Raton pass in 1879 ushering in a fabulous period of progress and growth that reached every corner of the vast state. Explore these incredible roundhouses and depots, railroad districts and mercantile houses, locomotive and cabooses, hotels and freight offices that helped tame the southwestern frontier.
Veteran Memorials & Military Monuments New Mexicans have served proudly in battles and wars to preserve precious freedoms. These epic conflicts and sacrifices are commemorated in local memorials, parks, public art and museum collections remembering Civil War campaigns on native soil to duty and service on international shores.
WPA & New Deal The federal Public Works Administration of the 1930s saw unique projects in many New Mexico communities that supported traditional folk arts along with impressive public projects such as parks, community buildings, art and murals. Often these projects reflected local adobe architectural forms and craftsmanship.

Styles

Art Deco Art Deco style swept the world in the 1920s, gleaming with new industrial materials such as chrome, glass block, aluminum, brass and steel. Art Deco at its best was a luxurious style of exotic woods, glass, and rich colors. In forms, Art Deco was an interplay of sinuous curves and elegant geometry. It was a popular style for movie theaters and hotels.
Brutalist Reinforced concrete as an artistic and architectural expression found its ultimate expression in the style and movement known as “Brutalism,” popular in the 1970s and '80s. Massive concrete buildings, with various textural surfaces and monumental forms, were built for civic and university buildings in New Mexico. The concrete, as it ages, poses challenges for historic preservation and certain critics of good taste.
Classical Revival The classical architectural vocabulary that was refined over time by the Greeks, Romans and Renaissance builders found a home in New Mexico beginning with the Territorial style and later with early 20th century Neoclassical Revival inspired by the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. As New Mexico grew dynamically before statehood, the Classical Revival was expressed in nearly every town of consequence in the new state, and best articulated by frontier architects, brothers I.H. Rapp and W. Rapp of Trinidad and Santa Fe. The white classical columns often contrasted handsomely with red brick walls and were sometimes expressed in limestone and marble.
International The International style was developed by European architects in France and Germany after 1920 as a reaction to traditional, ornamented styles that represented a tired “old world.” The new style stripped all ornament and interpreted free, open space in planes of glass and stucco walls. The effect was a weightless, transparent architecture simplified to enable modern living. The International style was introduced to New Mexico after 1940, becoming popular after World War II.
Late-Modernism The ideals and values of “modernism,” initially expressed by architects, artists, designers, writers, and everyone else, as a lifestyle of speed and minimalism, remain popular and dominant today. “Modern” buildings around the world continue and expand the vocabulary of the International style in dynamic and surprising new shapes, materials and effects, incorporating lighting, sound, art, and digital technology in unlimited potential.
Mediterranean After the Renaissance, colonizing European powers globally transplanted the classical architectural traditions of Greece, Italy and Spain. The many variations of these styles, such as baroque and neoclassical, were often adapted and modified over time to suit wealth, taste and climates. In America and elsewhere in the 20th Century, the classical tradition was also modified by materials and technology. Thus the Mediterranean style of classical columns and red tiles became popular in New Mexico for its romantic, European references and luxurious sensibilities.
Mid-Century Modern In New Mexico and elsewhere, the often stark facades of the International Style, frequently rendered in white, black and neutral colors, were expressed in a variety of materials and textures. The purist International Style of planar forms also yielded to circular and curved shapes in the 1950s and 60s. A wealth of mid-century modern architecture is found in southern New Mexico, which boomed with oil fields expansion in that era.
Mission Spanish Catholic priests led massive building projects in the 17th and 18th Centuries to erect mission churches in Pueblo communities throughout New Mexico. Some mission churches and pueblos were abandoned due to drought and warfare. New Mexican mission churches are distinguished from other Spanish mission architecture in California and Texas primarily by the extensive use of adobe and not hard fire bricks.
Mission Revival The Mission Revival movement enjoyed its greatest popularity between 1890 and 1915, in numerous residential, commercial, and institutional structures - particularly schools and railroad depots - which used this easily recognizable architectural style. Drawing inspiration from the late 18th and early 19th century Spanish missions, the Revival style featured clay roof tiles, thick arches springing from piers, and long, exterior arcades, among other details.
Post-Modernism In the 1980's, influential architects rejected the overwhelming predominance of modernism and sought a rediscovery of historical styles and tradition, but with a spirit of reinvention. “Post-modernism” became an attitude and lifestyle for many others. It is an attractive sensibility for historic preservationists as they seek to save historic buildings with contemporary design and building solutions.
Pueblo After a great drought in the 13th Century, many Pueblo tribes and clans migrated into the greater Rio Grande watershed in search of water and new settlement sites. New Pueblos were established forming a remarkable cultural and architectural expression characterized by organic adobe architecture with timber roofs and details.
Pueblo Deco The rise of Art Deco style after 1920 in design capitals such as Paris and New York offered a fascinating design vocabulary to fuse with traditional Pueblo architectural forms. In the 1930s, great public buildings such as theaters and courthouses boasted massing, colors, lighting effects, and details such as light fixtures, tile work, and murals that married adobe architecture with the sleek lines of Art Deco fashion.
Southwest Vernacular Common and popular building projects in rural communities and urban neighborhoods lacked professional design expertise, relying on the ingenuity and skill of local builders. Using readily available materials, especially corrugated metal for roofing and lumberyard elements, vernacular buildings in New Mexico often incorporate interesting flourishes and folk art details.
Spanish Colonial The arrival of Spanish colonists in New Mexico after 1600 introduced new concepts of building technology, housing forms, village planning, irrigation and land uses that formed the basis of New Mexican architecture until the American period began in the 1820s. Spanish builders adapted Pueblo building techniques and added important detailing of doors, fireplaces, roofing, courtyards, portals, fencing and utility buildings.
Spanish Pueblo In historic Pueblo communities, Spanish colonists established great mission church complexes that would influence traditional Pueblo buildings. These mission complexes often housed a large multistoried church, housing for priests, cemeteries, gardens, and other useful structures for stables, carpentry and food storage. Many classic Spanish Pueblo mission churches survive, well-preserved and a source of pride for Pueblo people.
Spanish-Pueblo Revival The marriage of Pueblo adobe architecture and Spanish building technology was modified again in the 20th Century with the introduction of new “American” innovations and design sensibilities. The so called “Santa Fe style” or Spanish Pueblo Revival was adapted to large public buildings such as the Museum of Fine Arts and La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe about 1920 and quickly spread to other communities. The Public Works Administration (WPA) adopted the Spanish Pueblo Revival style for many courthouses and public projects.
Streamline Moderne Streamline Moderne - In a few elegant buildings, the International Style was tempered and softened by the influence of Art Deco style and materials. Soft rounded curves or inspired placement of decorative details such as glass block or chrome could yield a tasteful and urbane composition.
Territorial The American Territorial period in New Mexico lasted from 1846 to statehood in 1912. U.S. Army architects and builders initially adapted the traditional adobe architecture to Greek Revival style, introducing wooden frame windows, classical doorways and columned porches, brick coping at the roof line, and formal, symmetrical floor plans. Territorial style proved popular in the later 19th Century and was sometimes accented with Victorian details and materials for a variety of textures and effects.
Territorial Revival After statehood, 20th Century architectural styles were popular through mid-century, but the popularity of the states adobe tradition never fully waned. Professional architects such as John Gaw Meem reinterpreted the ancient forms in stucco and concrete, and the Territorial style saw new life and new monumental scale. The Territorial Revival expresses classical forms in a variety of building types, scales, materials, and colors, perhaps most impressively at the State Capitol building in Santa Fe.
Victorian-Italianate The long reign of England's Queen Victoria (1837-1901) defines the Victorian period, style and architecture. The period is expressed through many styles and fusions, but perhaps the most popular and significant for New Mexico was the Italianate style, identified by its generous window proportions, brick and stone masonry, cast iron and pressed metal ornaments and elements. The Italianate was introduced in New Mexico by the railroad after 1879, and flourished until 1900, thus is common in railroad boomtowns such as Raton, Las Vegas and Silver City.
Victorian-Queen Anne In contrast to the Italianate style, which was common in "main street" commercial buildings and storefronts, the Queen Anne style (named for another English monarch) was a popular residential style in America and frontier towns in the 1890s and early 20th Century. Known for its complex decorative effects of wooden siding and shingles, wrap-around front porch, stained glass, eccentric rooms and roof shapes, the Queen Anne style was a favorite of prosperous merchants and civic leaders. Later the Queen Anne style was fused with classical forms for a more refined and stately design.
WPA Moderne Many buildings were built in the WPA Moderne style between 1933 and 1944, during and shortly after the Great Depression as part of relief projects sponsored by the Public Works Administration (PWA) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The style draws from traditional styles such as Beaux-Arts classicism and Art Deco, and reflect a greater use of conservative and classical elements. With its monumental feel, it makes sense that a variety of civic buildings were built in this style, such as post offices, public schools, libraries, civic centers, courthouses, and museums.