NM’s Enchanting Architecture Gets National Attention (Albuquerque Journal)


Acoma Pueblo, (Courtesy of Kevin Flemming)

USA Today readers across the country had a chance to feast their eyes on New Mexico’s most iconic spots this spring thanks to a novel collaboration between the nationally read newspaper and the American Institute of Architects.

A feature story in USA Today’s travel section on May 10 touted vivid images of 25 sites emblematic of the state’s diverse cultural history. The story can be seen by going to www.usatoday.com and clicking on the “Travel” tab then search for “25 must-see buildings in New Mexico.”


The earliest example on the list is Chaco Canyon Cultural Historic National Park in northwestern New Mexico, which was designated in 1987 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. New Mexico’s Native American culture also comes across in images of Taos Pueblo, Bandelier National Monument, the Gila Cliff Dwellings near Silver City and Acoma Pueblo.

Churches feature prominently among the top tourism sites. There are photos of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, the oft-photographed massive adobe buttresses of the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church in Ranchos de Taos, Santa Fe’s Loretto Chapel with its unusual spiral staircase and El Santuario de Chimayó, which draws thousands of pilgrims on foot each Holy Week.

In Albuquerque, the sites include the early 20th century BNSF Railyards, which symbolize the industrial age; the spaceship-like Bart Prince house near Nob Hill; and the 1932 John Gaw Meem-designed Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm in Los Ranchos.

The most recently built sites show off New Mexico’s affinities with the arts and the sciences: Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts near Ruidoso and the Santa Fe Opera House, both from 1997, and the Spaceport America Terminal Hangar Facility near Truth or Consequences, which was completed in 2014.


New Mexico Tourism Department spokeswoman Bailey Griffith said articles like this help raise awareness about what New Mexico has to offer travelers.

“Any time a story like this brings national attention to New Mexico, it’s a great thing. Architecture is a strong motivator for travel, with adobe being something uniquely New Mexican that sets us apart from our neighboring states,” Griffith said.

[Source: The Albuquerque Journal,NM’s enchanting architecture gets national attention” by Rosalie Rayburn on July 1, 2017.]