Francisco Uvina

Banner Photo for Francisco Uvina

Photo: Francisco Uvina

Francisco Uvina
Interim Director, Historic Preservation + Regionalism Certificate Program


"We sometimes think of these monumental buildings, I mean...a lot of buildings along Central, the Old Albuquerque High School, but sometimes we tend to forget those modest buildings as well that sometimes have so much to tell us."


 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - What does it take to become an Albuquerque historical landmark? There's only a handful of them, and now, a Route 66 motel is being considered for the shortlist. But, it doesn't exactly appear to be a classic.

They're passed by without much thought by thousands of people a day. In Albuquerque, there are only about 20 of these intentionally preserved windows into the city's history.

"The Landmark Commission was established in 1977, and they look at historical designations throughout the city," Carmelina Hart with the city's Planning Department said.

From the Occidental Life Insurance building downtown, a Venetian gothic revival; to the Spanish-pueblo style Old Airport Terminal—they're all over town.

"There is some really valuable historical, cultural aspects of Albuquerque and we really want to hang on to some of creative architecture over the years," Hart explained.

There's also the old Route 66 motels, like El Vado and the De Anza Motor Lodge that are still up.

"We are losing so many of them," said Francisco Uviña, interim director of Historic Preservation and Regionalism Certificate Program at the University of New Mexico School of Architecture. 

Now, the Monterey Motel on Central near Old Town wants to join the elite list.

"They just become prints of many layers of history...of the automobile history, of travelers, of Route 66," Uviña said.

A classic neon sign adorns the front, but the building design pales in comparison to the city's other architectural treasures. 

Uviña says historical landmarks are not all about the facade.

"We sometimes think of these monumental buildings, I mean...a lot of buildings along Central, the Old Albuquerque High School, but sometimes we tend to forget those modest buildings as well that sometimes have so much to tell us," he said.

The Landmarks Commission will discuss the nomination of the Monterey Motel on Feb. 13. If it gets a thumbs up from the commission, the city council will have the final say. 

A designation means tax relief and certain protections.

(Story published by Madeline Schmitt at KRQE: https://www.krqe.com/news/albuquerque-metro/old-route-66-motel-seeks-to-become-albuquerque-s-next-historic-landmark/1745442747)