Abq Historic Homes

Live in History



Historic Properties & Neighborhoods: How To Research

Local Resources

City of Albuquerque Library System
Special Collections Branch
423 Central Ave. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102
505-848-1376 or 848-1387, fax 505-764-1574
Library System: http://www.cabq.gov/library
Special Collections Branch: http://www.cabq.gov/library/specol.html

The Special Collections library, located in the Edo/Huning Highland Neighborhood, has a variety of resources that enable you to track the history of a specific home or parcel over time. This is the best place to start your physical location research!

Among the resources available at Special Collections are:

A complete collection of Albuquerque City Directories, from 1883 to the present. Coverage is spotty in the first twenty years, and then directories are issued almost annually. You can track residents by name, occupants of homes and proprietors of businesses by street address (beginning with 1907), and a classified listing of businesses.

A long run of Albuquerque telephone directories, complete from 1940 to the present and with some issues between 1916 and 1939.

Reproductions of early maps. Copies of bank and service station road maps starting with 1944. U.S. Topographical maps. The Sanborn Fire Insurance Company atlases of Albuquerque (City) from 1924 and from 1931 with overlays for 1937. These show the footprints and construction details of homes and businesses.

The United States Census. Details about each inhabitant of Albuquerque (and the rest of the country) in 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930. Also the 1885 municipal census preceding incorporation. The Albuquerque Genealogical Society is also working on a Territorial Census of New Mexico from 1885.

Individual property files from the Huning Highlands neighborhood only, which are copies from an extensive collection of individual files assembled by the City's Historic Preservation Officer, Ed Boles.

A spreadsheet summary file of Albuquerque Building Permits from around 1900 to 1937.

An index to the Albuquerque Progress magazine, covering the years 1934-1965. This is more likely to have pictures of businesses that of homes.

General information about the history of Albuquerque from an extensive collection of books, vertical files, tourist/newcomer pamphlets, postcards and periodicals.

Special Collections does not maintain a photographic collection for private homes and buildings. However, There is an extensive collection of local photographs in the Photoarchives at the Albuquerque Museum (243-7255).

Additional photographic resources are available at the UNM Library, Center for Southwest Research. (277-6451) many of which are now available through the Center for Regional Studies project “New Mexico's Digital Collections” (see the informational links below).

The staff at Special Collections is limited in the amount of research that we can do on an individual question or property. However, a small amount of research is available by phone of email. If you can provide them with the address of the property about which you seek information, they may be able to check several City Directories and other sources as appropriate and reply. For a fun research experience, and a recollection of that old fashioned library “feel” in a historic building, the staff at Special Collections are happy to have you come in to the library to pursue information about your property.


Internet Based Searches for Historic Photographs, Local to Regional

New Mexico's Digital Collections, Center for Regional Studies, UNM Libraries: Providing on-line access to digitized materials from libraries, archives and museums in New Mexico. Focusing on the history and culture of New Mexico, the collections cover other topics and geographic areas as well. This is the best place to start your on-line research! http://econtent.unm.edu/index.php

Center for Southwest Research, UNM
Located inside Zimmerman Library, on the main University of New Mexico campus, Albuquerque, NM: http://elibrary.unm.edu/cswr/index.php
Pictorial Collections: http://econtent.unm.edu/cdm4/index_PictorialCollection.php
Audio Recordings: http://econtent.unm.edu/cdm4/index_robb.php
Manuscripts: http://econtent.unm.edu/cdm4/index_Manuscripts.php
University Archives: http://econtent.unm.edu/cdm4/index_UNMArchives.php

And, for a gooddigital materials on-line search index for historic archives in the regional Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico tri-state area see:
Rocky Mountain Online Archives: http://rmoa.unm.edu/


STATE Resources:

the NM Historic Preservation Office in SF, www.nmhistoricpreservation.org

the NM Historic Preservation Office has a mailing of events in our state, such as May -Heritage Preservation Month.

The New Mexico Register of Cultural Properties: http://www.nmhistoricpreservation.org/PROGRAMS/registers.html

The State Register of Cultural Properties (State Register) is the official list of historic properties worthy of preservation in New Mexico. Listing in the State Register provides recognition of important prehistoric and historic places, and assists in preserving New Mexico’s cultural heritage. Listing in the State Register does not restrict the private use of the property by the owner or the property owner’s ability to sell, transfer of develop the property as he/she may consider appropriate. Once a property is listed in the State Register, owners of private properties become eligible for a State income tax credit for approved restoration, rehabilitation or preservation and may request technical advice from the Historic Preservation Division. For more information on the State Tax credit program, please visit the web site (see below).


Can’t find what you are looking for?
Trying to get a property registered?
If you have any questions about the above site, please contact John W. Murphey
State and National Register Coordinator at (505) 827-3990
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Other relevant State Web Links:

New Mexico Tax credits and programs for sanctioned historic home or all properties within a designated historic overlay zone

Laws and rational: Learn about the benefits, restrictions, and process’s involved in designating historic properties, contesting an application or judgment, remodeling, or otherwise dealing with a historically designated property.


NATIONAL resources:

The National Register of Historic Places is the official Federal list of historic properties worthy of preservation. Listing in the National Register provides recognition of important prehistoric and historic places and assists in preserving our shared heritage. Listing in the National Register does not mean that limitations will be placed on the properties by the Federal government, nor will it attach restrictive covenants to the properties or seek to acquire them. Public visitation rights are not required of owners. However, owners of National Register listed properties may be able to obtain Federal historic preservation funding, when funds are available.

The National Register, properties in New Mexico:

And, for something fun and slightly dangerous, take a look at this national list of dilapidated historic properties RIPE for restoration: http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/nm/Bernalillo/vacant.html

The National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust is the country’s premier private, not-for-profit historic preservation advocacy and funding group. They work with the community to raise funds for purchasing endangered properties, lobby in Congress for laws and funding that enable conservation of historic and significant structures, and educate the public about the value of history in our American towns and cities. The Trust publishes a magazine for members that is quite informative and geared to those interested in history and classic architecture.


City Zoning and Planning Information, Historic Overlay Boundaries, Rules

City of Albuquerque Planning Department
600 2nd St. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87103

For rules, covenants, and code enforcement questions regarding new buildings and remodeling of existing structures in Historic Overlays and historically contributing areas, check out the LUCC site just below.

Albuquerque Landmarks & Urban Conservation Commission at: http://www.cabq.gov/planning/lucc/

The above page will give you a lot of information on historic homes and neighborhood overlays in the city of Albuquerque. At the bottom of the page you can access the available Historic Overlay Zone maps:
Eighth and Forrester HOZ map(pdf, 96 KB)
Fourth Ward HOZ map(pdf, 157 KB)
Huning Highland HOZ map(pdf, 137 KB)
Old Town HOZ map(pdf, 120 KB)
Overal l City-wide HOZ map (no street names)(pdf, 672 KB)

For Comments or questions please contact Mary Ellen Hennessy at 505-924-3891, or via email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it If you have additional questions you may contact the Historic preservation planner Ed Boles, (505)924-3342, or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

To go get information in person, you can visit the first floor of the City of Albuquerque Planning Department, 600 2nd St. NW , Albuquerque, NM 87103

or contact Deborah Nason, Public Information Officer for Zoning and Planning
Phone: (505) 924-3860
Email: bq.gov"> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Misc FYI’s

Primers on Architectural home styles, compiled free online courtesy of…
About.com: http://architecture.about.com/od/housestyles/tp/housestylesindex.htm
Realtor Magazine: http://www.realtor.org/rmoarchitecture_guide/residentialstyles