2011 Architectural Tour Revisited: Mid-Century Modern


Insurance Building - 610 Gold NW
Insurance Building – 610 Gold NW

As is typical with each New Mexico Architectural Foundation tour, participants gathered on a crisp Saturday morning in late October. In 2011, the focus was Mid-Century Modern Architecture in Albuquerque.

The tour was informed by Edna Heatherington Bergman’s thesis, The Fate of Architectural Theory in Albuquerque, New Mexico: Buildings of Four Decades, 1920-1960, which provided interesting insight to many of the Duke City’s buildings of that time period.

View a list and a map of many of Albuquerque’s Mid-Century Modern buildings, along with excerpts from Bergman’s thesis. With these tools, you’ll be able to recreate parts of the tour.

Among the 2011 tour stops (comments by Bergman):

  • Simms BuildingSimms Building (see slideshow below)
    “Altogether this building is a remarkably sensitive and rich example of its genre, attentive to both the structural expressiveness of modern theory and to associations with its setting and history.”
  • Albuquerque National Bank Main Branch
    “This strictly simple building is triumph of stylessness. It is so free of exterior detail as to be difficult to describe…a very uncommunicative building, and yet must have had a strikingly up-to-date appearance on the Central Avenue of 1952.”
  • Valiant Print BuildingValliant Printing Building
    “One of the few structures built downtown during this decade (1940s), the Valliant has a richness and solidity which shows confidence in its time and place, but is at a very modest one-story scale. It is legibly modern in its lack of ornament, its rounded corners, and the shining curved metal edge of the canopy over the door.”
  • Vista Large Subdivision

    A neighborhood adjacent to UNM’s North Golf Course that was developed between 1955 and 1963. View map below.

NMAF 2011 Tour - Vista Larga Subdiv map and houses



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