In 1900 Albuquerque was concentrated in the ancestral river valley of the Rio Grande. The east mesa comprised thousands of acres of grass and brush containing a few dozen ranching homesteads. In 1889 the Territorial Legislature chartered the University of New Mexico which started construction at what is now Central Ave and University Blvd.
At the time there was no drug to manage the tuberculosis bacillus that caused the dreaded, often fatal "white plague". Doctors sent their patients to locations of medium altitude and clear air where they rested continuously and spent all the time they could outdoors...even sleeping on open porches year round. Albuquerque filled the bill for such a place. The AT&SF railroad had a stop at Albuquerque's station on Railway Avenue (later changed to Central Avenue.) Patients flowed off the train looking for housing. Many eagerly trekked up the hill to the east mesa where the air was less impacted by wood and coal smoke.
The area we now call Nob Hill was one of the earliest developments on the east mesa. Its first subdivision, University Heights, was platted by Col D.K.B. Sellers and A.C. McMillan in 1916.
Owing to serendipitous circumstances, Nob Hill today is one of the best preserved residential neighborhoods in Albuquerque. Its streetscapes paint a vivid picture of Albuquerque as builders pushed out of the valley and onto the east mesa in the early 20th Century. Its houses illustrate the picturesque styles popular at the time and provide a verifiable evidentiary record of a significant architectural past.
Nob Hill turned 100 in 2016. Individuals and groups throughout the community partnered in a yearlong celebration. Nob Hilleños celebrated with a Pet Parade, an Insider's Tour of historic buildings, and a dinner commemorating the 35¢ chicken dinners provided by the ladies of Monte Vista Christian Church in the 1930s. The celebration included the making of an oral history project. Plans are underway to display that project on this website.