In 1995 Albuquerque hired architectural historian and UNM professor Chris Wilson to inventory buildings in Nob Hill to record descriptions of houses and commercial buildings and determine if particular buildings or districts might warrant nomination to the NM Register of Cultural Properties, New Mexico’s official register of cultural properties considered worthy of preservation.
Chris and a team inventoried hundreds of structures. They recommended a district generally mirroring the Monte Vista subdivision and the College View subdivision, both platted in 1926, for nomination. In 1998 the district was listed in the NM Register of Cultural Places in recognition of the large number of properties (702 out of 859) still displaying original historic character illustrating the development of Albuquerque in the period from 1926 to 1957.
Albuquerque then commissioned a nomination of the district to the National Register of Historic Places, the nation’s official list of places worthy of preservation. Resources listed in the Register can include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture. Nob Hilleño David Kammer and CABQ Preservation Planner Ed Boles completed the nomination and, on August 3, 2001, the Monte Vista and College View Historic District was listed in the National Register. Download the nomination here Monte Vista and College View Nomination
Most of the 859 buildings in the district are houses and are not separately registered. The Wilson inventory determined that 702 of them contribute to the historic character of the district. You can determine if a particular property is contributing by consulting pages 11 through 32 of the nomination. Pages 33 through 37 list buildings which are not considered to contribute to the district’s significance due to modifications. Some of these properties could potentially be brought back to a point where they again contribute. Page 77 shows a detailed map of the district’s boundaries. Contributing structures are eligible to display a historical plaque.
Several districts in Nob Hill or surrounding areas would qualify for listing in the NM and National Registers. The first step would be an inventory of structures. Such an inventory could be explored by approaching City Councilor Pat Davis at email@example.com or Leslie Naji at the Albuquerque Planning Department, 924-3927.
Listing does not restrict modification of structures. However, as owners learn that a property is worthy of preservation, it can stimulate them to consider how remodeling or changes may impact the contribution their property makes to a district and to the record of development of their community. Recommendations for sensitive remodeling have been developed by Albuquerque Planning Department. Although they reference Silver Hill they were developed for all Albuquerque early 20th century automobile-oriented suburbs. Detailed information is available from Leslie Naji at 924-3927.
New Mexico offers NM income tax credits in the amount of 50% of the cost of approved rehabilitation of contributing properties. Approved projects have included new roofs, stucco, modernizing electrical and plumbing systems, refinishing wood floors, and replacing heating and cooling systems. Work must be approved before it is initiated. Call Harvey Kaplan at 505-827-3971.