What is Nob Hill?

Albuquerque’s Nob Hill is today generally considered the area on this map. It reaches 1/2 mile in all four directions from the 1947 Nob Hill Shopping Center at Central Ave. and Carlisle Blvd.

Boundaries shrunk (2)


The area now known as Nob Hill was among the early developments on the east mesa. Its first subdivision, University Heights, was platted by Col D.K.B. Sellers  and A.C. McMillan in 1916. It was followed by  4 additions between 1925 and 1931.

Small contractors built house styles popular at the time from the Bungalow style popular early on to styles that revived romantic Spanish settlements and native pueblos. Demand was brisk and 80% of Nob Hill was built by WWII. Immediately after the war the last addition, Broadmoor, was developed, illustrating sweeping evolution in the layout of subdivisions that came about after the war.

Today these neighborhoods retain many well-preserved examples of architecture popular between the wars and streetscapes typical of the era.  They are among the area’s most visible and positive cultural and historic assets. They provide an enormously valuable record of the significant historical period beginning in 1916. 

Leverett house 2 PA1982-180-927024-SMALL (2)

This house, immediately west of Monte Vista School, is well-loved by its current stewards. (Residence of Wm. J. Leverett, President of Monte Vista Company, VP of Southwestern Homes, Inc., 301 N. Darmouth, Monte Vista Subdivision, The Albuquerque Museum Photo Archives, circa 1930)

Col D.K.B Sellers long envisioned a modern shopping center at the corner of Central Ave. and Carlisle Blvd in the NE corner of his 1916 University Heights. The rise of Carlisle Blvd. as it headed south from the corner reminded him of Nob Hill in San Francisco, a spot he had enjoyed during his time living in California. In 1938 he had a set of box letters made and erected a temporary sign to promote the idea and his University Heights. He had himself photographed with one of his beloved hunting spaniels and sent the image out as a greeting inscribing “Happy New Year from the newest and best located residential subdivision in Albuquerque.” 

1938 | D.K.B. Sellers with his dog and Nob Hill sign

Col. D.K.B. Sellers on his 1938 New Year’s greeting card