Heritage Preservation Month

Preservation Month & Poster

2017 is the 35th consecutive year New Mexico has celebrated Heritage Preservation Month, and marks the 30th year HPD has issued a poster. Originated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1973 most states, including New Mexico, mark May as Preservation Month. Our poster is available by contacting HPD at 505-827-6320. The photograph of Almeta Williams was taken in 1943 by FSA photographer Jack Delano as part of a series of portraits he shot of American workers during the Great Depression. She was employed by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway in Clovis at the time.

The Cultural Diversity theme illustrated on this year’s poster was inspired by the National Park Service initiative to achieve a more accurate and diverse representation of the groups of people who have shaped our history and culture. NPS is providing grants to document the history of African Americans, Asian Americans, the LGBTQ community, Native Americans, women, and Hispanics. National monuments and landmarks were established in recent years to recognize these groups, who also are better represented in the National Register.

HPD received a diversity grant that made it possible to hold a tribal summit to determine Native American preservation needs and design a digital app tailored to documenting cultural sites on Indian lands. Earlier this year, the Dunbar Elementary School in Vado was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The nomination includes a history of African Americans in New Mexico, including the 1920s when Jim Crow laws were passed that led to building Dunbar in the tiny border town. Vado is the only extant community settled by blacks in New Mexico.


There are more than 30 preservation events statewide in May, many of them listed in the Calendar of Events. The Calendar can inspire a hike, bike ride, or road trip to places unexplored in New Mexico or be a guide for exploring cultural heritage. It was compiled by the New Mexico Heritage Preservation Alliance, the only statewide preservation nonprofit in New Mexico. NMHPA helps facilitate sponsorship of the annual poster.


Since the 1970s, the Cultural Properties Review Committee has presented Heritage Preservation Awards for outstanding preservation achievements. Individuals, organizations, authors, local heroes, businesses and agencies have received awards for significant contributions to preserving architecture, archaeological sites, language, cultural landscapes, and less tangible elements of our culture. Grassroots preservationists, architects, archaeologists, and people who have made it a point to familiarize their community with the value of preservation have won preservation awards.

2017 Award Recipients

Lifetime Achievement

  • David Kammer—for a groundbreaking body of work that sets the bar for current and future historians and has
    significantly influenced the course of preservation in New Mexico for more than 30 years.

Individual Achievement  

  • Larry Limon— for continuing a New Mexico and family tradition as a master plasterer who has lent his considerable skills to preserving earthen architecture in New Mexico and the Southwest.
  • Leslie Sandoval-Romero—for establishing Grandma’s Trading Post & Museum, which has preserved part of the cultural heritage of Truchas.
  • Dixie Boyle—for multi-faceted preservation of underrepresented history in central Mexico and for exemplary grassroots outreach.

Architectural Heritage

  • Sylvia Baca, Baker Architecture + Design, Franken Construction, Department of Media Arts & Technology of New Mexico Highlands University— for the adaptive re-use and preservation of the historic Trolley Barn in Las Vegas.

Archaeological Heritage

  • Cannon Air Force Base & Versar, Inc—for Investigating the Homestead-to-Farmstead Transition and Early-to-Middle Twentieth Century Social Dynamics on Cannon Air Force Base: Data Recovery Efforts at LA 172689 and LA 173359, a thorough documentation of underserved cultural resources in an underrepresented part of New Mexico.

 Heritage Organization

  • Rio Grande Foundation for Community & Cultural Landscapes and Agua Fria Community Water System Association—for outstanding archaeology and an exemplary partnership that has raised awareness of the importance of LA 2, the Agua Fria Schoolhouse Site.
  • La Sociedad Colonial Español de Santa Fe—in recognition of the society’s grassroots efforts to preserve the traditions of northern New Mexico.

 Heritage Publication

  • Jonathan S. Craig & Jean Fulton—for the exemplary Taylor-Barela-Reynolds-Mesilla Historic Site Structure Report, which will guide re-establishing a private residence as a State Historic Site.
  • Maurice M. Dixon, Jr.—for The Artistic Odyssey of Hingio V. Gonzales: A Tinsmith and Poet in Territorial New Mexico, which provides new insights into a transformative period in state history and the life of an eclectic artist.
  • Kirtland Air Force Base & Kristen Reynolds— for Wings of War: An Illustrated History of Kirtland Air Force Base, 1941–1960, an outstanding creative mitigation that highlights mid-twentieth century Albuquerque history.
  • Ellen Babcock & Mark C. Childs—for The Zeon Files: Art & Design of Historic Route 66 Signs, which preserves a lost treasure trove of iconic mid-twentieth century design.
  • Robert Julyan—For Hiking to History, an innovative book that inspires hikers to explore history and history buffs to set out on the trail.