Heritage Preservation Month

Night view of Conchas Dam.


HPD will issue its thirtieth annual Heritage Preservation Month poster to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act in 2016. The Act is the single most comprehensive preservation legislation ever enacted in the U.S.  It codified the National Register of Historic Places and required federal agencies to evaluate the impacts of new construction on historic sites and provide for public comment before they can be altered.  The 2016 poster will interpret how the NHPA has benefited preservation in New Mexico. Issued in April, 3,000 copies are distributed each year throughout New Mexico and the nation. Some have won awards and hang on the walls of Congress.

The 1939 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo of Conchas Dam illustrated the 2008 "New Deal" poster.

Preservation Month & Events

Heritage Preservation Month originated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is celebrated nationwide. It is an opportunity to showcase preservation in cities, towns, pueblos, parks and by individuals, organizations and governments.  Many of them stage events and HPD published a Calendar of Events each April to provide a guide to historic home tours, archaeological hikes, lectures, events and ceremonies in state and national parks, film screenings, and special museum tours held during the month of May. 


Since 1970, the Cultural Properties Review Committee has presented Heritage Preservation Awards for outstanding achievements in the field of preservation. Individuals, organizations, authors, local heroes, businesses and agencies have received awards for significant contributions to preserving architecture, archaeological sites, language, cultural landscapes and in the field of publication. Prominent consulting firms and people who fell in love with and saved the condemend historic adobe down the block have won preservation awards.

2013 Award Recipients

Lifetime Achievement

  • Steven Kells, AIA — Awarded posthumously for nearly 40 years devoted to historic preservation in the Southwest, co-founding the architectural firm of Kells + Craig Architects in 1984 where he completed notable restorations including the Kimo Theater in Albuquerque and on buildings significant to smaller communities, and for nine years of service on the Cultural Properties Review Committee.

Architectural Heritage

  • E.J. Lujan (Community Pres. Planning); Crocker, Ltd, (Architectural Heritage)  Pueblo of Santa Ana (Tribal Heritage) — for the superior restoration of Santa Ana de Tamaya church using traditional means, community involvement and inspiring other communities to follow the pueblo’s lead.
  • Bruns Army Hospital — Ellis Browning Architects, Ltd.; Gayla Bechtol Architect—for the Historic American Building Survey  documentation of Bruns Army Hospital to help preserve a part of Santa Fe’s World War II and twentieth-century history.

    Heritage Organization

      • New Mexico Historic Women Marker Initiative  — Patricia French, Alexis K. Girard, Beverly Duran, Karren Sahler, Rosemary Molnar for establishing 65 Official Scenic Historic Markers devoted to women’s history, correcting the oversight that of the state’s hundreds of roadside markers, previously only one mentioned a woman by name.
      • New Mexico Department of Transporation Districts 1 & 3 — For dedicating substantial time and funds to repair and replace deteriorated Official Scenic Historic Markers, preserving these unique statements about New Mexico history.
      • Lincoln National Forest — For restoring the Mexican Canyon Trestle, the last remaining trestle of the “Cloud-Climbing Railroad,” and creating a scenic overlook and interpretive site that makes this important part of New Mexico history available to the public.
      • The Phillips Chapel Preservation Group — For engaging multiple facets of the community and providing leadership in the preservation of Phillips Chapel, C.M.E, established 1911 as the first African American church in Las Cruces.
      • Los Compadres del Palacio — For completing the Windows on Heritage project at the Palace of the Governors, a National Historic Landmark, and the leadership of Dorothy Bracey.

        Individual Achievement

        • Robert Kurtz, New Mexico Department of Transportaqtion District 2  — For dedicating substantial time and funds to repair and replace deteriorated Official Scenic Historic Markers, preserving these unique statements about New Mexico history.

        Heritage Publication

          • Artesia — For Nancy Dunn & Naomi Florez, who researched and wrote about local history in Artesia, part of the Images of America series and timing its publication with the New Mexico Centennial.
          • Grants-Milan Flight Services Building — For Jonathan Craig, Kells + Craig Architects; and Cibola County Historical Society Vice President Stephen Owen who documented early aviation history in New Mexico in Grants–Milan CAA Flight Services Station, an Historic Preservation Division grant project. The Conditions Assessment and Preservation Plan will guide establishment of a museum and heritage tourism site at the Grants-Milan Airport

            Archaeological Heritage

            • Charles A. Hannaford — For a 35-year career raising public awareness of the importance of the state's archaeological heritage highlighted as the public outreach director at the Office of Archaeological Studies, and for his respect of New Mexico's multi-cultural heritage.

            Community Preservation  Planning

              • Downtown Deming Historic District Deming MainStreet, City Manager Richard “Rick” McInturff and Mayor Andres Silva for the successful nomination of the Downtown Deming Historic District, which reinvigorated the local Certified Government program and raised awareness of local history.