ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s one of the oldest community centers in Albuquerque. Now the city is working to preserve its historical significance.


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The community center was built between 1941 and 1942. If the walls of the Barelas Community Center could talk, they would have a lot of stories to tell. A series of programs instituted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression to stabilize the economy.

That, along with its Spanish Pueblo revival architecture and murals depicting New Mexico culture are just a few reasons the city wants to make the community center a historical landmark. “It’s important because it allows guidelines to be put in place to help protect the building from any major changes that might negatively impact the architectural integrity of the building or the cultural or historical integrity,” said Kate Fafford-Johnson with the city’s planning and zoning department.

If approved by the city council, the community center will be added to a list of more than 20 historical landmarks in the city including the Kimo Theater and the Old Albuquerque High School building at Central and Broadway which has since been turned into apartments. “It makes it a little easier for us to preserve the qualities of a particular building that make it special,” Fafford-Johnson said.

People living in the Bareles area say the designation would give the neighborhood a boost. “It being a historic landmark will bring more advisory to our little neighborhood,” said resident Melissa Trujeque.

The Landmarks Commission has approved the designation. It now heads to the city council for the final decision.