ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Museum is showcasing an exhibit for anyone into Albuquerque history, giving memorable glimpses into the past through photographs of how the city was built. The ‘We Built This City’ exhibit is using some of the city’s oldest photos, dating back over 150 years.


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“It begins around 1870s which is some of the early photographs that we have for Old Town and it goes all the way to the 1980s. It’s really trying to look at the people who built it not just the landmarks, not just the buildings but how the construction actually happened,” said Albuquerque Museum Digital Archivist, Jill Hartke.

Hartke says the more she started working to put the exhibit together, the more she started getting into it, delving deep into the museum’s photo archives. The exhibit, which opened in March, takes visitors on a walkthrough using a few dozen black and white photographs as well as a color video of the men and women responsible for some of today’s unique sites.

Some of the photos show work on the railroads in 1880, construction of the central train bridge in 1937, and the Sandia Peak Tramway in 1965. “There have been some people who have recognized subcontractors and construction companies that they’ve worked for like their dad or their grandpa worked for. So I think it’s sort of this human connection that people are finding with the exhibit which is what I love,” said Hartke.

The museum will be holding a free talk on the exhibit delving deep into the stories behind the photographs Wednesday at 11 a.m. The exhibit will run through the end of October. All the photos in the exhibit come from the museum’s archives.