Albuquerque NM 16 June 2019: The old Albuquerque High School, 401 Central
Avenue NE. Shown here:
(1937). "Three of the Gothic Revival buildings in the Old
Albuquerque High School complex were designed by Louis Hesselden and
built by the PWA using labor supplied by the WPA
. The buildings
included the administration building
. The whole complex has been restored and converted into
business units and residential condominiums called The Lofts at Albuquerque
High. The public art created for this building was transferred to the
Albuquerque Museum collection when the building was released by the
Albuquerque Public Schools." The administration building is now
called the classroom building. The original pre-New-Deal two buildings were
the Main Building (1914) and the Manual Arts Building (1927).
"After the school closed in 1974, the property was abandoned due to decay and
marked as a blighted area. In 1998, the City of Albuquerque hired a private
developer to convert the campus into market rate loft apartments.
The renovation was completed in multiple phases. The initial phase involved
the renovation of the Old Main Building (1914), Classroom Building (1937),
Bulldog Plaza, and the Courtyard. The school walls, chalkboards, floors,
ceilings, and interior hallways were kept to maintain the original
character, and the existing classroom doors and windows were restored
Phase three involved renovating the Gymnasium Building (1938), which after
years of neglect left the building with water infiltration through leaking
roofs and broken windows that damaged the structural integrity of the
building. Because the building is considered a city landmark, preserving the
original fabric of the interior spaces as well as the building’s
character was the primary design driver. By replacing the electrical,
heating, and sprinkler systems, improving plumbing to meet code, and
restoring original window frames to fit insulated glass, the old gym was
turned into 54 loft apartments that vary in size from 500sf to 1,900sf
bi-level luxury townhouses. A large center atrium soars three stories above
the old gym floor, exposing the facility’s beautifully restored trusses,
while linear clerestory windows wash the interior with natural light. A
portion of the central grandstand was retained along with the gym's
original hardwood floor. This central grandstand area and the lofts in the
main gym wing open into the atrium ... Project completion: 2005"
- Kathryn A. Flynn, Public Art and Architecture in New Mexico
1933-1943: A guide to the New Deal Legacy, Sunstone Press (2012), p.32.
Landmarks: Old Albuquerque High School, City of Albuquerque website,
accessed 9 July 2019: "Albuquerque Public Schools took advantage of New Deal
funding and WPA manpower to add still three more buildings to the complex:
the Classroom Building (1937), the large Gymnasium Building (1938), and the
Library Building (1940). All three were designed by another local architect,
Louis Hesselden, to blend with the established Gothic Revival style of the
first two buildings [the main building and Manual Arts building]."
School Gymnasium Plans Are Completed, Albuquerque Journal, 10
1936, p.10: "Plans and specifications for the new gymnasium building at the
High School were approved Tuesday night bye the city school board. They
will now be submitted to the PWA office at Santa Fe for approval and that
office will set the date for advertising for bids. The gymnasium building,
also housing the music department and cafeteria, will be located at Broadway
and Tijeras. It will extend an entire block along Tijeras Avenue. The
20-classroom building now under way on Broadway is also a PWA project."
to See New High School Buildings Feb 5, Albuquerque Journal,
18 January 1939, p.2: "The public will be invited to visit the new high
school gymnasium and class room building at an open house the afternoon of
Feb 5, the sity school board announced Tuesday. The two new structures are
now in full use, the cafeteria in the gymnasium building having been put in
operation recently. The two structures were built with assistance of WPA."
House Planned for Five New City School Buildings, Albuquerque
Journal, 10 January 1940, p.5: "The City Board of Education designated
Feb. 4 as "open house" at five city school projects recently
completed. The projects were built with PWA aid. The projects are the
library at the high school, ..."
Albuquerque High School Lofts, New Mexico Architectural Foundation
website, accessed 8 July 2019.
Deal Programs, Living New Deal website: