New Mexico New Deal Sites June 2019 - Photo #218 - Santa Fe: State Supreme Court Building

Santa Fe, New Mexico: 23 June 2019: The New Mexico Supreme Court Building, 237 Don Gaspar Avenue, architect Gordon Street. Opened on August 9, 1937, "the new building was constructed as a Public Works Administration project, one of many such public buildings that emerged as a result of New Deal efforts in New Mexico. Typical of many of those buildings, the Supreme Court Building incorporated a range of stylistic elements associated with the region's architectural styles. One of the first public buildings to employ details specifically ascribed to the Territorial Revival style, it played a pioneering role in defining an architectural vocabulary that has characterized much of New Mexico's public architecture for the past six decades ... [the building] cost $306,000 to construct, of which $171,000 was a loan made to the Supreme Court Building Commission by the PWA and $135,000 a grant from the PWA ... Over the decades, the Supreme Court Building has come to be appreciated not only for the legal traditions it represents but also for its significance as a part of the New Deal's legacy in New Mexico. The justices of the Supreme Court, the Building Commission, and the Chief Clerk are proud of the heritage the building conveys and are committed to preserving it."[1]
  1. New Mexico Supreme Court Building, National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, #01001468, 3 December 2001: "Viewed from the Don Caspar Avenue Bridge, the front elevation of the building framed by a ring of conifers conveys a sense of scale, setting and composition characteristic of many of the public landscape and architectural projects carried out by the New Deal in New Mexico. The New Mexico Supreme Court Building was constructed as a Public Works Administration (PWA) project (5544-R) between 1935 and 1937. Typical of many of the projects undertaken by New Deal programs in New Mexico, the design of the building embodies a number of elements associated with the Territorial Revival style for which the building set a precedent in the state's public architecture. Typical also of the larger PWA construction projects, the building employs a range of modern construction materials and techniques."
  2. 50 Communities Benefit from PWA Costing Nearly 18 Million Dollars, Albuquerque Journal, 12 September 1937, p.4: "...Santa Fe – Supreme Court building $306,000.00..."
  3. C.W. Short and R. Stanley-Brown, Public Buildings: A Survey of Architecture of Projects Constructed by Federal and Other Governmental Bodies Between the Years 1933 and 1939 with the Assistance of the Public Works Administration. Washington DC, Government Printing Office (1939), p.64. "The new building ... is a semifireproof structure provided with a sprinkler system. The floors are concrete on steel joists, sash are steel, and exterior walls are brick covered with cream-colored stucco. Copings and window sills are brick. It was completed in August 1937 at a construction cost of $282.443 and a project cost of $316,233."
  4. Supreme Court Building Information, New Mexico Courts website, accessed 15 July 2019.
  5. New Mexico Supreme Court Building photo gallery, National Park Service NPGallery Digital Asset Management System, accessed 15 July 2019.