Bernalillo County, New Mexico
Award Type: Honor Award
Just outside Albuquerque, N.M., the Gutierrez-Hubbell House, dating to the late 1840s, is a solid, rambling adobe hacienda that functioned at various points in its history as a stagecoach stop, post office and store. For 150 years, though, its most important role was as the home of James and Juliana Gutierrez-Hubbell, their 12 children and descendants. The marriage of Juliana Gutierrez and James Hubbell in 1849 joined two cultures – Hispanic and Anglo – and established a prominent trading dynasty that included son Juan Lorenzo Hubbell, who established the Hubbell Trading Post in Ganado, Ariz., which is today a historic site managed by the National Park Service.
When the Gutierrez-Hubbell House was threatened by inappropriate development in the 1990s, local residents formed a nonprofit preservation organization and eventually persuaded voters to approve a levy that allowed the County to purchase and restore the hacienda. After a meticulous restoration, the Gutierrez-Hubbell Demonstration Farm and Living History Museum opened in May 2008, and today the site is a popular museum and gathering place.
Acquisition of the property led to the creation of a countywide program that now protects 1,000 acres of open space. What's more, its restoration helped spur neighborhood revitalization and was the successful first test of a new statewide building code for historic earthen structures.
"Few remaining buildings in the Southwest are as representative of the intermingling of Hispanic, Anglo and Native cultures as the Gutierrez-Hubbell House," said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "In one of America's most history-rich areas, preservation has saved a long-neglected landmark – and laid the groundwork for much more."