Protected library structure in downtown Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque is working to preserve the original look of their main downtown library. The library was built in the mid-1970s and guides took another step to protect the style of the building inside and out – known as brutalist architecture.

In 2020 the city councils decided to make the library a symbol of the city. Library Director Dean Smith says, “When the building was listed as a city landmark in 2020, it was only the first step in the process. The second step in this process was to define the critical elements of the building that make it historic. “

Earlier this month, the Environmental Planning Commission was asked to identify the main elements of the building. then the board approves these points. Smith says, “It is very gratifying to know that the building is now being forever protected so that all can enjoy it for future generations.”

Officials say they have no plans to add anything to the building at this point and the request was a way to add another layer of protection to what defines the library. Smith explains, “Certain pieces of furniture are now protected; they may not be removed from the building and certain elements of the building such as the ceiling and the lights may not be changed without permission. “

Other of these critical elements are the concrete work, the signing off in front of the building and the wood paneling. The urban development status of the library also opens up possible funding for restoration work on the building.

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