Albuquerque's unique mixture of Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo heritages provides visitors with a variety of activities. Albuquerque's spiritual heart is Old Town, dating to the city's founding in 1706, where an arts community flourishes. Old Town is an atmospheric area of quaint adobe-style buildings with flat roofs and rounded edges, with windows frequently decorated with strings of dried chili peppers for good luck, and winding cobblestone or brick walkways leading to tucked-away patios and gardens. Old Town's Plaza features an outdoor Native American market offering traditional arts and crafts such as textiles, jewelry, and pottery. Also located in Old Town is San Felipe de Neri church, the city's oldest building, enclosing the adobe walls of the original presidio (fort).
The landscape surrounding the city is particularly scenic and provides some of the area's principal attractions. To the west is a high mesa and five extinct volcanos; to the east are the magnificent Sandia and Manzano mountains. Sandia Crest in the Cibola National Forest, 30 miles from Albuquerque, offers a breathtaking view that encompasses 11,000 square miles. A skylift operates there throughout the year, carrying skiers and hikers up the mountain. The Aerial Tramway, 2.7 miles in length and the longest tramway in the world, runs to the top of 10,378-foot Sandia Peak.
Evidence of Albuquerque's Native American roots can be found in the numerous pueblos around the city, many of them at least a thousand years old and some still inhabited. Active pueblos within an hour's drive of Albuquerque include Acoma, Cochiti, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna, Sandia, San Felipe, Santa Ana, Santo Domingo, and Zia. Acoma is perhaps the most spectacular; a walled adobe village atop a sheer rock mesa, the community dates to the eleventh century or earlier and is thought to be the longest continuously-occupied community in the country. Reminders of the ancient native civilization also exist in dozens of ruins and archaeological sites, among them Petroglyph State Monument, where some 25,000 prehistoric images, some as much as 3,000 years old, can be found in the rocks.
The Rio Grande Nature Center State Park, located a few miles north of Old Town, offers 2 miles of nature trails through the Southwest bosque, the grove of cottonwood growing along the Rio Grande. The Albuquerque Biological Park consists of three separate facilities: Rio Grande Zoological Park, Albuquerque Aquarium, and Rio Grande Botanic Garden. The zoo sits on 64 acres and is an oasis for both exotic and native species, such as seals and sea lions, gorillas, orangutans, elephants, polar bears, giraffes, camels, tamarins, koalas, Mexican wolves, mountain lions, monkeys, jaguars, zebras, and rhinoceros; one of the missions of the zoo is the breeding of endangered species. The zoo's Africa wing, opened in 2004, has 17 separate exhibits and 23 species of mammals and birds, including chimpanzees, warthogs, red river hogs, cheetahs, hippopotamus, DeBrazza's monkeys, spotted hyenas, African wild dogs, Marabou storks, Cape griffon vultures, lappet-faced vultures, wattled cranes, white-faced whistling ducks, Lady Ross's turacos, and golden-breasted starlings. At the Albuquerque Aquarium visitors can follow the story of a drop of water as it enters the upper Rio Grande high in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado and flows past canyons, deserts, and valleys in New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico, before reaching the Gulf of Mexico. The aquarium features exhibits of Gulf of Mexico saltwater species; a highlight is the 285,000 gallon tank housing brown, sandtiger, blacktip, and nurse sharks; brightly-colored reef fish; eels; and sea turtles. The Botanic Garden is 20 acres of developed land that includes a 10,000-square-foot conservatory divided into a Desert Pavilion and a Mediterranean Pavilion. New at the botanic garden in 2004 is Rio Grande Heritage Farm, a 1920s-style farm with an adobe farmhouse, barn, farm animals, orchard, grape vineyard, flowers, and vegetable crops.
Glancing skyward in Albuquerque, spectators frequently see the colorful spectacle of hang-gliders and hot-air balloons drifting slowly past. A combination of sunshine and topography produces steady geothermal winds, making the area ideal for wind sports and earning for the city the nickname of "Hot Air Balloon Capital of the World."
Albuquerque's Central Avenue, which runs east-west through the city, is considered one of the best-preserved sections of historic Route 66 in the state. Along the avenue are more than 100 classic structures, including diners, motor courts, and theaters, in architectural styles ranging from Streamline Moderne to Pueblo Deco.
Arts and Culture
Albuquerque actively promotes its rich cultural community. In 1979 City Council created an ordinance that assigns 1 percent of monies generated by revenue bonds and general obligation bonds to public construction and public art. Consequently, Albuquerque abounds with sculptures and murals attesting to the city's artistic energies. Along Central Avenue, from historic Old Town on the east through downtown and the university area to Nob Hill on the west, is Albuquerque's "cultural corridor." In the numerous theaters, museums, galleries, and cafes, and at other sites along this route, the stimulating and diverse cultural life of Albuquerque is on view.
Albuquerque has more than 30 performing arts centers and groups. The KiMo Theater, an ornate 1927 Pueblo Deco-style landmark downtown, is on the National Register of Historic Places; it serves as a performing arts theater, hosting a number of groups, with seating for 700. The Albuquerque Little Theatre presents comedies, mysteries, and light classics in its own playhouse near Old Town. La Compañía de Teatro de Albuquerque—one of the few major Hispanic companies in the United States and Puerto Rico—stages a series of bilingual productions including comedies, dramas, and musicals. Vortex Theatre offers off-Broadway original and classic plays.
Albuquerque is home to the New Mexico Ballet Company, founded in 1972, which performs classic dances in the KiMo Theatre and in Popejoy Hall on the University of New Mexico campus. Dance performances by visiting artists and groups can also be seen at KiMo Theatre. Popejoy Hall, the primary facility in the city for the performance of orchestral music and opera, is home to the Ovation Series—which offers a variety of events including drama and comedy, and ballet and modern dance—and the New Mexico Symphony. Based in the city and one of the southwest's most prestigious orchestras, the symphony presents classical, baroque, and pops, as well as Symphony Under the Stars and other special concerts. Musical Theatre Southwest, formerly the Civic Light Opera, performs classical and new musicals and is one of the largest producers of community theater in the country. Chamber Music Albuquerque, established in 1942, brings chamber ensembles from around the world to Albuquerque.
Many of Albuquerque's museums concentrate on area history and culture. The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science features exhibits exploring the geological and anthropological history of New Mexico, through Paleozoic-era fossils, full-scale dinosaur models, a walk-through volcano, and a replica of an ice-age cave. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center specializes in the authentic history and culture of the Pueblo peoples; the center includes exhibits tracing the history, artifacts, and contemporary art of New Mexico's 19 pueblos, the Pueblo House Children's Museum, a restaurant serving Native American foods, and an outdoor arena where Native American dancers perform on weekends. The National Hispanic Cultural Center, opened in 2000, explores Hispanic history and literature as well as visual, performing, media, and culinary arts. Located on the University of New Mexico campus, the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology displays ethnic, anthropological, and archaeological artifacts. Some date back 10,000 years, with especially strong collections from Southwestern cultures. The National Atomic Museum exhibits the history of atomic energy, including the Manhattan Project that produced the first atomic bomb, as well as non-military applications of nuclear energy.
The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History displays southwest art and explores 400 years of Albuquerque history. The museum features works by New Mexican artists from the early 20th century to the present, and numerous artifacts from the area's Spanish-American period, such as swords, helmets, and horse armor. A 40,000 square-foot expansion, completed in 2005, allows the museum to display more of its permanent collection. With an emphasis on the early modernist period, the University of New Mexico Art Museum houses a collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and European art, including one of the largest university-owned photography collections in the nation. The Jonson Gallery, located on the University of New Mexico campus, is the home of the late New Mexico modernist painter Raymond Jonson and exhibits more than 2,000 of his works. The National Hispanic Cultural Center's 11,000 square-foot gallery space displays contemporary and traditional Hispanic art. The KiMo Gallery at KiMo Theatre presents the work of local artists. The South Broadway Cultural Center Gallery mounts exhibitions by local and regional artists; workshops are available for emerging artists of all ages.
Festivals and Holidays
In 2006 Albuquerque will be 300 years old. The city is celebrating its tricentennial for 18 months, from April 2005 to October 2006, with events and exhibits honoring Albuquerque's art, history, and culture. Many of Albuquerque's yearly events celebrate the city's ethnic heritage. At the National Fiery Foods/Barbeque Show, held in early March, attendees can sample spicy sauces, salsas, candies, and more. The Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival, held in mid-March, features some 200 artists and crafters from across the country. Native American dancing and feast-day observances take place at numerous pueblos located within an hour's drive of the city. In April, the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow, held on the University of New Mexico campus, features more than 3,000 Native American dancers and singers representing some 500 tribes; more than 800 artists, crafters, and traders at its Indian Traders Market; and a Miss Indian World pageant. The New Mexico Arts and Crafts Fair, in June, showcases the works of some 200 New Mexican artisans. Each Saturday during the summer, Summerfest at Civic Plaza celebrates the food and culture of the city's various ethnic groups, and presents live music and entertainment. In September, the New Mexico Wine Festival in nearby Bernillo offers wine tastings, an art show, and entertainment. Also in September, the 17-day New Mexico State Fair, regarded as one of the top fairs in the United States, presents a professional rodeo, concerts, livestock shows, and other events. Feria Artistica, held in October, is a juried Spanish Market observing Albuquerque's Spanish roots, reaching back more than 400 years. The annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is one of the most-photographed events in the world. A 9-day festival in October, it features the mass ascension of some 800 balloons; at night, balloons filled with luminous gas light the sky. The Weems Artfest, in November, is billed as New Mexico's number one arts and crafts festival; a three-day event, the Artfest shows the works of approximately 260 artisans from around the world. Albuquerque is known as the "City of Little Lights," during the annual Luminaria festival in December. Tours are available.
Sports for the Spectator
The Albuquerque Isotopes, part of the Pacific Coast League, bring minor league baseball to Albuquerque at the new Isotopes Park (a $25 million renovation of Albuquerque Sports Stadium), which has seating for 12,215. The New Mexico Slam is a basketball team in the World Basketball League; they play at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The city is famous for the University of New Mexico Lobos, especially the football and basketball teams; the football team plays a September-to-November season at the university's 30,000 seat Stadium, and the basketball team plays from November to March at "The Pit," the university's 17,121-seat Arena. The New Mexico Scorpions, part of the Western Professional Hockey League, play at Tingley Coliseum. Rodeos and horse racing are other popular spectator sports in Albuquerque.
Sports for the Participant
With 800 neighborhood parks, 12 public swimming pools, 4 public and 7 private golf courses, 220 outdoor tennis courts, 23 ball fields, 43 miles of bikeways, and 20 community centers, Albuquerque has much to offer the outdoor enthusiast. Los Altos Park, the city's largest park, offers baseball and softball diamonds, an enclosed heated pool, tennis courts, a lighted golf course, and a children's recreational area. The Los Altos Skate Park, designed for BMX bikers, skateboarders, and in-line skaters, is the largest park of its kind in the southwest. Biking trails can be found at Sandia Peak and the Rio Grande Nature Center. Fishing is available in irrigation and drainage ditches, stocked with trout by the state, and in nearby mountain streams. Among other favorite outdoor adventures are hiking the trails in Cibola National Forest, camping, horseback riding, and downhill and cross-country skiing at Sandia Peak Ski area. Albuquerque's calm, steady winds also provide perfect conditions for hang gliding and hot-air ballooning.
Shopping and Dining
Albuquerque is a shopper's paradise. Numerous shops and galleries in Old Town specialize in art items and crafts produced by local artisans, such as textiles and the turquoise and silver jewelry for which the region is famous. Authentic prehistoric, historic, and contemporary Native American pottery, paintings, photography, and furniture are also for sale in Albuquerque. Sandia Pueblo, just north of Albuquerque, runs its own crafts market, Bien Mur Indian Market Center.
Other shopping needs can be met at Coronado Center, Winrock Center, and Cottonwood Mall, three of New Mexico's largest shopping centers; the historic Nob Hill district, offering some 130 shops, galleries, and restaurants; the underground First Plaza Galleria in the historic downtown district; and the Flea Market held every weekend at the New Mexico State Fairgrounds.
For dining pleasure Albuquerque offers a diverse range of restaurants, from family to fancy. Many feature regional specialties, including authentic Native American food, Hispanic and Mexican cuisine, and western barbecue. The core ingredients of what is known as Northern New Mexican Cuisine—a blending of Hispanic and Pueblo cuisines—are beans, corn, and chili. Several restaurants in Old Town are housed in picturesque adobe buildings.
Visitor Information: Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau, 20 First Plaza Center NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102; telephone (505)842-9918; toll-free (800)284-2282
Major Industries and Commercial Activity
The largest city in New Mexico, Albuquerque is also its economic center; it accounts for nearly half of the state's economic activity. Part of its success can be attributed to a diverse economic base consisting of government, services, trade, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and research and development. In 2004 Forbes magazine ranked Albuquerque the 12th best city in the nation for doing business.
The Rio Grande River valley contains rich farm and pasture lands that support a sizable food industry, based mainly on fruit and produce, in the Albuquerque area. Since its early years as a stop on the Santa Fe Trail, the city has been a transportation and service center. Albuquerque is also home to more than 700 manufacturing firms—many of them located in well-planned industrial parks—that produce such goods as trailers, food products, electronic components, neon and electric signs, hardware, and machine tools. Among the major manufacturing firms that call Albuquerque home are Intel, GE, and General Mills.
The Rio Grande Research Corridor, a constellation of high-technology industries, sprang up in the wake of the development of nuclear research during and after World War II. Each year, more than $4 billion is spent on research and development in the region. The area's major employers are part of this complex. Sandia National Laboratories, a government research and development lab, is involved in laser technology and solar energy. Kirtland U.S. Air Force Base, the area's largest employer and the sixth-largest military base in the world, is a weapons research center. In 2004, the value of the base's economic impact to Albuquerque was $3.3 billion.
For nearly a century people have valued Albuquerque for its dry air, which is especially beneficial to those with respiratory problems. Today the city's medical services and facilities are a vital part of the local economy. The year-round sunny weather attracts pleasure seekers as well; more than four million tourists visit Albuquerque each year, to ski the Sandia Mountains and to absorb the city's rich ethnic heritage.
Items and goods produced: machine tools, fabricated structural steel, furniture, hardware, textiles, paints, varnishes, fertilizers, scientific instruments, electronic equipment, neon and electric signs, native American jewelry and curios
Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies
Among the factors that draw businesses to Albuquerque are the city's extraordinarily low cost of living (based on cost of labor, energy, taxes, and office space), which in 2004 was ranked the lowest of all U.S. cities; and its highly-educated workforce.
The Albuquerque Economic Development group (AED), is a private, nonprofit organization that recruits companies to the Albuquerque area. AED provides site-selection assistance, labor market analysis, business incentive analysis, workforce recruitment and job-training assistance, and coordination of state and local assistance, among other services. Many high technology activities are carried out in Albuquerque; Technology Ventures Corporation, a non-profit organization, serves as a bridge between the public and private sectors for the commercialization of technologies developed at the national labs and research universities there, and assists in the expansion of existing businesses.
New Mexico offers a variety of incentives to all new and expanding businesses. Its Build to Suit program facilitates building construction, and ePort New Mexico is a one-stop information source offering permitting and licensing. The state's financial incentives include: no inventory taxes; tax credits for high-wage jobs, technology jobs, and childcare; a tax deduction for research and development services; a job training incentive program (the cornerstone of the state's incentives, allowing New Mexico to pay half the salary for new hires for up to half a year); exemptions for qualified businesses from property taxes on land, buildings, and equipment, and from personal property tax on equipment; and laboratory partnerships with small businesses. Further incentives are available for manufacturers, customer support centers, aerospace and aircraft industries, producers of agriculture or energy, and filmmakers. In addition, the state enacted a major personal income tax reduction in 2003, and New Mexico's property taxes are second lowest in the nation.
Economic Development Information: Albuquerque Economic Development, University Center Research Park, 851 University Boulevard SE, Suite 203, Albuquerque, NM 87106; telephone (505)246-6200
Among the many businesses that have located or expanded in Albuquerque in the early 2000s are: Gap, Inc., which opened a corporate shared services center in 2001; Victoria's Secret Catalog, which expanded its support center in 2001, adding 380 jobs; Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which expanded in 2002, adding 500 jobs; ClientLogic, a customer service and technical support center for high-technology companies, which expanded in 2002-2003, adding 500 jobs; Tempur-Pedic Mattress, which broke ground on a $56 million manufacturing plant in 2004; and Eclipse Aviation, a personal jet manufacturer undergoing an expansion slated for completion in 2007, expected to add 300 jobs. The $73 million Alvarado Transportation Center Project is partially completed and operational as of 2005; by 2006 it will be an intermodal transportation center linking commercial and city/state bus and rail services.
Since the days of the Santa Fe Trail, Albuquerque has been an important center for the transportation of goods. The city's economy benefits from the Santa Fe Railway and the 46 motor freight carriers, 29 of which have local terminals, that link Albuquerque with major markets throughout the country.
New Mexico is a Freeport State, meaning that business inventories for resale, raw materials, and interstate commerce products stored there temporarily are not subject to state or local property taxes. Albuquerque offers an international airport, Albuquerque International Sunport, with a port of entry from Mexico; the airport moves approximately 146 million tons of freight cargo annually. Foreign trade zones operate in Albuquerque and nearby Rio Rancho.
Labor Force and Employment Outlook
Employment growth in Albuquerque in 2004 was 2.4 percent. Growth of around 1.5 percent is anticipated for 2005 and 2006. The city's labor force is relatively young, skilled, and educated: Albuquerque is notable for its high percentage of advanced degree holders. Albuquerque's work force is routinely cited for its productivity, and Area Development Magazine recently ranked the city number one in the nation, for manufacturing productivity in terms of dollars of output per worker.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Albuquerque metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.
Size of non-agricultural labor force: 370,800
Number of workers employed in . . .
construction and mining: 25,800
trade, transportation and utilities: 66,200
financial activities: 19,200
professional and business services: 59,200
educational and health services: 45,200
leisure and hospitality: 36,300
other services: 11,900
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $14.64
Unemployment rate: 4.9% (January 2005)
|Largest employers||Number of employees|
|Kirtland AFB (Civilian)||17,125|
|University of New Mexico||15,835|
|Albuquerque Public Schools||11,700|
|Sandia National Laboratories||7,700|
|City of Albuquerque||6,940|
|State of New Mexico||5,660|
|Lovelace Sandia Health System||5,400|
|Kirtland AFB (Military)||5,240|
Cost of Living
The following is a summary of data regarding key cost of living factors for the Albuquerque area.
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $256,100
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 100.8 (U.S. average = 100.0)
State income tax rate: Ranges from 1.7% to 6.8%
State sales tax rate: 5.0%
Local income tax rate: None
Local sales tax rate: 0.5625% (city); 1.1875% (county)
Property tax rate: Residential, 27.027 to 43.860 mills; non-residential 32.857 to 51.724 mills (2004)
Economic Information: Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 25100, Albuquerque, NM 87125; telephone (505)764-3700; fax (505)764-3714. New Mexico Department of Labor, Economic Research and Analysis, 401 Broadway NE, Albuquerque NM 87102
Albuquerque: Education and Research
Albuquerque: Education and Research
Elementary and Secondary Schools
The Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) system, 34th largest in the nation as of the 2001–2002 school year, is administered by a nonpartisan, seven-member school board and a superintendency team.
The following is a summary of data regarding Albuquerque's public schools.
Total enrollment: 86,557
Number of facilities
elementary schools: 80
middle schools: 26
senior high schools: 11
Student/teacher ratio: ranges from 17:1 in kindergarten to 27:1 in high school
average: $36,038 (2002-2003)
Funding per pupil: $5,695 (2000–2001)
About 13 percent of the city's children attend the more than 70 private or parochial schools in the Albuquerque area.
Among these schools, Albuquerque Academy is regarded as one of the top private schools in the nation.
Public Schools Information: Albuquerque Public Schools, 725 University Boulevard SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106; telephone (505)842-8211
Colleges and Universities
The University of New Mexico (UNM), the state's largest institution of higher learning and part of the Rio Grande Research Corridor complex, is based in Albuquerque, with branch campuses in Gallup, Los Alamos, Taos, Los Lunas, and west Albuquerque. The main campus has an annual enrollment of more than 24,000 students. UNM is particularly strong in Latin American studies, flamenco dance, anthropology, and medicine—its rural medicine, primary care, and family medicine programs rank among the top 10 in the U.S. Other four-year institutions in Albuquerque include the New Mexico campus of the University of Phoenix, offering bachelor's and advanced degrees in business and nursing; the Metropolitan College of Court Reporting; a campus of ITT Technical Institute, which offers degrees in information technology, electronics technology, drafting and design, business, and criminal justice; and National American University, which offers degrees in accounting, business administration and management, and computer and information sciences. The city is also home to Albuquerque Technical-Vocational Institute (TVI), the largest community college in New Mexico. TVI offers associate's degrees in occupational fields as well as liberal arts.
Libraries and Research Centers
The Rio Grande Valley Library System, the largest public library system in New Mexico, is a Consortium of the City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County and the City of Rio Rancho. Public library service is available through a large Main Library and 16 branches throughout the Albuquerque area (including a Special Collections Library specializing in genealogy and regional history, and the Erne Pyle Branch, former home of the famed World War II correspondent, displaying a collection of his memorabilia), and the nearby Rio Rancho Public Library. The library system has a collection of more than 1.4 million items, including periodicals and audio-visual materials.
The University of New Mexico General Libraries maintains more than 2 million volumes and nearly 11,000 periodical subscriptions. Its collection includes that of the Center for Southwest Research, UNM's resource center for the study of New Mexico and the Southwest. Branch libraries on campus provide subject collections in business, fine arts, and science and engineering. Collection strengths include Latin American history, regional photography, music and architecture, American Indian affairs, and maps. The Health Sciences Library serves the Medical School and the health professions statewide. The Law School Library is the primary legal library in the state and has special collections in American Indian and Latin American Law.
Research activities in such fields as water resources, Southwestern biology, power systems, alternative energy, artificial intelligence, robotics, anthropology, satellite data analysis, business and economics, Native American law, aging and health policy issues, Latin America, and Hispanic and Chicano studies are conducted at centers in the Albuquerque area. The University of New Mexico is the state's primary research university. Among its research units are the Center for Advanced Studies (quantum optics, laser physics, etc.), the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence, the New Mexico Engineering Research Institute, the Center for High Technology Materials, the High Performance Computing Education & Research Center, the Center for Micro-Engineered Materials, and the Latin American Institute. Other research centers based in Albuquerque include the Behavioral Health Research Center of the Southwest, which conducts research on substance abuse and other behavioral health issues, and the Air Force Research Lab at Kirtland Air Force Base, where space- and missile-related research is performed. Sandia National Laboratories, based in nearby Sandia, performs national security research.
Public Library Information: Main Library, 501 Copper Avenue NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102; telephone (505)768-5141
ALBUQUERQUE , city in New Mexico. Available documentation dates a village of Alburquerque (the first "r" was later dropped) from 1706. The comparatively lush land adjacent to the Rio Grande River to the west of the Sandia Mountains in central New Mexico and 60 miles south of Santa Fe proved to be an attractive point for settlement for Spanish newcomers from Mexico. A number of Indian pueblos already existed there. American military occupation after 1846 and the territorial status accorded New Mexico in the United States allowed Americans to join the existing Hispanic and Indian population.
Jews were among the early American traders to the area. As early as 1852 Simon Rosenstein was operating a store on the plaza – now called Old Town – and possessed real estate in 1850. He married a Hispanic woman and may have been the first Jew divorced in New Mexico in 1866.
In 1880 the Atcheson, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad created a railroad depot and yards over a mile from the old plaza, which became a focal point for New Albuquerque and New Mexico. By 1883, some 25 Jewish males formed the first Jewish organization in Albuquerque and New Mexico, a chapter of B'nai B'rith. They were young, mostly single, and all were merchants or clerks. By 1896 their number had nearly tripled; and the group, although still young, showed maturation through marriage and the creation of families. As a result, Albuquerque's Jews created a congregation in 1897, the second in the Territory after Congregation Montefore in Las Vegas. It was named Congregation Albert, the name acquired through auction to the highest bidder by Alfred Grunsfeld in honor of his father. It adhered to Reform practice. This Congregation is now the oldest in the state. In 1921 a more traditional Conservative congregation formed under the name B'nai Israel.
Although Albuquerque was the largest city in the state before World War ii, the Cold War provided great impetus to its further growth. As a result of the whole area's isolation and open spaces Albuquerque became a center for atomic research and attendant industries and the site for numerous military bases. With a population of 35,000 in 1940 the city grew to 200,000 by 1960. By 2000 it had 448,000.
The increase of Jewish population in Albuquerque outmatched the city's general growth. In 1940 the estimate of Jewish numbers was 450 – over one-third of the state's total Jewish persons. In 2000 the estimate was 7,500, perhaps 70 percent of the state's Jews.
The social character of the Jewish population changed dramatically after World War ii. Scientists, doctors, attorneys, and faculty became quite common, gradually matching shopkeepers. A survey carried out in 1977 counted more than 100 Jewish faculty members at the University of New Mexico in the city. In the last decades of the 20th century Jewish women joined the ranks of professions in rapidly increasing numbers. However, Jewish-owned businesses – new and old – continued to exist and prosper.
Jewish residents have long participated in the political life of the community. The first mayor of an incorporated Albuquerque in 1885 was Henry N. Jaffa. Mike Mandell followed him in 1890. Jews continued to serve on various local commissions after World War ii. In the late 1980s, Steve Schiff, a former district attorney and a Republican, was elected to the United States House of Representatives and served until his death in 1998.
Their increasingly varied social character gave witness to Jews assuming an ever-broadening range of important roles. Home builder Sam Hoffman constructed large housing developments in the early postwar era until his death in 1959. Architect Max Flatow, who arrived in 1947, contributed some of the city's tallest modern structures and the College of Education complex at the University of New Mexico. From 1985 to 1992 Neil Stulberg conducted the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra in the city.
In the latter decades of the 20th century all dimensions of activity broadened. In religious organization Chavurat Hamidbar was formed in 1973 and Nahalat Shalom (Renewal Independent) came into existence under Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb in 1983. In the early 1990s Chabad made its presence known. In addition, secular organizations grew up after World War ii with an eye to aiding Jewish refugees and supporting Israel as well as seeking to aid a growing number of elderly and to educate Jewish children. By the end of the century a well-developed Jewish Community Council and a splendid campus placed Albuquerque in the category of middle-sized Jewish communities in the United States.
M. Simmons, Albuquerque: A Narrative History (1982); H.J. Tobias, A History of the Jews in New Mexico (1990).
[Henry J. Tobias (2nd ed.)]
Early Native American and Spanish Influences
The region surrounding present-day Albuquerque was home to several groups of Native American peoples, including "Sandia Man," who lived there and hunted mastodon during the ice age 25,000 years ago. Albuquerque was later inhabited by the ancient Anasazi Indians. Their huge apartment-like buildings, constructed 3,000 years ago of stone and adobe, are still standing. The city continues to be a center of Native American culture: most of New Mexico's 19 pueblos—including the thousand-year-old, still-inhabited Acoma Pueblo—are within an hour's drive. To the north is Sandia Pueblo Indian Reservation. Albuquerque's modern architecture, particularly buildings on the University of New Mexico campus, combines modern design elements with native American and Hispanic motifs.
Albuquerque was founded as a villa in 1706 by Spanish colonists, who were attracted to the banks of the Rio Grande by the green pastures they needed to graze their sheep. The city is named for a Spanish Duke, the tenth Duke of Alburquerque (over time the first "r" in his name was dropped). The first structure built in Albuquerque was a church named for the city's patron saint, San Felipe de Neri. The original adobe walls remain standing in the part of the city known as Old Town.
City Becomes Distribution Center
Although the topography of the land—the mountains to the east and the Rio Grande to the west—afforded the settlement natural protection, Albuquerque was regularly threatened during the nineteenth century by hostile attacks, particularly from the Navajo and Apache. In the meantime, the town assumed a role as purveyor of goods to the West and served as a link in trade with Mexico. Situated on the Old Chihuahua trail, an extension of the Santa Fe Trail, Albuquerque's stores and warehouses were perfectly positioned to supply forts that were established in the Southwest to protect westward-moving settlers. Albuquerque became a U.S. Army post in 1846 and was occupied by the Confederacy for two months during the Civil War.
In 1880 rail travel arrived in Albuquerque. The town's strength as a transportation and trade center grew as manufactured goods were shipped in from the East and raw materials and livestock were transported from the West. A bustling new town quickly sprang up around the railroad, then grew to take in historic Old Town. In 1883 Albuquerque became the seat of Bernalillo County, and in 1891 it was incorporated as a city. Already an established oasis of civilization, Albuquerque, unlike other southwestern towns, never suffered from the boisterousness of the Old West.
Development of Atomic Bomb Brings High Technology
Until World War II, Albuquerque remained a small, quiet city. Then the development of the atomic bomb at nearby Los Alamos brought the town into the nuclear age. Now an important part of the Rio Grande Research Corridor, Albuquerque has undergone record population growth. It is a center of large high-technology industries that have evolved around the research and development of atomic energy and space exploration, drawing as well hundreds of smaller research firms. The city's celebration of its 2006 tricentennial is underway, with events and exhibits honoring Albuquerque's art, history, and culture. Culturally and economically diverse, Albuquerque remains historically aware and looks forward to a prosperous future.
Albuquerque, city of 448,607 inhabitants and metropolitan region of 712,000 (2000) at the foot of the Sandia Mountains in the Middle Rio Grande Valley of central New Mexico. Francisco Cuervo y Valdés, then governor of New Mexico, founded Albuquerque in the spring of 1706, naming the new villa for Francisco Fernández de la Cueva Enríquez, duke of Alburquerque, then viceroy of New Spain. (The extra r in the city's original spelling gradually disappeared with the arrival of Anglo settlers in the mid-nineteenth century.) The first settlers were 35 families, totaling 252 people, from the capital of Santa Fe about 60 miles to the north. In 1752 the population was 476, and it had reached only 763 by 1776.
Like the other villas in New Mexico, Albuquerque was a farming and ranching settlement on the far northern frontier of the Spanish Empire. Their distance from the viceregal administration and culture in Mexico City obliged them to forge a tightly knit, self-sufficient traditional culture, elements of which grace the New Mexican cultural landscape to this day. Following the Mexican-American War (1846–1848), the city became a part of the United States and began to establish commercial relations with the eastern United States. The arrival of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway (which bypassed the rival city of Santa Fe) in 1880 solidified Albuquerque's position as the most important Borderlands city of the region. Between 1890 and 1900, the population nearly doubled, reaching 6,326.
See alsoNew Mexico .
Richard E. Greenleaf, "The Founding of Albuquerque, 1706: An Historical-Legal Problem," in New Mexico Historical Review 39, no. 1 (1964): 1-15.
Oakah L. Jones, Jr., Los Paisanos: Spanish Settlements on the Northern Frontier of New Spain (1979), esp. pp. 109-167.
Marc Simmons, Albuquerque: A Narrative History (1982).
Casado Fuente, Ovidio. Don Francisco Cuerbo y Valdés, gobernador de Nuevo México, fundador de la ciudad de Albuquerque. Oviedo: Principado de Asturias, Instituto de Estudios Asturianos del C.S.I.C., 1983.
Cutter, Donald C. España en Nuevo México. Trans. Andrea Cutter. Madrid: Editorial MAPFRE, 1992.
Montgomery, Charles H. Spanish Redemption: Heritage, Power and Loss on New Mexico's Upper Rio Grande. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.
Reséndez, Andrés. Changing National Identities at the Frontier: Texas and New Mexico, 1800–1850. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Simmons, Marc. Hispanic Albuquerque, 1706–1846. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003.
J. David Dressing
ALBUQUERQUE, founded as an outpost of Mexico in 1598 and named for the Spanish Duke of Alburquerque (the first 'r' was later dropped), lies in the center of New Mexico's high plateau (altitude 5,314 feet) on the east bank of the south-flowing Rio Grande. The region was part of the territory acquired by the United States in the 1848 settlement of the Mexican-American War and in many ways has retained its Hispanic character, particularly
in the Old Town area of Albuquerque. For most of the remainder of the nineteenth century, the city served as a base for the army in the campaigns to constrain the Comanche and Apache peoples. The arrival of the railroad in the early 1880s brought new commercial activities and economic opportunities. But population growth was slow, increasing from 2,315 in 1880 to only 35,449 in 1940. This growth was prompted by the warm climate, a growing military presence, and opportunities in the mining, cotton, and cattle industries. Major New Deal public works projects in dam building and irrigation eased a scarcity of water.
Substantial regional and city development came during World War II (1939–1945) and the Cold War. Kirtland Air Force Base and the Sandia National Laboratories complex provided greatly increased economic opportunities. The resultant prosperity had the effect of widening the economic gap between the poorer Hispanic population, which comprised 25 percent of the city's population in 1940, and the dominant Anglo population, mostly professionals and retirees. The impetus of growth intensified in the five decades after World War II. The city's population multiplied twenty times—to over 700,000 in 1990—while the national population merely doubled. In part, this growth was fueled by influxes of Hispanics moving from agricultural areas to urban Albuquerque, increasing their proportion of the city's population to 34 percent in 1990 and thus aggravating political friction. This, in turn, brought a government reorganization in 1972, and the expansion of education and employment opportunities.
Hodge, William H. The Albuquerque Navajos. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1969.
Logan, Michael F. Fighting Sprawl and City Hall: Resistance to Urban Growth in the Southwest. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1995.
Luckingham, Bradford. The Urban Southwest: A Profile History of Albuquerque, El Paso, Phoenix, and Tucson. El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1982.
Simmons, Marc. Albuquerque: A Narrative History. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1982.
Newspapers and Magazines
Albuquerque is served by two daily newspapers, the morning Albuquerque Journal and the evening Albuquerque Tribune, and by the weekly newspapers New Mexico Business Weekly, which covers business media, and El Hispano News, a Spanish-language newspaper. Magazines published there include abqARTS, New Mexico Business Journal, and New Mexico Woman.
Television and Radio
Ten television stations, including affiliates for the major commercial networks and public television, serve metropolitan Albuquerque. Cable television is available by subscription. Approximately 40 AM and FM radio stations broadcast to Albuquerque-area listeners, offering a wide variety of programming, including Spanish- and Navajo-language features. Albuquerque Public Schools operates an instructional radio station that features educational programming as well as jazz and Latin music.
Media Information: Albuquerque Journal, 7777 Jefferson Street NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109; Newsroom telephone (505)823-3800. Albuquerque Tribune, PO Drawer T, Albuquerque, NM, 87103; telephone (505)823-7777
Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau. Available www.abqcvb.org
Albuquerque Journal. Available www.abqjournal.com
Albuquerque Public Schools. Available www.aps.edu/aps
Albuquerque Tribune. Available www.abqtrib.com
Bernalillo County home page. Available www.bernco.gov
City of Albuquerque home page. Available www.cabq.gov
Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce. Available www.gacc.org
New Mexico Department of Labor. Available www.dol.state.nm.us
Rio Grande Valley Library System. Available www.cabq.gov/rgvls
Anaya, Rudolfo A., Alburquerque (Albuquerque: U. of New Mexico Press, 1992)
Chilton, Lance, et al., A New Guide to the Colorful State (University of New Mexico Press, 1984)
Simmons, Mark, Albuquerque: A Narrative History (University of New Mexico Press, 1982)
Albuquerque: Geography and Climate
Albuquerque: Population Profile
Albuquerque: Municipal Government
Albuquerque: Education and Research
Albuquerque: Health Care
Albuquerque: Convention Facilities
The City in Brief
Founded: 1706 (incorporated, 1891)
Head Official: Mayor Martin Chavez (since 2001)
2003 estimate: 471,856
Percent change, 1990–2000: 15.9%
U.S. rank in 1980: 44th
U.S. rank in 1990: 38th (State rank: 1st)
U.S. rank in 2000: 42nd (State rank: 1st)
Metropolitan Area Population
Percent change, 1990–2000: 21.0%
U.S. rank in 1980: 80th
U.S. rank in 1990: 77th
U.S. rank in 2000: 62nd
Area: 180.64 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 5,311 feet above sea level
Average Annual Temperature: 56.0° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 8.12 inches
Major Economic Sectors: Trade, government, manufacturing
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (January 2005)
Per Capita Income: $20,884 (1999)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 35,762
Major Colleges and Universities: University of New Mexico, University of Phoenix, Albuquerque Technical-Vocational Institute, College of Santa Fe at Albuquerque
Daily Newspapers: Albuquerque Journal; The Albuquerque Tribune
Albuquerque: Population Profile
Albuquerque: Population Profile
Metropolitan Area Residents
Percent change, 1990–2000: 21.0%
U.S. rank in 1980: 80th
U.S. rank in 1990: 77th
U.S. rank in 2000: 62nd
2003 estimate: 471,856
Percent change, 1990–2000: 15.9%
U.S. rank in 1980: 44th
U.S. rank in 1990: 38th (State rank: 1st)
U.S. rank in 2000: 42nd (State rank: 1st)
Density: 2,483.4 people per square mile (2000)
Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)
Black or African American: 13,854
American Indian and Alaska Native: 17,444
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 452
Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 179,075
Percent of residents born in state: 46.7% (2000)
Age characteristics (2000)
Population under 5 years old: 30,883
Population 5 to 9 years old: 30,577
Population 10 to 14 years old: 30,248
Population 15 to 19 years old: 31,988
Population 20 to 24 years old: 34,115
Population 25 to 34 years old: 67,150
Population 35 to 44 years old: 71,632
Population 45 to 54 years old: 61,732
Population 55 to 59 years old: 20,694
Population 60 to 64 years old: 15,918
Population 65 to 74 years old: 27,512
Population 75 to 84 years old: 19,542
Population 85 years and older: 6,616
Median age: 34.9 years
Total number: 8,741
Total number: 4,405
Money income (1999)
Per capita income: $20,884
Median household income: $38,272
Total households: 183,625
Number of households with income of . . .
less than $10,000: 18,109
$10,000 to $14,999: 12,706
$15,000 to $24,999: 26,597
$25,000 to $34,999: 26,293
$35,000 to $49,999: 31,682
$50,000 to $74,999: 33,373
$75,000 to $99,999: 17,097
$100,000 to $149,999: 12,205
$150,000 to $199,999: 2,947
$200,000 or more: 2,616
Percent of families below poverty level: 10.0% (53.1% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 35,762