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"Preserving Architectural Heritage and Community Traditions in New Mexico and the Southwest"

About Cornerstones

Mission Statement

Cornerstones Community Partnerships works in partnership with communities to restore historic structures, encourage traditional building practices, and affirm cultural values.

Organization History

Sacred Heart history
The built environment of the Southwest is one of the most beautiful examples of vernacular architecture in the United States. Many of these adobe structures are several centuries old and are symbolic of the rich heritage of the original builders. Traditions of community cooperation in maintaining the buildings have been passed down for generations. Thus, to preserve vernacular, historic architecture is to preserve the cultural heritage and values they embody.

Since 1986, Cornerstones has assisted hundreds of rural Hispanic and Native American communities throughout New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Texas in the restoration of their historic and cultural structures as a means for the preservation of the rich cultural heritage unique to this region. Over 50 major restoration projects, led by the community, have been successfully completed.

Cornerstones' community-based approach to the preservation of historic structures integrates historic preservation with at-risk youth apprenticeships; on-the-job adult training; the promotion of community collaborations; and economic development through heritage tourism.

2009 Annual Report

To Download a copy of Cornerstones 2009 Annual Report please click on the link below.

2009 Annual Report

Community-Based Philosophy

  • Community capacity building is the core of Cornerstones' Model.
  • Methods include intergenerational teaching and learning.
  • Committed to engaging youth as a means of preserving cultural traditions and heritage.
  • Key to Cornerstones work is the re-establishment of traditional building arts relative to vernacular earthen architecture.
  • Historic Preservation Workshops are offered as means for professional and community outreach.

National Acclaim

Cornerstones is designated as an official project of Save America's Treasures. In 1999, Former First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Santa Fe and recognized the importance of Cornerstones work as a grassroots organization dedicated to community-based historic preservation. Ten years later another First Lady recognized Cornerstones' achievements. In January 2009 we received a letter from Laura Bush stating that Cornerstones had been named a Preserve America Steward - one of only eleven organizations honored nationwide.