Past Projects

Bernalillo Wine Museum, Bernalillo, New Mexico

Located at the foot of the Sandia Mountains, the historic town of Bernalillo was officially settled in 1648 by 30 colonial families. Today’s main street, Camino del Pueblo, was part of the El Camino Real, the trade trail from Mexico. Pre-1937 Bernalillo’s main street was also part of Route 66. Originally designed to be used as a barn, the terron (sod brick) building (ca. 1917) was converted to a stable for funeral horses and hearses.… Read More

Capilla de San José, Cañoncito de La Cueva

On summer weekends from 1997-1999, the community members of Cañoncito carried materials and equipment to ford the waters of the Mora river to allow passage to San José chapel. The beginning of this restoration project was dramatic, as an unusually high wind caught the frame roof and pulled it off of the adobe walls. The summer of 1999 was a particularly wet summer, so the community members never knew how never knew how workdays would… Read More

Flood Restoration and Recovery, Hatch, New Mexico

On August 14, 2006 the town of Hatch, New Mexico was devastated by flooding. Since then, Cornerstones has been at the forefront of efforts to flood victims. A grant from the National Trust and generous support from the Prothro Family Foundation has permitted our technical staff to conduct conditions assessments of damaged adobe homes and provide advice to homeowners that will help preserve—and in many cases prevent the collapse of the town’s traditional adobe… Read More

Fort Stanton Stables, Lincoln County, New Mexico

Established in 1855, Fort Stanton in Lincoln County, New Mexico is the only remaining fort still intact that was built before the Civil War. The fort was originally constructed as a US Army base and was used until 1896. Henceforth, the fort has served as a Merchant Marine tuberculosis hospital, a Civilian Conservation Corps camp and World War II German internment center.

The Fort Stanton Historical District is on the State Register of Cultural… Read More

Fountain Theater, Mesilla, New Mexico

Off the historic Mesilla Plaza in Mesilla, New Mexico sits the historic Fountain Theater, built in 1905. Records indicate that this adobe structure is probably the oldest movie theater in New Mexico.

Cornerstones completed a conditions assessment of the historic Fountain Theater. The conditions assessment is the first step in the eventual preservation process. The process included a comprehensive photographic documentation and a number of tests and investigations to understand the current… Read More

Gutiérrez Hubbell House, South Valley of Albuquerque

The Gutiérrez-Hubbell House is a 6,500 square foot adobe hacienda symbolic of the Spanish-American and Anglo-American traditions and cultures prevalent during the Territorial Period, 1848-1912. It is one of the few remaining structures of its type in the Santa Fe/Albuquerque area and is a representation of Spanish-American and Anglo-American architecture, cultures, and traditions reminiscent of early New Mexico. The Gutiérrez Hubbell House was chosen in 2003 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one… Read More

Historic Churches and Community Structures

Cornerstones staff provides hands-on support and assistance to many rural New Mexico communities for the restoration of their significant historic churches. Staff members work in partnership with community members to provide skills training in the use of traditional building methods, foster community independence and ownership of the process and to encourage the involvement of young people in the restoration process.

Our Lady of Light Church Lamy, New Mexico

St. Joseph Church Mosquero, New… Read More

La Capilla de San Antonio, Chacón

The project at La Capilla de San Antonio (1865) in Chacón aptly represents the successful resolution of divergent community desires. In a community that, throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s, could be characterized as aging, attempts were made to minimize the maintenance cycle on the historic church. To this end, mayordomo Don Pedro Abeyta oversaw the installation of a concrete grade beam at the base of the adobe walls and the encasement of the entire church… Read More

La Glorieta, Manzano Day School, Albuquerque, New Mexico

At the heart of the campus of Albuquerque’s Manzano Day School, is a centuries-old adobe hacienda known as La Glorieta. One of the oldest Spanish Colonial structures in the Albuquerque area, parts of La Glorieta date to the 1690’s. Additions and alterations over the years have resulted in a traditional floor plan of long rectangular rooms that define a central courtyard. The old building has served as classrooms and offices for several generations of students… Read More

La Santísima Trinidad, Arroyo Seco

The Holy Trinity church in Arroyo Seco is an excellent example of early 19th century historic mission churches of northern New Mexico. Dating from the 1830’s, its thick adobe walls, heavy pine vigas, hand-crafted corbels and original altar screen tell of the intense faith that motivated the early settlers who built it, using only the simplest of tools: their hands, wood and earth.

In 1965, to accommodate a growing congregation, a new… Read More

Memorial Wall, Pueblo of Zuni, NM

On March 28, 1994 eight youth trainees, under the guidance of elderly mentors, extracted 17 tons of raw stone from Zuni quarry. It was the first to be quarried in Zuni in over twenty years, and was removed using traditional techniques. The stones, along with over 200 tons more quarried during two seasons of work, was used for the construction of the Zuni Memorial Park, honoring local firefighters, law-enforcers and soldiers.

The… Read More

Mission Presbyterian, Las Vegas, New Mexico

Las Vegas, New Mexico is a town that boomed with the advent of the Santa Fe Railroad in the mid-19th century. Its history, reflected in its architecture, tells the story of the melding of the Anglo culture with the existing native cultures. Completed in 1873, the Mission Presbyterian is the oldest Presbyterian Mission west of the Mississippi. The unusual adobe building is the only attempt in New Mexico at a classical temple facade. Religious services… Read More

Mora Valley Historic Missions, Mora, New Mexico

Mora, New Mexico has a high number of historic adobe missions in deteriorating condition. The project commenced in 2003, as part of an intensive, community-based preservation effort focused on traditional building arts and skills and a process designed to broaden and deepen the community’s knowledge and capacity to preserve their buildings and traditions in the future.

Cornerstones staff provides hands-on training to mayordomos (church caretakers) involved in the long term maintenance and conservation of… Read More

Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Church, Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico

Originally constructed in 1629, the historic Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe Church, has had three cycles of building, destruction, and re-building. In the 1970’s a Zuni artist initiated a monumental mural project consisting of oil paintings on the interior walls of the church depicting traditional ceremonial, kachinas, and elements of oral history.

Zuni Pueblo invited Cornerstones to conduct a conditions assessment and preservation plan for their historic Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe Church. The… Read More

Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, Doña Ana

Built sometime between 1845 and 1852, Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria is the oldest church in the Mesilla Valley. Set on the plaza of historic Doña Ana on the Camino Real, the church occupies the site of a 17th century parada, or stopping place. For more than 125 years, the old church was the focal point of the village until a new one was constructed in the 1970’s. At that point, some suggested demolishing the… Read More

Nuestra Señora de la Luz, Cañoncito del Apache

Apache Canyon is close to the path of the Santa Fe Trail, about twelve miles south of Santa Fe. Built in the mid-1880’s, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its image is familiar to New Mexicans as the subject of paintings and photographs by generations of Santa Fe artists. The parishioners’ abiding love for their church is clearly shown in the care with which they maintain the graves of their… Read More

Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción, Socorro, Texas

Spanish and Piro Indian refugees fleeing the Pueblo Revolt founded the village of Socorro del Sur in 1680. The new community soon erected a church building of jacal construction. By 1744 a larger, permanent church was built. Beautiful vigas painted with flowers and geometric designs supported the roof. In 1829, devastating floods destroyed the church, but parishioners were able to salvage many of the vigas and corbels. The nave of the present structure, La Purísima,… Read More

Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, Tecolote

Located eight miles from Las Vegas, NM, Tecolote is a community of about 70 families. Community traditions are strong in Tecolote, as evidenced by extensive restoration work done on their historic Nuestra Señora de los Dolores church. In 1994, the Deacon from Las Vegas informed the community that the Archdiocese was closing the church due to structural problems. To then mayordoma Donna Romero, the thought of losing the church was “...frightening, really. All our history… Read More

Oratorio de Jesus Nazareno, La Jara

According to Rogeria Olivas , she has spent “99% of her life” in the village of La Jara, New Mexico, where “99% of the people are related.” La Jara is about 4 miles from Cuba, at the base of the stunning San Pedro Mountains. “I used to think I would move far away from here. Now, I live about a mile from my childhood home…I just couldn’t go too far.” That home was gutted by… Read More

Our Lady of Light, Lamy, New Mexico

As with so many other churches in small northern New Mexico communities, the combination of diminishing population and loss of traditional social patterns brought about the gradual abandonment of Our Lady of Light in Lamy, originally built in 1900. By 1988, the building was considered unsafe for occupancy, and was closed by Archbishop Sheehan in 1994. An out-of-town visitor commented several years ago, “This place is a wreck. Might as well tear it down and… Read More

San Esteban del Rey Church and Convento, Pueblo of Acoma

Begun in 1630, only 32 years after Juan de Oñate took possession of New Mexico in the name of King Philip II of Spain, San Esteban del Rey Church was one of the few Spanish missions to survive the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. When one considers the labor that the Acoma people expended to build this massive structure, it’s no wonder they chose not to destroy it. To build the church, convent, and cemetery, they… Read More

San José Mission, Upper Rociada, New Mexico

The small mountain village of Upper Rociada is located in a spectacular setting about 25 miles northwest of Las Vegas, New Mexico. In the center of town stands the San José Mission, built in 1862 by the ancestors of the people who still live there today. The church was condemned in the early 1980’s, and the townspeople faced the prospect of losing this important center and symbol of community. In 1988, when the west wall… Read More

San Rafael Church, La Cueva, New Mexico

The San Rafael church, located in the tiny rural community of La Cueva, is a stunning Neo-Gothic structure. It was built in 1865 during the period of Jean Baptiste Lamy, the Frenchman who was assigned by the Vatican to be the first Archbishop of Santa Fe. Abandoned as a parish church in 1952 for lack of clergy, the structure soon fell into ruin. Residents of El Queso, Buena Vista, Cañoncito, La Cueva and several other… Read More

Santa Rosa de Lima, Palm Springs, California

Cornerstones is working with the Santa Rosa Band of the Cahuilla Mission Indians in performing a condition assessment of the stabilization and conservation procedures for a 19th century chapel located in the San Jacinto Mountains of southern California. The unusual Mission and Gothic Revial building, which suffered from seismic and other environmental conditions, requires special techniques for stabilization and basal repairs

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Santuario de San Lorenzo, Bernalillo, New Mexico

The middle Rio Grande valley is an area of great cultural importance in New Mexico. It was occupied by Pueblo Indians since prehistoric times and by Spanish explorers and settlers for over 400 years. Spanish explorers first visited the Bernalillo area in 1540 when Francisco Vásquez de Coronado moved east from the Pueblo of Zuni to establish winter quarters for his famous expedition. Bernalillo became an established community in 1695, following the Pueblo Revolt of… Read More

St. Augustine Church, Pueblo of Isleta, New Mexico

Built in 1612, St. Augustine is a large adobe church, with the original clerestory window still intact, situated in the historic Pueblo of Isleta south of Albuquerque.

The Pueblo of Isleta invited Cornerstones to conduct a conditions assessment of their historic St. Augustine Church. The conditions assessment is the first step in the eventual preservation process. The process include a comprehensive photographic documentation and a number of tests and investigations will be conducted to… Read More

Transcending Borders: Cornerstones Collaboration with Mexico

International Workshops on the Conservation and Restoration of Earthen Architecture (TICRAT) is an important Cornerstones’ cross-border initiative that respects the shared history and cultural ties of people on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border in this region. Cornerstones and colleagues from Mexico Instituto de Nacional Antropología e Historia (INAH), the National Parks Service, and the U.S.-Mexico Affairs Office of the National Park Service have collaborated since 1994 on several projects on both sides of the… Read More

Agua Fria Village Entrance Monument

Cornerstones works with Agua Fria Village community for the monument construction. The monument’s walls were built by students in the Building Trades and Technology Department at Santa Fe Community College. The project is used as a practicum for an adobe class. Estimated completion is 2015. This project is funded by Santa Fe County.

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