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Progress continues on the Amador Hotel


The west facade of the Amador Hotel is nearing completion. With recent city funding, Amador Hotel could be fully restored within five years.

The concrete stucco has been removed, the original adobes have been repaired, the wall has been covered in lime plaster, the upper windows have been milled (shaped), painted and installed, landscaping is complete. Ground-floor doors and windows should be installed in May and the entire west side of the hotel should be completed by the end of June.

In accordance with decisions made by the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division (NMHPD), the restoration is following a mid-1930s photo of the Amador. Once enlarged, the rough texture of the lime plaster is visible and the territorial-style portico. If the photo were in color, you would also see the blue of the upper-story windows. That color was identified from both archival research and chemical analysis of the paint. An exact match was made to those findings. The windows and doors will be boarded up to protect them from vandalism while work continues on the building. However, historic photos are being selected that will be placed over the plywood so people can see the hotel images through time.

The Historic Structure Report (HSR) on the hotel has been completed and accepted by the NMHPD.

This is a huge step forward because the HSR not only details every architectural aspect of the building through time (1880-today) but is the detailed road map to restore and adapt the building to serve as the City of Las Cruces Amador Event Center. Until now we have had only the 2009 Amador Adaptive Re-Use Study to guide the work. Now we have ‘the blueprints’ that will specify how we proceed room by room. The Period of Significance has been determined to be 1885-1969, which is the entire time the building functioned as the Amador Hotel and was operated by the Amador family and their descendants.

The historic Amador Hotel can now be nominated for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The completion of the National Register nomination is a huge step forward for two reasons. 

The first reason is that now the NMHPD believes the building is eligible for nomination. The Amador Hotel Foundation received a grant to write and submit a National Register nomination in 2014. However, NMHPD would not forward the nomination to Washington, DC because they did not believe enough historic fabric and structural integrity remained. We convinced the state historic preservation officer to give us time to deliver the proof they needed. And, we have. With selective external and internal demolition, we found a time capsule that demonstrates a variety of features through time (e.g., all three floors that were ever in the building, the vigas from 1885 used to construct the second floor, columns from 1885 that support not only the second floor but also the roof, the interior ceiling from 1885, the staircase from 1910, electrical wiring from 1921, wallpaper from every time period, etc.).

HPD now considers the historic Amador Hotel to be a most significant structure in New Mexico and understands that it is unique. It is the only two-story adobe hotel in not only New Mexico but the country.

The second reason is that once the Amador Hotel is on the National Register, the Amador Foundation and the city will have many more opportunities for fundraising. Many federal and state grants and private foundation grants require a building to be on the National Register to be eligible for grant funds. Consequently, we have had to watch those grant cycles go by each year without being able to apply.

Production is complete of a 13-minute video giving an overview of the Amador family and hotel through time with a view of the (planned) Amador Event Center.