The Victorians of… Albuquerque

I’ve been spending some time in Albuquerque, NM lately. It’s a lovely town, as long as oxygen (it’s at about 5,000 feet above sea level), trees, or water aren’t on your list of must haves.

(click any image below for a larger version and slide show)

The homes that I took pictures of on this particular visit are located in the Huning Highland Historic District, which is very close to the Highland Park, near the Albuquerque Press Club.

Living in San Francisco, I was struck by how much space there were between the homes. When I think Victorian, I don’t think fully detached homes. But in Albuquerque, the Victorian homes were pretty much all fully detached. They were beautiful, in their own rambling and sprawling way.

And, as you can see from a good look at the pictures, the Victorian homes of Albuquerque range from the beautifully restored and well done to the burnt-out and condemned “opportunities” that are awaiting a loving family to come along and restore these homes to their former glory.

The Victorian homes of Albquerque are also right next to another fascinating building, the Hotel Parc Central. The Hotel Parc Central was originally built as a company hospital by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. When the railroad was no longer able to financially suppor the hospital, it closed, and over the years was a variety of things. Before becoming a hotel, it was a psychiatric lockdown facility, and you can google the internet for some rather horrifying stories, as well as plenty of stories about hauntings in the building.

The Victorians of Albuquerque are located in what we would call a “transitional” neighborhood, and it will be interesting to see how the neighborhood continues to develop and change. Regardless, if you ever find yourself in Albuquerque and want to do something a bit off the beaten path, I’d encourage you to take a look at these beautiful Victorian homes.

Victorian Abuse

I’ve written about Victorian abuse before, and this morning I noticed another rather egregious example at the corner of Fell and Divisadero (NOPA, for those of you keeping track of such things).

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As you can see from the above photo slideshow, behind the scaffolding and with a fresh paint job, the Victorian at the corner of Fell and Divisadero was once a glorious structure that has suffered the ignominy of having a liquor store installed behind an industrial roll-up garage door on the ground floor.

And it’s wrong, I tell you, wrong! Victorian homes weren’t designed with garages (or liquor stores) in mind, but couldn’t we at least do something (even slightly) tasteful at the ground level? I’m not sure there is really a way to take a corner liquor store “high-class” but couldn’t we at least soften the harsh industrial ghetto vibe from roll-up garage door? Pretty please?