Heritage Preservation Month

2019 Heritage Preservation Month & Heritage Preservation Awards

2019 will mark the 47th year that New Mexico has celebrated Heritage Preservation Month and the 32nd year HPD will issue a poster.  Look for more information soon about this year's celebration and recognition of Heritage Preservation Awards.  

Since the 1970s, the Cultural Properties Review Committee has presented Heritage Preservation Awards for outstanding preservation achievements. Individuals, organizations, authors, local heroes, businesses and agencies have received awards for significant contributions to preserving architecture, archaeological sites, language, cultural landscapes, and less tangible elements of our culture. Grassroots preservationists, architects, archaeologists, and people who have made it a point to familiarize their community with the value of preservation have won preservation awards.

2018 Heritage Preservation Month

2018 was the 46th consecutive year New Mexico celebrated Heritage Preservation Month, and marked the 31st year HPD issued a poster. Originated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1973 most states, including New Mexico, mark May as Preservation Month.

The 2018 poster included a dramatic black and white photograph that communicates “New Mexico.”  It captured a moment in time when Farm Security Administration Photographer Jack Delano was riding the railroads seeking photography subjects.  The photo, entitled: “Mountainair, New Mexico.  Going down the mountain on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, between Vaughn and Belen, New Mexico”  shows the open sky, the space and light, and vernacular adobe architecture – essences of New Mexico – all together to provide an excellent depiction of this enchanted land.  Download a PDF version of the poster here.


More than 50 statewide events were held in May 2018, many of them listed in the Calendar of Events. The Calendar inspired a hike, bike ride, or road trip to places unexplored in New Mexico and served as a guide for exploring cultural heritage. It was compiled by the New Mexico Heritage Preservation Alliance, the only statewide preservation nonprofit in New Mexico. NMHPA helps facilitate sponsorship of the annual poster.

2018 Heritage Preservation Award Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Edie Cherry, FAIA, ASLA of Cherry / See / Reames Architects, PC and Professor Emerita, University of New Mexico School of Architecture — for a career in architectural practice and academia including 30+ years of activity in historic preservation.  Ms. Cherry also served as a member and Chairwoman of the New Mexico Cultural Properties Review Committee for 10+ years and on the City of Albuquerque’s Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission from 1999-2005.

Archaeological Heritage Award

  • The Merchant Site—for Myles Miller and Tim Graves of Versar, Inc. and the late Robert “Bus” Leslie whom are recognized for their work under the Bureau of Land Management’s Permian Basin Programmatic Agreement for establishing scientific rigor at the site, excavating significant features and record keeping. 

Individual Achievement Award

  • Dr. Robert Dello-Russo— for an extensive career in archaeology, working in New Mexico since 1986.  In 1999 while completing the requirements for his Ph.D. at the University of New Mexico, Dr. Dello-Russo discovered the Water Canyon Paleoindian site near Socorro.  He continues research at the Water Canyon site today, making noteworthy discoveries including the first chronometrically dated Cody Bison antiquus processing area in western New Mexico and the earliest grinding stone (at ~9200 cal yr BP) in New Mexico. 

Heritage Publication Award

  • University of New Mexico Law School, Natural Resources Journal— for publishing and dedicating a seminal issue to the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service – Volume 56, Issue 1, 2016, National Parks at the Centennial – where relevant issues such as climate change, the potential for oil and gas development, and the sharing of parks with native peoples envisions a 21st Century Park Service. 

Architectural Heritage Award

  • New Mexico Museum of Art, Centennial Rehabilitation Project — for excellence in the rehabilitation of the historic New Mexico Museum of Art.  Seeking to celebrate its 100th anniversary, the staff of the museum prepared to undertake this project to reveal and restore the elegant simplicity of the interior public spaces and improve visitor experience. 

Tribal Heritage Award

  • Navajo Nation & Mescalero Apache & New Mexico Historic Sites Division—for outstanding collaboration to craft a new interpretive plan for the proposed Long Walk exhibit at the Ft. Sumner / Bosque Redondo Memorial Historic Site. 

Heritage Organization

  • Department of the Army, White Sands Missile Range, Cultural Resources Program—for its program to develop historic contexts that provide a framework for understanding the growth and development of White Sands Missile Range and its scientific contributions to the Cold War and manned space flight.

Community Preservation Planning

  • Village of Santa Clara—for outstanding preservation planning efforts in recognizing and preserving its historic resources.  Mayor Richard Bauch and City Clerk Sheila Hudman have led the Village’s efforts in utilizing preservation as an essential community revitalization tool. 

In Memoriam Recognition

  • Dr. Richard West Sellars—for Dr. Sellars’ work as an historian for the National Park Service in Santa Fe and publishing the path-breaking work, Preserving Nature in the National Parks

A list of 2018 Heritage Preservation Award Recipients may be downloaded here.

Awards were conferred on Friday, May 11, 2018 at the Museum of International Folk Art, 706 Camino Lejo, on Museum Hill, Santa Fe, New Mexico.