Photo: 9 November 2018
White Sands National Monument Visitor Center
buildings, roads, and landscaping), Tularosa, New Mexico, were built
in 1936-1938 with National Park Service (NPS) design, Civil Works
Administration (CWA) and Works Progress Administration (WPA) funding and/or
labor [1,2,3,4,5], with Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and National Youth
Administration contributions. "Set in a landscape of native plants, the
historic district preserves this unique architectural style and is a tribute
to the plans of the architects and the fine artisanship of the WPA
"The White Sands Visitor Center, the fence between the visitor center and
the residential area, and three of the homes within the residential area are
made of adobe. These buildings are an excellent example of Spanish Pueblo
adobe, otherwise known as Pueblo-Revival architecture. Lyle Bennett, who is
considered the master of the Pueblo-Revival style, designed and worked on
these buildings. Work began in 1936 and was completed in 1938. Various
government agencies, including the Works Progress Administration (WPA),
cooperated in the construction. The WPA was the largest of the New Deal
agencies created by President Roosevelt during his time in the White House,
employing millions of workers via public works projects during the Great
Depression. Projects included constructing public buildings and roads and
operating literacy programs."
"The Historic Distract at White Sands National Monument (WSNM) consists of
eight Pueblo Revival buildings constructed in the late 1930s by Civil
Works Administration workers as a Recreation Demonstration and Emegency
Conservation Work project. It is understood to have have been done at the
cost of $31,000. This included the main Visitor Center including the museum
and structures with similar architectureal styles used for housing staff and
maintenance activities. The centerpiece of the district is the Monument
Administration and Museum Building, constructed in 1936-37. This two story
building with patios and portals was beautifully finished inside with
exposed viga and latilla ceilings, a corner fireplace, tin work fixtures
which were made by the National Youth Administration (NYA) girls at Camp
Capitan in Baca Canyon in nearby Capitan, New Mexico. The Colonial style
furnishings were created by CCC workers. Landscaping with native plants was
done at the time of construction along with the trails and roads throughout
the park. The CCC was also responsible for this. The White Sands New
Mexico Historic District was found eligible to be included in the National
Register [6-23-88] for its architecture and its association with the history
of the National Park Service (NPS), particularly the NPS emphasis on the use
of local materials and rustic styles in construction of park buildings."
Sands National Monument Historic Residences Rehabilitation Fact Sheet,
National Park Service (undated): "Between 1937 and 1939 the WPA built
structures at White Sands National Monument to house park staff and serve
visitors. The buildings ... were added to the National Register in 1988 as
were many other WPA-era buildings in the region ... The WPA-built
residences, along with the visitor center and maintenance buildings at the
park are also part of the White Sands Historic District."
Center, White Sands National Monument website, dated 8 June 2017,
accessed 24 November 2018.
and Our Visitor Center, White Sands National Monument, National Park
Service, 1 October 2011.
Short History of White Sands National Monument, National Park Service:
"Plans for the construction of a visitor center with a museum, restrooms,
residences for park staff, an administration building, and maintenance shed
began in 1935. Funding and labor for the construction came from the largest
agency of President Roosevelt's New Deal, the Works Progress Administration
(WPA). These facilities, which are still in use today, were completed in 1938."
- Michael Welsh,
and Dreams: A History of White Sands National Monument, National Park
Service, Division of History, Professional Paper No.55, 1995.
Park Service Cultural Landscapes Inventory 1998, White Sands NM Historic
District, White Sands National Monument (Revised 2005).
- Kathryn A. Flynn, Public Art and Architecture in New Mexico 1933-1943:
A guide to the New Deal Legacy, Sunstone Press (2012), p.20.
Works Administration (CWA) (1933), Living New Deal website, accessed 25
- Works Progress Administration (WPA) (1935), Living New Deal website, accessed 25
- Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) (1933), Living New Deal website, accessed 25
Youth Administration (NYA) (1935)", Living New Deal website, accessed 25