New Mexico New Deal Sites November 2018 - Photo #202 - Albuquerque Monte Vista Fire Station

Photo: 18 November 2018
The former Monte Vista Fire Station (Fire Station No.3), 3201 Central Avenue NE, Albuquerque.

"The Monte Vista Fire Station is located on Central Avenue (old U.S. Route 66) in a strip commercial development surrounded by residential suburbs that all date to the late 1930s and late 1940s. It is a free standing building on a corner lot, set back approximately fifteen feet from the front sidewalk and three feet from the office building to its east. The Fire Station is a two-story rectangle with a three-story hose/stair tower projecting from its southeast corner, a one-story entrance/office projecting from the southwest corner and a later, one-story addition attached to the rear. Floors and roofs are reinforced concrete, walls are hollow clay tile with a stucco finish. The building's Spanish Pueblo Revival style details include- exposed lintels, projecting vigas (roof beams), ladders and rounded, projecting parapets which front flat roofs. ... (Later) The original 1936 dedication plaque was removed and mounted in the engine room of the University campus fire station, the Monte Vista Station's replacement. ... The Monte Vista Fire Station, designed by Albuquerque city architect E.H. Blumenthal [who also designed the airport], was built with Works Progress Administration Funds in 1936. It meets National Register Criterion A as a prominent reminder of the role of federal public works funding during the 1930s in providing the infrastructure and public services which allowed the development of new suburbs to the east of the established parts of Albuquerque. ... The Monte Vista Fire Station was an important improvement in this campaign to prepare for future growth in the Heights. Like the other projects, the station's construction depended largely on federal funding of the total construction cost of approximately $24,000, $14,300 was a grant from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Constructed in five months, from June to November, 1936, the Fire Station caused an immediate 43% reduction in residential fire insurance rates for the surrounding areas. ... As with all WPA projects the station was built with local labor and local material. The hollow tile blocks in the original structure were manufactured by Kinney Brick of Albuquerque and all the original timber was cut by local labor in the Sandia Mountains and milled in the city. ... Kept in immaculate condition over the years by the Fire Department, the station went through very few alterations. In 1972, it was put up for sale when the newer and wider trucks could no longer negotiate the Monte Vista's old doors."[1]

The building served as Fire Station No.3 for over thirty years. Since 1972 the building has been an art gallery, a lithographic studio, a film production facility, a church, and since 1986 it houses the Monte Vista Fire Station Restaurant and Bar.

  1. Monte Vista Fire Station, National Register of Historic Places, Inventory-Nomination Form, 2 February 1987.