equals heritage for UNM planner
New Mexicans view historical preservation as a hobby or a passion.
For Joe McKinney it’s more than that, it’s heritage.
a planner in UNM’s Department of Facility Planning, preserving
historical buildings hits close to home. His home is a piece
of history itself.
McKinney and his wife Mary put a dream into action and began
restoring their Pueblo style home in Albuquerque’s Watson District
on 17th Street NW (see photos below.)
are the subject of a recent segment on Home and Garden Television’s
(HGTV) Restoring America.
an 18 month period, the McKinneys, along with contractor McHenry
and Co. painstakingly restored their home which was entered
into the New Mexico State registry of historic places in the
District stretches north from Old Town to Lomas Blvd., including
16th and 17th streets and Chacon place. The area is named after
developer Leon Watson who built the McKinney’s residence in
1941 as a model home for the subdivision. Watson’s homes reflected
Pueblo style architecture and included use of native materials
process included rewiring and re-stuccoing the entire residence
as well as replacing the original dirt insulated roof. The home’s
original vigas and windows were still in good shape and remain
as a testament to the care the building received over the years.
Apart from the McKinney family, the house had only one other
owner since it went on the market.
owners had taken good care of the house, but over time, things
begin to need replacement,” McKinney said. “We knew that this
house could again become all it was designed to be.”
proved arduous especially since the McKinneys chose to keep
living in the residence during the operation. Because 37 cubic
yards of dirt had to be removed from the roof, plastic sheeting
had to cover the ceilings to prevent dirt from falling into
the house. Original wiring and plumbing had to be replaced,
which meant digging into the adobe walls. The front portal had
deteriorated, requiring it to be completely removed and replaced.
left one original feature of the home untouched. Part of the
original design featured a bomb shelter, which was ahead of
its time in the early 1940’s.
approval, the McKinneys added a new garage to the back of the
residence and converted the old garage into a kitchen-dining
efforts, the McKinney’s home earned first place in the 1989
Albuquerque Board of Realtors Historical Home contest and a
state Heritage Preservation award in 2002.
passion for historical preservation began at his boyhood home,
McKinney, TX, named for ancestor Colin McKinney, one of the
Lone Star State’s original settlers. McKinney went on to graduate
from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX, with a bachelor’s
degree in architecture and minors in city planning, urban history
and architectural history.
As a planner
at UNM for almost 35 years, McKinney has worked to preserve
history so new generations can enjoy it. In the early 1970’s
when it appeared several campus buildings, including Hodgin
Hall might be demolished, McKinney labored to save the buildings
because of their historical importance.
house in 1988 before restoration.
house in 1989.