Architectural History of Albuquerque’s Old Main Library

On Sunday, October 18, 2020, Teri Reynoso, Library Para-Professional and Circulation Supervisor, presented an architectural history of the structures at the site on the northwest corner of Edith and Central Avenue NE at 423 Central Avenue NE, “Old Main Library” in Albuquerque, NM. The presentation was live-streamed on the Albuquerque Historical Society’s Facebook Page. (This presentation was originally scheduled as a live event for Sunday, March 16, 2020, but was rescheduled due to the global pandemic.)

Photo of Old Main Library, Albuquerque NM
Opening Day of the new Albuquerque Public Library on March 23, 1925.

For over 100 years, the public library has operated at the northeast corner of Edith and Central. In this presentation, Teri will share highlights of that long history starting before the library moved in. From a three story brick building to the lovely example of Pueblo Revival architecture that we see today, the library bears testimony to the growth of Albuquerque.

If only those bricks could talk!

The Albuquerque Public Library opened in 1901 at this location, operating out of a former school brick building called Perkins Hall. By the 1920s, the building was considered to be obsolete. In 1923, voters approved a bond issue for construction of a new library building. The new library building was built on the site of torn down Perkins Hall using salvaged brick from the old building. The Pueblo Revival style building was opened to the public on March 23, 1925. It was remodeled and added to over the years. In 1975 the Old Main Library was re-purposed as the Special Collections Branch Library when a new Main Library was built and opened at Fifth Street and Copper Avenue NW.

Photo of Teri ReynosoTeri L. Reynoso is the Library Paraprofessional Circulation Supervisor at the Special Collections branch of the Albuquerque Public Library at 423 Central Ave NE in Albuquerque, NM. Teri is not a native Burqueño, having been born and raised in Southern California. She is a graduate of the University of New Mexico, having obtained an undergraduate degree in History with a minor in Cultural Anthropology.

Teri has been employed by The Public Library of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County for seven years, and has worked at the Special Collections Branch for four. It has been the years at Special Collections that sparked Teri’s interest in the history of Albuquerque and New Mexico. Teri is now enrolled in the Master’s Program in Library Science at San Jose State University, with a specialty in Archival Studies and Record Management.

In her time not spent researching for work or school, Teri is the mother of two daughters and a Girl Scout Leader.