North Fourth Street – A Drive Through Time

Store and gas station at 4019 Fourth Street NW, at Cherokee Rd., in the early 1930s.
Courtesy Caroline M. Browning Hess

On Sunday, March 17, 2024, Historian Joe Sabatini presented the history of North Fourth Street, the main street in Albuquerque’s North Valley. He described the century of Fourth Street’s evolution as a city street, a federal highway, a suburban commercial strip and a redeveloping urban transit corridor. This illustrated talk presented maps, postcards, photographs and Albuquerque Progress magazine issues to celebrate “the most beautiful ugly street in the world.” His interest in Fourth Street grew out of participation in a City planning effort to revitalize the corridor.

The program was held at the Albuquerque Museum at 2000 Mountain Rd. NW in Old Town. Parking is free in the lot south of the Museum. Admission to the Museum and the AHS program is also free.

Photo of Joe Sabatini - Albuquerque Historical SocietyJoe Sabatini was born in the Bronx, but doesn’t admit to it because his family moved to Los Angeles following World War II. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Library Science from U.C.L.A in 1965. He came to New Mexico as a VISTA Volunteer working in Sandoval County. Following 5 years at the U.N.M. School of Law Library, he joined the Albuquerque Public Library in 1973 as Head of Reference. He served as Main Library Manager from 1980 to July of 2000, when he became the library manager at Special Collections, the regional history and genealogy branch. Following his retirement in December 2008, he volunteers in the Archives/Library of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, and is active in the Near North Valley Neighborhood Association.


Page from Albuquerque Progress Magazine.
Albuquerque Progress Magazine, Nov. 1946, page 8.