I have mentioned before that the morning after one of my speaking engagements I wake up stupid early and walk around exploring the culture of the city before I catch my flight home. It is literally THE most fun seeing what each city has to offer. *knock on wood* I have always had pretty good weather to go exploring (minus the freezing cold turning my hands numb in Sioux Falls and the misty rain turning me into a competitor for a wet t-shirt contest in Austin) *knock on wood*. During my exploration, in addition to being on the lookout for beautiful type that is specific to the location (duh), I am always hoping I stumble across buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These buildings are usually located on a main street that cuts through the downtown area. These buildings are unique because of the history they carry.
While I was walking around downtown Albuquerque, I saw The Federal Building and United States Courthouse and knew I had just stumbled into solid gold:
The Federal Building and United States Courthouse, built in 1930, is a historic landmark located at 421 Gold Avenue SW in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is part of the complex of federal buildings on Gold Avenue that includes the Old Post Office, Dennis Chavez Federal Building, and the Federal Building at 517 Gold SW. The imposing six-story building, faced with limestone and buff-colored terra-cotta tile in a brick pattern with molded inlays, is topped with a Mediterranean-style red tile roof and a domed cupola. The cornerstone of the Federal Building lists James A. Wetmore as the architect. However, it is unlikely that Wetmore, who was the Architect of the Treasury and was not a trained architect, designed the building. The lobby of the Federal Building contains a mural by Loren Mozley titled The Rebellion of 1680 which depicts the Pueblo Revolt. Another mural, Justice Tempered with Mercy by Emil Bisttram, adorns the wall outside the District Courtroom on the sixth floor. This historically significant courtroom was used by the U.S. District Court until it relocated to the Dennis Chavez Building in 1965. The courtroom was restored to its original appearance in 1981. The Federal Building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Here are some detailed shots of the exterior:
I went inside and was greeted by several police officers who had lots of questions for me and seemed to be very proud of the building they worked in:
I don’t know about you, but I have never seen a court house this beautiful, inside and out.
If you are wandering around this weekend and see a building that’s on the National Register of Historic Places (there will be a plaque on the building letting you know it is listed) take a picture and tweet it to me at @nikki_vz to be featured in an upcoming post! It’s a holiday weekend, back at it on Tuesday!