Programs & Services

New Mexico Historic Sites Receives “Save America’s Treasures” Grant for Preservation Projects at Los Luceros

September 2nd, 2020

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs is excited to announce that New Mexico Historic Sites and the Museum of New Mexico Foundation have been awarded a “Save America’s Treasures” grant in the amount of $451,252 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through its partnership with the National Park Service, the National Endowment of the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The grant will support preservation projects at the 148-acre Los Luceros Historic Site, located just north of Alcalde along the Río Grande. These efforts will focus on preserving and stabilizing the two-story adobe Hacienda (first constructed around 1600) and adjacent one-story adobe Storehouse on the historic site property. Both of these structures are significant to the cultural heritage of multiple ethnic groups in northern New Mexico, but they have sustained interior and exterior damage over time.

"With so much rich history at Los Luceros, we’re happy to have the incredible support through this federal grant to help preserve these two important landmarks," says New Mexico Historic Sites Director Patrick Moore. "For generations, New Mexicans have had a special connection to this property."    

Specifically, these grant-supported projects will concentrate on preserving the interior and exterior plaster of both the Hacienda and Storehouse, preserving the balcony of the Hacienda, restoring windows and doors of both the Hacienda and Storehouse, replacing the floor and roof of the Storehouse, and conserving two fireplace frescoes inside the Hacienda. Rehabilitation of the Hacienda balcony and the Storehouse will allow visitors to access two key features that have been previously unavailable.

Both the Hacienda and Storehouse contain extensive collections of cultural materials. By preserving these two structures, conditions for preservation of the associated collections housed within them will be improved. Preserving the conditions within the structures will also increase the potential for returning objects currently housed in off-site facilities that were removed for safety.

“This grant is a tremendous boost to our Campaign for New Mexico History,” says Jamie Clements, President/CEO of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation. “We are raising $10 million in public/private funding for historic preservation and programming at the New Mexico Historic Sites and New Mexico History Museum. We are thrilled to have been awarded this Save America’s Treasures grant, which has increased public support for the campaign to $2.3 million."

This “Save America’s Treasures” grant, the only one awarded in New Mexico, was one out of 42 preservation and conservation projects across 26 states, totaling $12.8 million in funding nationwide.

Since its establishment in 1998, the” Save America’s Treasures” program has provided $323 million to more than 1,200 projects to preserve and conserve nationally significant collections, artifacts, structures, and sites. Additionally, these grants have supported more than 16,000 local jobs. In 2019, Congress appropriated funding for “Save America’s Treasures” from the Historic Preservation Fund.

The “Save America’s Treasures” program is administered by the National Park Service in cooperation with its partners, Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The “Save America’s Treasures” program is funded through the Historic Preservation Fund using revenue from Outer Continental Shelf oil lease revenue, not tax dollars.


About the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs Created in 1978 by the New Mexico Legislature, the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) is New Mexico’s cultural steward, charged with preserving and showcasing the state’s cultural riches. With its eight museums, seven historic sites, arts, archaeology, historic preservation, and library programs, the DCA is one of the largest and most diverse state cultural agencies in the nation. Together, the facilities, programs, and services of the Department support a $5.6 billion cultural industry in New Mexico. Events, news releases, and images related to activities in divisions of the DCA can be accessed at media.newmexicoculture.org.

About New Mexico Historic Sites New Mexico Historic Sites is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the leadership of the Board of Regents for the Museum of New Mexico. Programs and exhibits are generously supported by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, through the generous support of donors. On March 14, 1931, the New Mexico Historic Site system was established by an Act for the Preservation of the Scientific Resources of New Mexico, to "declare by public proclamation that historic and prehistoric structures and other objects of scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the State of New Mexico, shall be state monuments, and may reserve as a part thereof such parcels of land as may be necessary to the proper care and management of the objects to be protected."

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Los Luceros Historic Property Exterior (2017); Photo by: Gene Peach; Courtesy: NM Department of Cultural Affairs

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