Historic Preservation | New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

Historic Preservation Division

Preserving New Mexico's historic treasures has enormous impacts on the social and economic well-being of New Mexicans. It is the foundation of the state's vigorous heritage tourism industry and builds healthier local communities.

Without historic preservation, the buildings, districts and archaeological sites that draw thousands of visitors who funnel millions of dollars into New Mexico’s economy each year would be lost. Children would not learn about the people, heritage and history events that has shaped New Mexico's communities.

The Historic Preservation Division:

  • Identifies and records prehistoric and historic places, nominates them to the National Register of Historic Places and the State Register of Cultural Properties, and maintains records essential for community planning and research.
  • Consults with the owners of historic homes, buildings and structures to determine if work is eligible for preservation tax credits.
  • Awards, planning and bricks-and-mortar grants for preserving archaeological sites, historic buildings and cultural landscapes and for developing educational programs in schools, parks and historic sites.
  • Provides technical assistance to state and federal agencies, local governments, and private property owners and issues permits for archaeological research and excavations.
  • Administers state and federal preservation laws and assists local governments develop preservation regulations and ordinances.
  • Works in universities and schools to effect curriculum about the value of preserving New Mexico's past.
  • Annually presents Heritage Preservation Awards for outstanding achievements in conjunction with the governor and the Cultural Properties Review Committee.
  • Researches and writes texts for roadside historic markers.
  • Administers New Mexico SiteWatch, the second-largest voluntary site steward program in the U.S.  

Historic Preservation Division Featured Programs