The MetroABQ has dozens of nook & cranny ‘pocket’ neighborhoods, in hard-to- find or unusual places, often with something interesting to see: cool architectural styles or sudden stunning views can be discovered just around the next corner.
Manzano Court NW is such a place. It’s unassuming as you pass by the single entrance to the single block, and continuing on without stopping, you will have missed an historic corner of the city.
Manzano Court is notable for it’s high concentration of SW Vernacular style houses, all designed in the 1920’s by Architect Anna S. Gotshall, one of the only known female architects of the early last century. The short street has a rare median greenspace that runs the length and is cared for by the city of ABQ, and an adobe wall entry, with National Register of Historic Places marker.
What is SW Vernacular Style?
SW Vernacular style of architecture is generally unique to the New Mexican southwest. It involves combining features from different styles of architecture that were common in the 1920’s. The most distinctive feature is the Inventive Stepped Parapet, also called a ‘broken parapet, as the usual straight roofline steps up or down, or is wavy.
Let’s back up a tiny bit: Spanish Pueblo Revival was a popular style at the time–flat roofs, adobe-colored stucco, projecting viga beams, canales to drain water from the roof and exposed wood lintels–and these can be found all over the city. Some great specimens can be found specifically in the UNM Silver Hills Neighborhood. Below is an example of Pueblo Revival style, found on Silver Ave; it has almost all of the elements mentioned. See Manzano Court Part II — Anna Gotshall.