MetroABQ Blog

Plaza to Plaza: A Civic Plaza to Old Town Plaza Walking Tour Part I

Walking the MetroABQ...Downtown & with a few hours to explore, the guidebook Walking Albuquerque: 30 tours of the Duke City's historic neighborhoods, ditch trails, urban nature & public art has exactly what I'm looking for. One of the tours in the 2015 book starts in Civic Plaza Downtown, & zigs & zags--mostly through the historic Fourth Ward neighborhood--over to Old Town Plaza. I followed the Walking Albuquerque path for a bit, but wandered into other areas of interest along the way. The 1.75 mile distance is about the same for the Walking Albuquerque book tour & for my own, slightly different walking tour, described further below...

Above image: As Stephen Ausherman describes it in his Walking Albuquerque guidebook, on the west side of Civic Plaza, "the mismatched trio of buildings is the City/County Complex...The old city hall building fronting Marquette Ave appears to be the dullest on the block, but take a closer look at the polished limestone slabs facing the walkway & you'll find a variety of fossils, including clams & snails; sea lilies are the easiest to spot."

The old city hall building is the smaller building on the right, with the vertical rectangles façade.Below images: It took some time to locate these examples, on the polished limestone façade of the old city hall building; they appear to show a circular sea lily & another early crustacean. The limestone was quarried 40 miles west of the MetroABQ...

The Civic Plaza to Old Town Plaza tour begins appropriately enough on Civic Plaza, across from the ABQ Convention Center. Famed NM Senator Dennis chavez greets the throngs on the south side of the Plaza, his "Open Door" scene is here.

Another sculpture on the south side of the plaza that quickly catches the eye is the Holocaust Memorial, by artist Jake Lovato. It's an interesting & dark piece showing 78 figures ascending a smokestack, above.

The Plaza to Plaza Tour has been around for a while, with many metal sidewalk plaques to guide one along the way, many are still remaining; some are not...Below are two of the sidewalk route markers, pointing toward Old Town with the cart, & toward Downtown with the locomotive.

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