MetroABQ Blog

Welcome to Barelas, MetroABQs Most Authentic Community



The National Parks Service Barelas site describes the area as having three differing historic influences: “The Barelas-South Fourth Street Historic District near downtown Albuquerque is a linear corridor running along South Fourth Street-Historic Route 66-through the heart of one of the city’s oldest areas, the Barelas residential neighborhood, which tell three interrelated stories. The Hispanic farming village of the early 19th and 20th centuries was modernized when the Atchinson, Topeka, and Santa Fe (AT&SF) Railroad built tracks through the Middle Rio Grande Valley. The railroad arrived in Albuquerque in 1880, and the Atchinson, Topeka, and Santa Fe located its repair shops and a roundhouse in the Barelas neighborhood stimulating the local economy and urban development. In 1926, Fourth Street, the main north-south corridor through the area, became U.S.Route 66, giving rise to automobile-oriented development.


An event at the Barelas Rail Yards

“Revitalization efforts began in the mid-1990s when the New Mexico Legislature appropriated $12 million to construct a Hispanic cultural center at the southern end of the Barelas-South Fourth Street Historic District. In 1999, dignitaries from Spain, Mexico, and the United States attended groundbreaking ceremonies for the National Hispanic Cultural Center, pictured below. This major public investment was an impetus for additional revitalization projects in the Barelas neighborhood, including faade improvements and business renovations. Now rejuvenated, the corridor today is home to popular shops and restaurants like the Red Ball Caf and Barelas Coffee House. The district was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.”


The National Hispanic Cultural Center, located on the southern edge of the Barelas Community.

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