Rough Riders Museum – Las Vegas NM


"The Las Vegas Municipal Building was constructed during 1939-40 as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. As state agencies grew to comply with New Deal program requirements, the city needed more office space. It became apparent to civic leaders that Las Vegas required a new public building. In the spring of 1938, voters passed five bond issues. One was for $7,500 'for the construction of a public building to be occupied by the offices and departments of the City of Las Vegas.'

Following the bond election, the city council hired the Santa Fe architectural firm of Kruger & Clark to prepare building plans. The design, with elements of the Spanish Pueblo Revival style, characterized the majority of New Deal-sponsored public construction in New Mexico. The architects substituted locally quarried stone for the more common adobe bricks and stucco. This choice may have reflected the designers appreciation of the widespread use of stone throughout San Miguel County.

By the spring of 1939, construction was underway. As with most WPA projects intended to provide work for the unemployed, the majority of the federal monies were designated for payroll. Masons, stone-dressers, and powder experts were included among the skilled workers. The project budgeted $25,000 for quarrying and cutting stone.

The city contracted with landscape architect Gordon Byrne to 'landscape and beautify the grounds.' The mature Siberian elms on the property suggest landscape practices associated with other WPA park projects. Some furnishings in the Museum, originally housed at the Chamber of Commerce, were made by young men enrolled in a National Youth Administration (NYA) workshop. The NYA, another New Deal program, was located in the Veeder Building on the Las Vegas plaza. Using traditional furniture-making techniques, the young men fashioned chairs and tables using wood pegs instead of nails.

Using local materials and regional architectural details, workers on relief rolls completed the building and landscaped the property. The result was the only Spanish Pueblo Revival style building completed in the city under the New Deal programs. In 1965, the building was remodeled to house the citys museum alongside municipal offices, military recruiters, the Chamber of Commerce and, more recently, the municipal court."

-City of Las Vegas Museum and Rough Rider Memorial

Source notes

The City of Las Vegas Museum and Rough Rider Memorial website

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

727 Grand Ave
Las Vegas, NM 87701

Location notes:

Coordinates: 35.597050, -105.213759

One comment on “Rough Riders Museum – Las Vegas NM

  1. Can you provide me with the names of Rough Riders that came from the New England States i.e. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island or Connecticut.
    Thank you for your help.

Leave a Reply

Before leaving a comment, please note:

  • Comments allow viewers to share information with others or alert us to errors or changes in a New Deal site.
  • We are not involved in the management of New Deal sites and have no information about visits, hours or rentals.
  • This page shows all the information we have for this site; if you have new information or photos to share, click below.


We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.