San Felipe de Neri Church

Also known as: San Francisco Xavier, San Felipe Apostol
2005 North Plaza N.W., Albuquerque, New Mexico

Photos 

View of Church

Photo taken by Rick Mattioni in April 2009

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Video 

Drive through Downtown Albuquerque on Historic US 66

Dash Cam Travels (Michael Miller)

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Street View 

Description 

In 1993, San Felipe de Neri Church celebrates the 200th anniversary of its rebuilding and continuous use. The structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is notable for its surviving and easily interpreted record of architectural and social evolution spanning more than two and a half centuries. The church was built in 1706, the year of the founding of Albuquerque as noted in the certificate issued by Governor Cuervo y Valdes Franciscan Fray, Francisco Atanasio Dominguez. described the original building in his report of 1776. Allowed to fall into disrepair, the church was rebuilt in 1793. Nineteenth century changes reflect the influence of a change in church administration following the establishment of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe under Archbishop Lamy. Through the centuries the church has been in use by a population which has adapted the building to new conditions and new preferences. Each stratum of construction provides as fine an example of its period as may be found in New Mexico today. The massive adobe walls and wood beams, "vigas," date from the 18th century. Evidence of the clerestory which threw light on the altar remains in the attic. The mid to late 19th century bell towers illustrate the development of New Mexican folk art. On the interior, a "skin" of late nineteenth century fabrication is laid over the old interior. A wood floor replaced the traditional hand-packed earth; walls are covered with tongue and groove wainscoting carried to shoulder height; a stamped metal ceiling covers the "vigas" which were originally exposed. The altar and confessionals contain some of the state's finest existing examples of New Mexican interpretations of Greek Revival and Victorian cabinet work and decorations. The great architectural value of the complex derives from the unique amalgamation of work from each era. All of New Mexico's Spanish and post-Spanish past is contained and synthesized in San Felipe de Neri. The accommodation of New Mexico's multi-cultural history is illustrated in the building today and will continue to evolve as new generations continue to use and adapt the architecture to changing social needs. -- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS NM-176)

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 1, 1969
Reference number
69000140
Areas of significance
Architecture; Religion
Level of significance
State
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Building
Historic function
Religious structure
Current function
Religious structure
Period of significance
1750-1799
Significant year
1793

Update Log 

  • January 13, 2023: New video from Michael Miller
  • September 24, 2022: New photos from Michael Miller
  • May 25, 2020: New photo from Bill Eichelberger
  • July 4, 2015: New photos from Kevin Turner

Related landmarks 

Sources