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Welcome to Huning Highlands, MetroABQ’s 1st Suburb!

Posted by clabqadmin on December 24, 2015
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huning-highlands-hipped-roofline

Huning Highlands was really one of ABQ’s first suburbs. The city of ABQ had been in existence for hundreds of years–since 1706–well before the railroad folks came and began developing the area. However, Huning Highlands was the first platted subdivision beyond the Downtown area.

…..Franz Huning, one of the big local developers in the MetroABQ in the late 1870’s, made a deal with the railroad to pass through ABQ. The plan was to build the tracks a few miles from the Rio Grande, to avoid washouts when the river flooded. Huning and friends, including Elias Stover and attorney William Hazeldine, began buying up land around the proposed railroad right-of-way, which would later become known as the Huning Highlands. If you are familiar with the area, you know that Stover and Hazeldine are two streets just south of Huning Highlands. The area was then developed by Huning, to begin to accommodate some of the many people moving to ABQ from the east in the late 1800’s.

hunings-round-room

These eastern settlers brought with them the prevailing building styles of the mid-19th century: Victorian architecture, and all the sub-categories, including Queen Anne and Tudor Revival…American Arts and Crafts (Bungalow) style is considered a cousin to Victorians.

…..Unique to the MetroABQ, the Huning Highlands area consists mostly of Queen Anne style homes, like the home above, practically hidden behind the perhaps 100 year old canopy of trees. The round tower, brick and wood frame and prominent front porch, covering part or all of the front facade, are prominent Queen Anne features.

huning-highlands-chimney

As the city of ABQ grew up around Huning Highlands–specifically, in the 1920’s, as houses began to spread up the mesa east from downtown, creating the Spruce Park, Silver Hill, UNM-area neighborhoods, Nob Hill, Ridgecrest and beyond–Huning Highlands lost some of its appeal.  Appreciation for the area peaked again when folks began moving to ABQ to fight Tuberculosis, hoping the warm dry air would help their breathing. The larger homes in Huning Highlands, along with numerous porches converted into open-air ‘sleeping porches’, and the proximity to the many hospitals, helped spur the movement back. huning-porch

Now, as ABQ is seriously pushing against its borders, and wildly fluctuating and permanently expensive gas prices have people concerned, the need for closer/infill living is upon us. These factors, and an appreciation for ABQ’s older buildings, have also spurred a renewed interest in the Huning Highlands area. The area is experiencing a renaissance, a wonderful mix of the old and new: it has some of the most innovative urban infill projects at its borders, existing comfortably close to some of the oldest homes east of Old Town. The addition of the newly-minted EDo area–just East of DOwntown–with the refurbished Old ABQ High Gym lofts buildings, and other townhome/condo infill projects, has made Huning Highlands one of the most interesting areas of the city–urban, walkable, architecturally magnificent, historic, and creatively modern.

huning-arts-and-crafts

Above: patterned wood shingles shaped into varying design–in this case hexagonals, sometimes teardrops, and a front porch (here, converted to a possible ‘sleeping porch’) are other features of the American Arts and Crafts, or Bungalow style.

…..All photos employ very high chimneys, (wraparound) front porches, steeply pitched roofs, and prominent front-facing gables, with small attic windows. Two examples above also use front porch railing balustrades and porch columns for support. Directly below is also a great Queen Anne-style balcony above the top floor.

huning-highlands-brick

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    I love the MetroABQ area! Extraordinary architects live and create here; beautiful and profound art installations abound; Greenspaces and Parklands define whole areas of the city; extras like Farmers' Markets and cultural events add to our quality of life. I write about it all in the MetroABQ Newsletter.

Newsletter Signup

I love the MetroABQ area! Extraordinary architects live and create here; beautiful and profound art installations abound; Greenspaces and Parklands define whole areas of the city; extras like Farmers' Markets and cultural events add to our quality of life. I write about it all in the MetroABQ Newsletter.