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President’s House

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University House
1929–1930, W. Miles Brittelle; 1954–1955 remodeling and addition, Meem, Zehner and Holien; 1976–1978 remodeling and addition, John W. McHugh and Associates with Van Dorn Hooker; 1990 remodeling and addition, Department of Facility Planning. Northeast corner of Roma Ave. and Yale Blvd.
  • (Courtesy of Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico)

Miles Brittelle, who proved himself adept at multiple revival idioms over the course of a long career, produced a charming application of the Spanish-Pueblo style with his design of the President’s House in 1929.

Where T. Charles Gaastra had struggled two years earlier to fit pre-modern models to the realities of a modern gymnasium, Brittelle fluently adapted the imagery of native Pueblos and Spanish Colonial houses to what, in effect, was a conventional upper-middle class house placed on a university campus. Helped by the residential program and scale, Brittelle designed the house as a compact pueblo composed of a stepped and terraced group of buttressed building masses. He gave the brick structure the appearance of adobe by using metal lath to shape brown stucco into the softly rounded profiles and sculptural forms of a traditional earthen construction. Wooden vigas and posts, along with projecting viga ends, complete the effect.

Built at the start of the Great Depression in 1930, the President’s House has been repeatedly remodeled and expanded in answer to the needs of successive presidents, including the addition of a sunroom by John Gaw Meem in 1954–1955. Its original character, however, has survived unchanged.


Bunting, Bainbridge. John Gaw Meem: Southwestern Architect. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 1983.

Hooker, Van Dorn. Only in New Mexico: An Architectural History of the University of New Mexico. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 2000.

University of New Mexico. Department of Facility Planning Records. Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.

University of New Mexico. Department of Facility Planning Drawings. Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.

Writing Credits

Christopher C. Mead
Christopher C. Mead
Regina N. Emmer



  • 1929

  • 1954

    Remodelling and addition
  • 1976

    Remodeling and addition
  • 1988

    Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • 1990

    Remodeling and addition by Department of Facility Planning

What's Nearby


Christopher C. Mead, "President’s House", [Albuquerque, New Mexico], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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