The City of Las Cruces has issued a Request for Proposals for both preservation and selective demolition work at the famous downtown Amador Hotel.
Advertised in 1923 in the El Paso Herald as the “Southwest’s Most Interesting Hotel,” the Amador is listed on both the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties, as well as the National Register of Historic Places.
Built in 1885, the structure at the intersection of Amador and Water streets was for decades regarded as one of the premiere hotels of its kind in New Mexico, before being repurposed in 1969 as a bank by the local Citizens Bank.
It was subsequently sold to Dona Ana County and used for administrative offices before being sold again, this time to the city, which has since spent the most part of the last decade spearheading efforts to return the two-story structure to its original glory.
That has meant preserving such things as the hand-crafted wooden balconies and exposed vigas, while doing away with latter-day architectural details not in keeping with the design of the original building.
Because a complete renovation of the structure was earlier pegged at $8 million, an effort has been underway to do that work in phases, with the idea of turning the structure partly into an events center hosting wedding receptions, graduation parties, and business meetings.
Ironically, the events component is one of the functions the Amador provided during its heyday as a hotel.
Earlier this year the New Mexico State Legislature approved $225,000 for the continued renovation, while the project is also subject to funding through Tax Incremental Development District revenue.
The latest work, with the city looking for a contractor with historic preservation experience, is expected to be a $500,000 project.
The RFP has a submission deadline of November 5.
By Garry Boulard
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