Earliest known photo of St. Augustine Mission, c. 1867.
As it approached its 400th year, St. Augustine Mission in the Pueblo of Isleta, 15 miles south of Albuquerque, N.M., was showing its age.
Built in 1613 by local masons and craftsmen, the adobe church, which for generations has been a place of worship and a community gathering space, as well as a popular tourist attraction, is one of the oldest and largest Spanish missions in New Mexico and a striking example of local Puebloan architecture.
“We’re very proud to have this church, with this significance in America’s history,” says Alan Cherino, a longtime member of the church.
When community members at the Pueblo of Isleta formed a restoration committee in 2004, Frank Lujan, then-governor of Isleta, had one demand: to make the mission, which had been well maintained throughout its life, look just as it did on the day restoration began.... Read More →
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Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.