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Albuquerque Rail Yards Host Free Open House for Newly Renovated Blacksmith Shop

Albuquerque, NM – September 26, 2013

On Friday, September 27th, from 5:30-9 pm, the Albuquerque Rail Yards will celebrate the completion of the first phase of its renovation project with an open house for the Blacksmith Shop. The event is free and open to the public. The Blacksmith Shop has been designed as a casual event venue in the heart of the Barelas neighborhood. The Blacksmith Shop facility, originally a part of the Santa Fe Railway Shops where crews from the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway constructed draw bars and other train parts for steam locomotives, will now be an inviting, casual and accessible place for events of all types.

Featured live entertainment for the event includes Soul Kitchen with Chris Dracup and Hillary Smith, Clan Tynker, Humoso, The Tango Club of Albuquerque, and Mariachi Nuevo Sonido. A cash bar and food trucks offering a variety of tasty foods will be available for guests’ enjoyment. In addition to live entertainment, the event will feature a Car Show, Video Game Truck and a Fashion Boutique Truck. Dress is casual. There is no onsite parking; guests are strongly encouraged to park at no charge at the city structure at 2nd Street and Gold SW, then access a shuttle at the Alvarado Transportation Center that will take them directly to The Yards.

The event is presented by the city of Albuquerque’s Cultural Services Department. For more information, please call 311 or visit http://www.cabq.gov/culturalservices/events/the-yards-opening-event. TTY Users call Relay NM or 711.

The Albuquerque Rail Yards

The Albuquerque Rail Yards is one of many revitalization projects being developed in downtown Albuquerque. The Albuquerque Rail Yard master plan calls for development of a vibrant area for the arts, entertainment, events and outdoor public gatherings, and will become a major downtown attraction. The Albuquerque Rail Yards formerly housed the Santa Fe Railway Shops. which consisted of eighteen buildings erected between 1915 and 1925. The complex is located south of downtown in the Barelas neighborhood, bounded by Second Street, Hazeldine Avenue, Commercial Street, and Pacific Avenue. The shops were one of four major maintenance facilities constructed by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, the others being located in Topeka, Kansas, Cleburne, Texas, and San Bernardino, California. The steam locomotive was king of the rails and the railway shops were a major repair facility in the Western U.S. and the largest employer in the city of Albuquerque during the railroad’s heyday. Currently they have been empty for years but a variety of plans have been proposed for the historic complex.

The Wheels Museum

The Wheels Museum is a volunteer, non-profit organization established to preserve history, educate the public in the history of transportation, and provide visitors with an opportunity to experience travel as it used to be. The Wheels Museum primary mission is to provide current and future generations with an understanding of the impact of transportation on New Mexico and the West. This mission will be fulfilled by the acquisition, preservation and exhibition of artifacts and ephemera in a facility operated by Wheels Museum in accordance with the principles set forth by the Board of Directors.

The goal is redeveloping the property as a mixed use development for all of New Mexico. The WHEELS Museum contributed $2.5 million towards the purchase price, and the property is held in the City’s name. WHEELS has also contributed to many environmental and planning studies in the course of its tenure. The grounds contain 27 acres and 350,000 square feet of buildings on the property. The Museum itself finally moved into the old freight building on the grounds in 2009. The linchpin of future development is the WHEELS Museum. A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, WHEELS is an acronym for We Have Everything Everyone Loves Spinning. The WHEELS Museum, while not yet open, has been functioning for 16 years. WHEELS has received two HUD grants, and received money from every level of government, local, state and federal, and has raised over $7,000,000. In addition, WHEELS has received private grants and has private sponsors, both local and nationally. WHEELS also received a grant from the McCune Foundation. The WHEELS Museum continues to seek funding from various governmental and private sources, and along with the City of Albuquerque is now in the process of finding a developer for a master plan for the Rail Yards. The City and state governments, along with the WHEELS Museum, formed the Rail Yard Advisory Panel. There are 18 members on the Panel, which includes government, Museum and neighborhood representatives.

To find out more about the Albuquerque Rail Yards and the Wheels Museum go to http://www.wheelsmuseum.org/default.html.

Source: STC.UNM


For more information, contact:

Denise Bissell
(505) 272-7310