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The Neighborhood
Homestories Archives

History of the Neighborhood

A Huning Highlands Home

Huning's Highlands Addition, usually called Huning Highlands, was the city's first subdivision, platted the same month as the coming of the railroad. Its developer, Franz Huning, worked hard to bring the railroad to Albuquerque. Here the store owners--like Mr. Learnard, who owned the music store, and Mr. Whitney, who owned the hardware store--and the teachers and the doctors of the new town--made their homes. As more and more frame and brick Queen Anne style homes, some modest and some elaborate, were built, Huning Highlands came to resemble a quiet and settled Midwestern town. Residents had only to walk a short quarter-mile across the railroad tracks to buy their groceries, straw hats or a hammer, or to attend a performance of "The Pirates of Penzance" at the Grant Opera House at Third and Railroad Avenue (renamed Central Avenue in 1907).

The Highlands began to lose its popularity as newer housing was built on the mesa after 1920, but it retained its respectability as a neighborhood that welcomed the many tubercular patients who flocked to`Albuquerque to "chase the cure." World War II created such a demand for housing that many of the larger homes in the area were divided into apartments and the smaller houses were bought for profitable rental properties.

Since the energy crisis of the 1970s created a demand for close-in housing, the neighborhood has begun to come back. This renaissance has been bolstered by a renewed interest in Albuquerque's older buildings; the area was named a national historic district in 1979 and a city historic overlay zone in 1981.