In small towns across North America, downtowns are in a state of physical, economic and social decline. This can be improved by the revitalization of the town's Main Street district, motivating social, cultural, and economic growth. With this interest in mind, I made the decision to site my design project in Mountainair, a small town in New Mexico which I visited during a Southwest Field Study Seminar. The design project is the proposal for a weaving center located on Broadway Avenue, which is Mountainair's Main Street (Illustration 1). This proposal is intended to present a catalyst for the revitalization of Mountainair's lifeless downtown through the education of weaving, a traditional art and craft. With the intent to foster a prototype for the revival of Main Street districts, the following proposal serves as a guideline for establishing a renewed identity for Broadway Avenue.
Analysis of Broadway Avenue
Located ten miles from the geographic center of New Mexico and east of the Manzano Mountain range, Mountainair was founded by John Corbett, Colonel E.C.
Manning, and former U.S. Governor E.S. Stover in the summer of 1903, with the arrival of the railroad. The town was intentionally located for the site of a new railroad route through the summit of the AbÃÂ³ Pass, an existing major east-west trade route. Named after the cool clean mountain breezes, Mountainair's first residents came through town in 1907. This new route, which is now mainly used for freight, is known as the Belen cut-off and is part of the transcontinental tracks. The route was constructed to ease the dangerous slopes and delays over other nearby passes.
During Mountainair's first years in the early 1900s, the region received plentiful rain and farming became the town's lead industry. This triggered an economic boom and population...