Nob Hill Shopping Center
Albuquerque, New Mexico
The Nob Hill Shopping Center is located at the corner of Central
Ave. and Carlisle Blvd. in Albuquerque, NM’s Nob Hill district.
Visitors will find a number of restaurants, specialty shops, and
The impact of the
automobile has been the single most important factor in shaping
Albuquerque’s physical, cultural, and social landscape as we see
it today. Travelers going east along Albuquerque’s Central
Avenue, the old Route 66, past the railroad commercial and
residential districts near Huning Highlands toward Nob Hill, can
see evidence of the evolution of the automobile landscape in the
historic urban fabric. Approaching the University of New Mexico,
one begins to see one-story commercial storefronts built
shoulder to shoulder at the sidewalk’s edge forming a continuous
street wall. Continuing into Nob Hill, these neighborhoods
developed around local business districts and the ability of
residents and merchants to travel short distances for work and
daily needs. As one reaches the end of the district, a
visible shift in the treatment of the streetscape is evident at
the Nob Hill Shopping Center.
In 1946, local developer
DKB Sellers constructed the Nob Hill Shopping Center, New
Mexico’s first drive-in shopping center, at the corner of
Central Avenue and Carlisle Boulevard. The center is
organized in a U-shaped layout with an interior parking lot
facing Central Avenue. The shopping center represents a
shift in the built form away from the pedestrian realm toward
accommodating the increasingly prominent automobile. Mr.
Sellers’ goal was to provide spaces for separately owned
businesses with integrated, on-site parking in an
architecturally unified building. The Nob Hill Shopping
Center was the first major investment in significant commercial
infrastructure outside of downtown. Many considered the Nob Hill
Shopping Center to be too far away from the city core to be
successful, because it was on the eastern edge of town.
The center of town, however, was nearly filled to capacity by
1949, and the new shopping center garnered tenants such as
Stomberg’s Men’s Clothing and Rhodes Supermarket.
Hesselden, a man well known for his work designing many of the
city’s public schools, was the shopping center's architect. The
Moderne style center has white-stuccoed walls, architectural
neon, decorative brick courses, bands of terra cotta tile, and
large expanses of plate glass display windows. Two pairs of
decorative towers rise from the four corners.
threats from shopping malls and other neighborhood centers, the
Nob Hill Shopping Center remains an anchor in one of the most
vibrant parts of the city. It was renovated in the early 1980s.
Today, the center houses restaurants, specialty shops, and
services. It was listed in the National Register of Historic
Places in 1994 under an exception to the 50-year criteria
consideration because of its exceptional significance and