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How did Albuquerque become the largest city in New Mexico?

 
 
Reply Thu 6 Nov, 2014 12:59 pm
Is there any geographical or political reason why Albuquerque grew to be the largest city in New Mexico? In particular, how did Albuquerque catch up to Santa Fe, despite Santa Fe's sizable head start?
 
Butrflynet
 
  3  
Reply Thu 6 Nov, 2014 01:42 pm
@lodoband,
It is near the Rio Grande, it is in the middle of the state where it isn't as cold as the north or as hot as the south. It is surrounded by mountains and mesas, meaning much of the scarce rainfall in NM finds a way to the Rio Grande for farm and livestock irrigation and drinking water.

It is home to the University of New Mexico (UNM), Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia National Laboratories, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), Presbyterian Health Services, and Petroglyph National Monument.

Route 66 passes through the middle of it, as do several interstate highways that transport goods between east and west U.S.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albuquerque,_New_Mexico
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Nov, 2014 03:35 pm
@Butrflynet,
Having spent time at Sandia, Id sy that it ws the Mnhttan project. The old bomber schools were located at the Ab Army AP. and then in 1941 the mahattan project hd a lot of need for the specific talents that stuck with the Labs into the future.
The population of scientists, engineers, military nd service groups grew in the area and stuck.

Thanks to the Atomic Bomb, Ab grew fairly quickly and biggly
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Thu 6 Nov, 2014 04:18 pm
@lodoband,
Albuquerque's population grew due ... to a German: Franz Huning, a German immigrant and trader, settled in Albuquerque and opened a store on the plaza. His family went on to become very prominent and instrumental in establishing Albuquerque’s railroad terminal in 1880, making the city a premier stop on its line.
And at that time, Albuquerque surpassed Santa Fe as a commercial and population hub. Afterwards, matters ran their course ...
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Nov, 2014 04:47 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
There were only about 8K people in AB in 1900. You can see the biggest growth occurred during and after WWII

lodoband
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Nov, 2014 05:20 pm
@farmerman,
What's an "Army AP"? I would have thought that the Manhattan project would break in favor of Santa Fe, which is closer to Los Alamos.
0 Replies
 
lodoband
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Nov, 2014 05:47 pm
@farmerman,
I would have thought that the Manhattan Project would favor Santa Fe, which is closer to Los Alamos. Is the "Army AP" what is now Kirtland Air Force Base? Is Albuquerque's topography somehow better suited to an airfield than Santa Fe's?
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Nov, 2014 06:36 pm
@lodoband,
Snt Fe, already had stuff going for it (being the capital) and I don't think Manhattan Project would have fit (they wanted secrecy and Ab was a little town at the time..

Id say that AB had a better Airport space than Santa Fe . Even with that damnned "watermelon"
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Nov, 2014 07:10 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Dead on with Huning. There were several other major town boosters at the time.

There was a major rail center planned for Bernalillo by the AT&SF railroad, who thought they would get land at ~.50 per acre. The land was owned by the Perea family, who counter offered some amount hundreds of times more. The rail center moved to Albuquerque.

The Rio Grande Valley is great for north/south travel. The terrain to the east and west of Santa Fe was too rugged for use at the time.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Nov, 2014 07:24 pm
@roger,
In 1940 Santa Fe had almost 3 times the pop as b. The question was How did b become the largest city in NM, not whose responsible for its founding
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Nov, 2014 07:25 pm
@roger,
In 1940 Santa Fe had almost 3 times the pop as Ab. The question was How did b become the largest city in NM, not whose responsible for its founding
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Thu 6 Nov, 2014 11:34 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
There were only about 8K people in AB in 1900. You can see the biggest growth occurred during and after WWII
Quote:
And that were 3,000 more than the 5,000 in Santa Fe.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Nov, 2014 12:09 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Of course, it's me saying that ... Albuquerque had with 8,000 inhabtants 3,000 more than the 5,000 in Santa Fe.

It had been already the largest city in New Mexico at around 1900.

Sorry for that 'misquoting' above!
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Nov, 2014 09:27 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Sorry, I did **** up by NOPT READING THE OFFICIAL POP NUMBERS

However, in 1900 , Santa Fe and Albuquerque were lmot the same pops. (SF had 61.8 k) and (AB had 62.8) (b hd 1000 more thn santa Fe)


BUT AB's big growth was in 1940 through 1960 when it had huuge growth numbers due to the Manhattan project and the USAF and the University)

Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Nov, 2014 09:45 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
However, in 1900 , Santa Fe and Albuquerque were lmot the same pops. (SF had 61.8 k) and (AB had 62.8) (b hd 1000 more thn santa Fe)
I got different numbers:

These are the US-cities with a population between 50,000 and 80,000 in 1900
http://i60.tinypic.com/2even87.jpg
Source: Population of the Largest 75 Cities: 1900

Albuquerque had a population of 8,000 inhabitants at that time (4,300 residents in the 1880 census) - all Bernalillo County had only a population of 28,630!
Santa Fe had about about 5,000 inhabitants in 1900 - Santa Fe County 14,658.
lodoband
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Nov, 2014 10:02 am
@roger,
So was Albuquerque a major intersection point for the AT&SF railroad? This old map (1891) I found on wikipedia makes it look like the track splits one stop past Albuquerque:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4d/Santa_Fe_Route_Map_1891.jpg/1280px-Santa_Fe_Route_Map_1891.jpg

Here's another more recent (1922) map showing Albuquerque looking a bit more central:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1d/Santa_Fe_Trail_and_Railroad_map%2C_1922.jpg/1280px-Santa_Fe_Trail_and_Railroad_map%2C_1922.jpg
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Fri 7 Nov, 2014 10:10 am
@lodoband,
Albuquerque was designated as the division point between the AT&SF railway and the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad.

Quote:
April 8, 1880

Celebration in Albuquerque noting the commencement of construction of the Western Division of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, driving westward from Isleta.

April 10, 1880

Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe rails reach Albuquerque. Official arrival celebration held April 22, 1880.
Source

See photos and more at The Railroad Arrives - The Beginning of New Town


Images and historical background on the Albuquerque Rail Yards >HERE<
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Nov, 2014 10:36 am
@Walter Hinteler,
By the way: in March of 2015 the Albuquerque Museum will unveil and open to the public the Only in Albuquerque history gallery, including "an interactive, engaging, fun-filled presentation of the history and culture of the central Rio Grande Valley" (and that includes a print I own Wink )
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 7 Nov, 2014 11:01 am
@Walter Hinteler,
oops again. the numbers were 6180 and 6280. Man, I think I need to check myself into the home .

In 1900 Sa an AB were both towns ith aboy 6000 people. Explosive growth for AB wasn't till the 1940s
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Nov, 2014 02:24 pm
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/13152/Albuquerque/279070/Growth-of-Albuquerque

Growth of Albuquerque

Albuquerque’s fort and federal garrison came under attack at the outbreak of the American Civil War, when the territory suffered minor Confederate cavalry raids. In the winter of 1862, Confederate soldiers led by Gen. H.H. Sibley captured the town and held it until March, when Union forces arrived. In the years following the war, New Mexico Territory experienced the rise of an important livestock industry, with cattle ranchers and sheepherders bringing livestock and other animals into the area. Faced with the need to drive their herds hundreds of miles overland to market, the livestock producers lobbied for a freight railroad in the 1870s. Several regional lines finally extended to the city by 1880.

Albuquerque’s Old Town had lost importance by the late 19th century, when the railroad depot was built 2 miles (3 km) away, closer to the city’s present government centre. In the following years, Albuquerque appeared to be two cities in one—the Spanish Old Town, with its small buildings and winding lanes, and a sprawling American city.

Albuquerque became a major regional transportation centre, with rail lines serving as important instruments of economic growth. The territory’s population grew with the arrival of workers and immigrants, and Albuquerque was incorporated as a town in 1885. By 1891 the town had become a city. By 1918 thousands of “health seekers”—mostly victims of tuberculosis and other pulmonary diseases—had flocked to Albuquerque, which was served by several hospitals built by the federal government.

Newcomers to Albuquerque soon displaced the hidalgos, or noblemen, of the Spanish past to form a mostly “white” business elite, made up of merchants, bankers, and ranchers. With the rise of this new elite by the start of World War I, Albuquerque emerged as a conservative, Republican-dominated political centre that exercised broad influence on both New Mexico and the neighbouring regions of eastern Arizona and western Texas. Among the first acts of the new Republican majority was the institution of the city manager form of government in 1917, an innovation that broke the power of the predominantly Democratic ward bosses and their Hispanic constituencies.

The U.S. government’s presence increased in the 1930s, when more than a hundred federal agencies established offices in the city. The federal mark on the city grew even stronger after World War II, when the government chose Albuquerque as the site for the Sandia Complex (now Sandia National Laboratories), a diverse group of industrial facilities, military bases, laboratories, and offices, which earned the city the nickname “Little Washington.” Kirtland Air Force Base, established in 1942 as Kirtland Army Air Field, developed as an important testing ground for various weapons (some nuclear), while Albuquerque became a processing centre for stores of uranium mined on the nearby Colorado Plateau. During the Cold War period, Albuquerque was considered a strike target in the event of nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

The contemporary city

At the end of the Cold War, Albuquerque’s economy began to diversify, especially in the development of solar energy systems and computer equipment. Even so, it remains heavily dependent on federal and military expenditures. The city’s explosive postwar growth—from a population of 35,449 in 1940 to more than 500,000 by the turn of the 21st century—mirrored that of the entire Southwest, and it did not slow down in the first decade of the 21st century.

 

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