2022 has been a banner year for the New York Avenue business district and for Alamogordo MainStreet.
Alamogordo’s Main Street Business District has been the center of a lot of good news this past year with multiple stories headlining progress in revitalization, wonderful shows showcased at the Flickinger Center, public investment, private investment, and leadership. Let’s look back at the last year of positivity of New York Avenue and a look back from the past…
The pandemic took a toll on the district from 2019 to 2021 and there were many vacancies and businesses in distress. A group of merchant leaders worked in collaboration with city, state and county leaders and Alamogordo MainStreet, the nonprofit tasked with funding and marketing of the district, found its legs and began finding success in recruiting sustainable business leaders and in collaborating for street improvements.
There are many success stories from the district and many stories have been written of those successes to drive the street forward. Below are the stories between AlamogordoTownNews.com and one from the Alamogordo Daily News that showcased the best of New York Avenue and led in readership and interest…
The changing dynamics of cultural arts and reinvention is helping fund a rebound and reinvention of New York Avenue as discussed in the AlamogordoTownNews.com articles
The Cultural Revolution of Alamogordo’s New York Avenue
How Creatives are Reshaping Cities and Alamogordo’s New York Avenue
Several years of work and partnerships finally saw an announcement of payoff as an announcement of $1.9 Million in capital outlay dollars were committed to the New York Avenue district.
AlamogordoTownNews.com NMEDD Awards $1.9M in Capital Outlay to Alamogordo MainStreet – New York Avenue
It had been almost a decade since the New York Avenue Street hosted a Farmers Market due to city ordinances which restricted public events. The new mayor Susan Payne was elected on a probusiness, pro-downtown platform and at her first commission meeting as mayor she had the city ordinance modified allowing more street fairs and events in the district thus the farmers market came back to downtown for the summer.
AlamogordoTownNews.com New York Avenue Hosted First Wednesday Night Farmers/Crafts Market 7-6-22
Alamogordo’s New York Avenue launched new authors and a very cool new magazine. “Meet the author events” and book signings were the buzz this summer in the district with venues of New York Avenue and at Otero Arts on Indiana Avenue. A grand quality magazine to rival New Mexico Magazine was launched off of Alamogordo’s New York Avenue, “New Mexico Influence Magazine.”
AlamogordoTownNews.com: Book launches, Authors Showcased and a New Magazine Launch all from Alamogordo’s New York Avenue…
Historical Preservation took hold on New York Avenue with partnerships between Tularosa Basin Museum and Roadrunner Emporium at 928 New York Avenue.
Friday Night Alamogordo Learn & Celebrate History, Listen to Free Live Music, See New York Avenue Come Alive
New Business partnerships invested on New York Avenue and garnered significant community enthusiasm…
Renovation of Sands Theatre in Alamogordo planned
Change in Leadership and relocation to New York Avenue of Community Public Radio KALH 95.1 Alamogordo, New Mexico
History of Alamogordo’s New York Avenue
The New York Avenue business district of Alamogordo, New Mexico was founded in 1898 with buildings planned and erected making the street a street of commerce, banking, and fraternal orders. Initially Alamogordo’s main industry was timbering for railroad ties. The railroad founders were also eager to create a major town that would persist after the railroad was completed; they formed the Alamogordo Improvement Company to develop the area, making Alamogordo an early example of a planned community. The Alamogordo Improvement Company owned all the land, platted the streets, built the first houses and commercial buildings, donated land for a college, and placed a restrictive covenant on each deed prohibiting the manufacture, distribution, or sale of intoxicating liquor. As such New York Avenue was the main commercial zone across from the train depot on what was then Pennsylvania Avenue, (now White Sands Blvd).
New York Avenue was known for banking, the grand hotels, tasty restaurants, and shopping via mercantile stores that serviced those traveling by rail as well as the mill and lumber workers that made the Alamogordo area their home. New York Avenue was the center of commerce for Otero County and Southern, New Mexico.
The Depression hit and several government buildings in Alamogordo were constructed by the Works Progress Administration, a government program created in 1935 in response to the Great Depression. Included in that construction was the present-day Otero County Administration Building at 1101 New York Avenue, it’s a Pueblo style building originally constructed as the main U.S. Post Office in 1938. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The main entrance portico features frescoes by Peter Hurd completed in 1942. The Post Office moved out in 1961, and the building was used by a succession of Federal agencies and was known as the Federal Building and is the Otero County Commission and administration building present day.
New York Avenue transitioned into more commerce and thrived up until the 1980’s when the mall was built. After that time anchor stores like JC Penny’s and other left the district. The district struggled and moved forward. Efforts were made to revitalize such as the huge investment into converting the Sierra Theater into the modern day Flickinger Center for the Performing Arts. It was transformed and today prospers as a center for performing arts that presents a variety of entertainment for the region.
In the new century the district had many ups and downs and the businesses worked to organize and enhance marketing to get people back to the city center.
The pandemic took a toll on the district from 2019 to 2021. But from the stories above one can see millions of dollars of investment both public on roads, sidewalks and infrastructure and private by business leaders taking a chance and moving the district forward. A focus group is formed drafting a working plan to create a state recognized Cultural Arts and History District Designation. The Sands Theater renovations are underway and in the new year it will house a film museum, cafe, live theater and KALH 95.1 Radio. Two new galleries are planned for 1207 and 1209 New York and Zia Comics, Rad Bar and more are planned to open. Vacancies are down and investment is up significantly. Street fairs are happening, and the public is reengaging in seeing new life on Alamogordo’s New York Avenue. This summer the 800 and 900 Block will be resurfaced, new lighting and infrastructure put into place along with public art and more.
On the surface if just driving by one might consider the district of New York Avenue to be an area of blight. Those living it daily would tell them stop by, see the new energy and positivity. Anyone who gets out of their car and walks the street can feel the history but also feel the energy of reinvention taking hold to make New York Avenue a district of cultural arts, shopping and a district of distinction.