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Etymology[ edit ] The name has two theories of origin, which denote either Latin or Arabic roots. Under the Latin theory, the name derives from albus quercus meaning "white oak". Alburquerque is still a center of the Spanish cork industry, [12] and the town coat-of-arms features a white cork oak. The first "r" in Alburquerque was later dropped, probably due to association with the prominent Portuguese general Alfonso de Albuquerque , whose family title among others and then name originated from the presently Spanish town, which was once a dominion of the Kings of Portugal and used the Portuguese variant spelling of its name.

The change was also in part because citizens found the original name difficult to pronounce. History of Albuquerque, New Mexico and Timeline of Albuquerque, New Mexico Petroglyphs carved into basalt in the western part of the city bear testimony to early an Native American presence in the area, now preserved in the Petroglyph National Monument.

The Tanoan and Keresan peoples had lived along the Rio Grande for centuries before European settlers arrived in what is now Albuquerque. Of these, were densely clustered near present-day Bernalillo and the remainder were spread out to the south. The Navajo , Apache and Comanche peoples were also likely to have set camps in the Albuquerque area, as there is evidence of trade and cultural exchange between the different Native American groups going back centuries before European conquest.

The town was also the sheep-herding center of the West. After , Mexico also had a military presence there. The town of Alburquerque was built in the traditional Spanish village pattern: This central plaza area has been preserved and is open to the public as a museum, cultural area, and center of commerce. Built in , it is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the city. During his retreat from Union troops into Texas he made a stand on April 8, , at Albuquerque and fought the Battle of Albuquerque against a detachment of Union soldiers commanded by Colonel Edward R.

This daylong engagement at long range led to few casualties. The railway company built a hospital for its workers that was later a juvenile psychiatric facility and has now been converted to a hotel. New Albuquerque was incorporated as a town in , with Henry N. Jaffa its first mayor. It was incorporated as a city in Congregation Albert , a Reform synagogue established in , is the oldest continuing Jewish organization in the city.

In , the famous Alvarado Hotel was built adjacent to the new passenger depot, and it remained a symbol of the city until it was razed in to make room for a parking lot. In , the Alvarado Transportation Center was built on the site in a manner resembling the old landmark.

It also serves as an intermodal hub for local buses, Greyhound buses, Amtrak passenger trains, and the Rail Runner commuter rail line. Presbyterian Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital, two of the largest hospitals in the Southwest, had their beginnings during this period. Route 66 originally ran through the city on a north-south alignment along Fourth Street, but in it was realigned along Central Avenue , a more direct east-west route.

The intersection of Fourth and Central downtown was the principal crossroads of the city for decades. The majority of the surviving structures from the Route 66 era are on Central, though there are also some on Fourth.

Signs between Bernalillo and Los Lunas along the old route now have brown, historical highway markers denoting it as Pre Route Meanwhile, the city continued to expand outward into the Northeast Heights, reaching a population of , by In , it was , and in it was , In June , Albuquerque was listed as the sixth fastest-growing city in the United States.

As Albuquerque spread outward, the downtown area fell into a decline. As of [update] , only recently has downtown come to regain much of its urban character, mainly through the construction of many new loft apartment buildings and the renovation of historic structures such as the KiMo Theater , in the gentrification phase.

During the 21st century, the Albuquerque population has continued to grow rapidly. The population of the city proper was estimated at , in , up from , in the census.

Suburban growth continues at a strong pace to the west, beyond the Petroglyph National Monument, once thought to be a natural boundary to sprawl development. In Rio Rancho to the northwest, the communities east of the mountains, and the incorporated parts of Valencia County , population growth rates approach twice that of Albuquerque.

The primary cities in Valencia County are Los Lunas and Belen , both of which are home to growing industrial complexes and new residential subdivisions. The mountain towns of Tijeras , Edgewood , and Moriarty , while close enough to Albuquerque to be considered suburbs, have experienced much less growth compared to Rio Rancho, Bernalillo, Los Lunas, and Belen. Limited water supply and rugged terrain are the main limiting factors for development in these towns.

The Mid Region Council of Governments MRCOG , which includes constituents from throughout the Albuquerque area, was formed to ensure that these governments along the middle Rio Grande would be able to meet the needs of their rapidly rising populations. In October , the "Albuquerque Journal" reported Albuquerque as the third best city to own an investment property.

Its main geographic connection lies with southern New Mexico, while culturally, Albuquerque is a crossroads of most of New Mexico. Albuquerque has one of the highest elevations of any major city in the United States, though the effects of this are greatly tempered by its southwesterly continental position. The Rio Grande is classified, like the Nile , as an "exotic" river because it flows through a desert.

The New Mexico portion of the Rio Grande lies within the Rio Grande Rift Valley, bordered by a system of faults , including those that lifted up the adjacent Sandia and Manzano Mountains , while lowering the area where the life-sustaining Rio Grande now flows. The pink is due to large exposures of granodiorite cliffs, and the green is due to large swaths of conifer forests. Below the foothills, the area usually called the "Northeast Heights" consists of a mix of clay and caliche soils, overlaying a layer of decomposed granite, resulting from long-term outwash of that material from the adjacent mountains.

Sand hills are scattered along the I corridor and directly above the Rio Grande Valley, forming the lower end of the Heights. The Rio Grande Valley, due to long-term shifting of the actual river channel, contains layers and areas of soils varying between caliche , clay, loam, and even some sand.

It is the only part of Albuquerque where the water table often lies close to the surface, sometimes less than 10 feet 3. The last significant area of Albuquerque geologically is the West Mesa: The west mesa commonly has soils often referred to as "blow sand", along with occasional clay and caliche and even basalt, nearing the escarpment.


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