Home to the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque is the largest city in the state. Sitting high in the desert, modern downtown is in stark contrast to the Old Town area that dates back to 1706 when it was founded as a Spanish colony.
Farming was the original occupation of most of the residents of the region. It also had a strategical location for a military outpost alongside the Camino Real. It was once well known for its sheep herding center.
After 1821, Mexico had a military garrison in the town as well. Built in a traditional Spanish Village theme the central plaza or town center was surrounded by the government buildings as well as homes and a church.
Today, this area is well preserved as a museum and cultural area. The San Felipe de Neri Church is one of the oldest buildings surviving in the city itself.
Full of old historic adobe buildings like the San Felipe de Neri Church, as well as five lovely museums and shops that sell Native American handicrafts, the area os also home to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center that can trace the areas tribal history.
With a population of 557,169 in July of 2014, the city ranks 32nd largest in the United States. As a metropolitan area, it ranks as the 60th largest in the United States.
By the 1900s it boasted over 8000 persons as well as all the modern amenities that made it an up and coming town. From electric streetcars and railways that connected the old part of town to the new part of town, it had it all.
By 1902 the ever famous Alvarado Hotel was built alongside the new passenger depot. It was a strong icon of the city until it had to be razed in 1970 to make room for a parking area.
In 2002 Alvarado Transportation Center was then built on the site to resemble the once famous landmark. It functions as the metro station and is now headquarters for the city transit that services the area for local bus travel as well as Greyhound and Amtrak passenger trains. The area is also home to the Rail Runner commuter train.
In the early part of the century, the dryer climate was ideal for tuberculosis patients. As they sought a cure they enjoyed better air quality and at one point a sanatorium and several hospitals also popped up in the Albuquerque area.