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Media Release

Published: 02/18/2009

Jewel of the Railroad Era: Albuquerque’s Alvarado Hotel

March 8 - June 7, 2009
The momentous opening of the Alvarado Hotel in May of 1902 was reported in newspapers from Los Angeles to Topeka. For most travelers this majestic hotel was their first impression of Albuquerque. For over sixty-five years the hotel was a busy center of travel and commerce. It attracted families, business men, and celebrities alike.
The grandeur seemed as though it would last forever, but in February 1970, the Alvarado Hotel was demolished. Almost four decades have passed since the massive bell towers and archways were replaced with a desolate parking lot, and yet the influence of the Alvarado has lived on. The people of Albuquerque have preserved the memory of this institution and the pioneering spirit that developed around the railroad and modern settlement in the Southwest at that time.
The Albuquerque Museum presents Jewel of the Railroad Era: Albuquerque’s Alvarado Hotel, an exhibition celebrating the life and memory of the Alvarado Hotel.  Opening March 8, this exhibition assembles the details of the Alvarado Hotel’s architectural history, renovations, and furnishings, and repopulates it with the memories of its employees, residents, and guests. Through Jewel of the Railroad Era, the Alvarado is recreated in a way that time and demolition cannot erase.
Opening Day Activities
Sunday March 8, 1:00 pm- 4:00 pm
Alvarado Hotel Live!
1 p.m.   Alvarado Stories
Former employees, visitors, and collectors of the Alvarado recall their experiences at this grand hotel.  Following the program audience members can share their memories in an open mike segment. Moderated by Jan Barnhart, past president of The Albuquerque Historical Society
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.  Step into History
Visit with characters that will bring the Alvarado Hotel alive once more.  Listen to costumed actors in the gallery as they tell tales of the hotel’s heyday.
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