The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) officially opened its new east entry expansion project on August 22, 2008 marking six months from the time ceremonial shovels opened ground last February.

New Mexico State Governor Bill Richardson, who championed the long-awaited project and who is one of several state and tribal dignitaries who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The east entry was designed to be more inviting to the thousands of visitors to the Center and to expand the cultural/museum experience said Ron Solimon, President and CEO for the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. “The expansion is an architectural statement that reflects our mission to preserve and perpetuate the Pueblo culture.  The shape and materials incorporated into the design pay homage to our Pueblo homelands.”  Solimon added, “We are thankful to Governor Richardson and the state legislature for assisting us in this next phase of regenerating our mission.”

 Designers of the building made sure that Pueblo sensibilities were evident in the overall design and ambiance - for instance, emphasizing the cultural significance of east-facing entryways to the 19 Pueblos.  The east entry is grand in scale and pays tribute to the centuries-old practice of facing east and greeting the sunrise.  The unobstructed views of  the from the east entryway also adds to the project’s cultural elements as the mountains are at the center of the Sandia Pueblos’ spiritual activities.

The $2.4 million project funded primarily by state Capital Outlay funds adds 18,244 additional square feet to the main building that houses the Museum of Pueblo History and Culture, Pueblo and Native American Exhibition Galleries,  Pueblo Gift Shop, Pueblo Harvest Café,  and administrative offices. 

The new addition was designed by Rick Bennett Architects.  The General Contractor was Global Structures, Inc.  Eighty-four new part and full-time positions have been added to the IPCC workforce as a result of this project.

This building project at IPCC is the first of a three-phase planned expansion.   Because of space restrictions, the IPCC began Phase 1 with an expanded east entrance, new gallery and restaurant relocation.

Phase 2 will move the gift shop to the current dining room, as well as add additional office space and improvements to the courtyard.  The vacated gift shop will create 10,000 square feet of space on the first floor, allowing for Phase 3 – the development of new exhibit and interpretive space for the museum.

 The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is a 501 © (3) corporation operated by the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico and is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The Center offers public programming, yearly signature events, tours to the Pueblos of Acoma and Zuni, cultural exhibitions and more.

Additional Project Features:

  • New two-story east entrance project 
  • Indoor and outdoor public areas
  • Adds 18,443 additional square feet to the main building.  Interior square footage totals 14,550, with 3,893 square feet of covered patio and portales 
  • 19 laser-cut, exposed vigas extend out to each of the second floor support columns topped with a reproduction of the tribal seals of each of New Mexico’s 19 Pueblos
  • The new building will extend closer to 12th Street, and will replace the existing iron fence.  The intent is to make IPCC more inviting to the public 
  • The building interior will features authentic Pueblo art and natural southwestern building materials.
  • The new entrance will be centered on a two-story flagstone fireplace
  • Large indoor water feature 
  • The new addition will provide a new entryway and gallery area, needed office space, restrooms and storage, and provide for additional dining areas
  • The new museum introductory space will feature semi-permanent exhibits starting with a photo display of contemporary and historic photos of pueblo people and pueblo places 
  • The second floor railing is reminiscent of fine-line designs painted on Pueblo pottery
  • The gallery is intended to begin the visitor’s museum experience at IPCC