Mesilla Valley Preservation Inc. - Nonprofit of the Month March 2014

Mar 20th, 2014


Mesilla Valley Preservation Inc.

301 S. CHURCH ST., SUITE H • 575-521-4794 • WWW.MVPRES.ORG Preserving our history

The old Doña Ana County Courthouse, which developers plan to bring back to life as a Downtown hotel and conference center, was one stop on the Mesilla Valley Preservation Inc. Casas de Antaño tour Saturday, Feb. 15.Nonprofit looks at restoring area buildings


Las Cruces is the fastest growing city in New Mexico, and throughout the decades, it has gained many dif­ferent additions, such as new homes, schools and businesses.

The signs of economic develop­ment and growth can easily be seen through the expansion of land usage for different structures throughout the city. Las Cruces and the Mesilla Valley have been part of many different his­torical events such as the trial of the infamous Billy the Kid and the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Preservation of more than 4,000 years of history and culture is the mission of nonprofit organization Mesilla Valley Preservation Inc.

Interest from local commu­nity people inspired the creation of Mesilla Valley Preservation Inc., an organization that allows people to come together for the same cause. Historical buildings represent more then just a structure. They hold artistic and scientific value through the de­sign of early building techniques. The cultural significance of adobe homes – made from a mixture of sand, clay and water – can be traced back to the traditions created by the first inhabit­ants of New Mexico.

Mesilla Valley Preservation receives donations from donors. Through these gifts, the organization is able to create projects to restore different histori­cal buildings throughout the Mesilla Valley.

Some examples of the current build­ings undergoing restoration are the Doña Ana County Courthouse, the Las Cruces Country Club and Nestor Armijo House. Each building holds a different meaning to the history of Las Cruces, but all have become important to the community.

Display of progress and current work was shown at the 2014 Casas de Antaño, held Saturday, Feb. 15. People can now go behind the scenes to see incredible progress such as the re-exposed original courtroom at the old Doña Ana County Courthouse.

Although there is much interest in preservation, more needs to be done to educate the community abouty its importance.

“The biggest obstacle we have encountered is to educate the com­munity about the value in what we do,” Executive Director Luan Wagner Burn said.

Through programs such as the 2014 Casas de Antaño and fundraising events they hope to create more awareness.

Like all nonprofit organizations where funds are limited, Mesilla Valley Preservation is striving to increase their assets to provide the same success they have accomplished for many years to come. They would like to create long­term projects where donors can see the progress from the beginning stages to the end. Showing support to other non­profit organizations is also important.

“We are in the beginning stages of creating low-interest loan pro­grams for nonprofit organizations,” Wagner Burn said.