The Downtown Central Avenue Walking Tours

Franciscan Hotel, Albuquerque

The former Franciscan Hotel between 6th and 7th

Come take an “indoor” Downtown Central walking tour with Roland Penttila at the Albuquerque Museum on Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 2 PM. Roland, an AHS Member and Downtown Central Walking Tour Guide will share a variety of early 20th Century photographs of the buildings along Central, many of which are listed on the State and National Register of Historic Buildings. Starting with the coming of the railroad in 1880, Roland will discuss some of the business history of what took place in those buildings from stores like Sears & Roebuck and J.C. Penney to restaurants, saloons, banks, movie theaters and much more.

In 2013, the AHS, in cooperation with Historic Albuquerque Inc., received a grant from the City’s Urban Enhancement Trust Fund to create a walking tour of Central Avenue from 1st Street. Training of volunteer guides began in the Spring of 2014 led by Dick Ruddy and Diane Schaller. Dick Ruddy assembled historic pictures of downtown to supplement the tour and Diane Schaller researched company histories of the businesses that came and went in the area.

There are now seven guides trained and ready to give these 90-minute tours that start at 10 AM at 1st and Central and make their way to 8th Street. Tours will run from January to November in 2015.

Roland Pentilla, Albuquerque Historical Society

Penttila is a retired civil engineer who has worked on design and construction projects in California, Arizona, Washington, South Dakota and New Mexico. He moved here for the NM44 (US550) project in 2001 and met his wife. They’ve been married for 11 years, live in the Ridgecrest area and have two rescue dogs and one rescue cat. Roland is an avid amateur photographer and enjoys all aspects of history; local, national and international.