Until about 1900 Albuquerque was concentrated in the ancestral river valley of the Rio Grande. The east mesa was thousands of acres of grass and brush containing a few dozen ranching homesteads. In 1889 the Territorial Legislature chartered the University of New Mexico which started construction at what is now Central Ave and University Blvd.
Some were eager to live up on the mesa, particularly the "health seekers", those seeking the cure for tuberculosis, the white plague. There was no drug to kill the bacillus that caused the disease. Doctors sent their patients to locations of medium altitude and clear air where they rested continuously and spent all the time they could outdoors...even sleeping on open porches year round.
The area we now call Nob Hill was one of the earliest developments on the east mesa. Its first subdivision, University Heights, was platted by Col D.K.B. Sellers and A.C. McMillan in 1916.
Owing to serendipitous circumstances, Nob Hill today is one of the best preserved residential neighborhoods in Albuquerque. Its streetscapes paint a vivid picture of Albuquerque as builders pushed out of the valley and onto the east mesa in the early 20th Century. Its houses illustrate the picturesque styles popular at the time and provide a verifiable evidentiary record of a significant architectural past.
Nob Hill turns 100 in 2016. Individuals and groups throughout the community are partnering in a yearlong celebration. Visit www.NobHillis100.com to see all that is planned.