The Los Poblanos land was originally inhabited by the Ancestral Puebloans in the 14th century. Settlers from Puebla, Mexico followed in the 17th century. Later, the land was part of the Elena Gallegos land grant. Ambrosio and Juan Cristobal Armijo owned the original ranch through the 19th century. Congressman, Albert Simms, and his wife, Ruth Hanna McCormick Simms, reassembled the ranch in the 1930s.
Los Poblanos today encompasses the original headquarters of the 800-acre ranch owned by Albert and Ruth Simms. The historic inn was their private residence, as well as the center of operations for their dairy, farming, nursery, and art businesses. Additionally, in 1932, Ruth Hanna McCormick Simms commissioned architect John Gaw Meem to renovate the ranch house to create a cultural center.
Culture & Education
Meem designed La Quinta Cultural Center for civil, social, and cultural purposes. The art gallery held frequent exhibitions, which were open to the public. They designed the ballroom and catering kitchen to host meetings, lectures, and concerts for up to 200 people. It was the first swimming pool in Albuquerque and the original home to the June Music Festival. Using La Quinta as headquarters for their cultural and educational endeavors, Ruth and Albert Simms founded Manzano Day School, Sandia Prep, Albuquerque Academy, and Albuquerque Little Theater. The impact these institutions have had on New Mexico is immeasurable.
Los Poblanos was a model experimental farm during the 1930s and 1940s. It was home to the original Creamland Dairies, which supplied Albuquerque with a considerable portion of its milk and boasted one of the finest purebred herds of Guernsey and Holstein cows in the Southwest. They played a significant role in building up the dairy industry in New Mexico.
Los Poblanos experimented with raising sugar beets to wean American off of imported sugar beets and used the greenhouse as a laboratory for raising new varieties of roses and chrysanthemums commercially. They also grew alfalfa, oats, corn, and barley and raised purebred rams in the Sandia foothills to help sheep herders improve their flocks.
Architects visit Los Poblanos from all over the world to study John Gaw Meem and his building designs at Los Poblanos. James Moore, former director of the Albuquerque Museum, summarized the significance of Meem’s architectural achievements:
Speaking from my background in art history, I would say that La Quinta is not only perhaps the most important structure in the North Valley, but is one of New Mexico’s invaluable treasures. John Gaw Meem is without question the quintessential New Mexico architect of the early and mid 20th century and…La Quinta is one of his most important, if not the most important, projects of his career in this state.
In addition to the architecture, Ruth Simms contracted some of New Mexico’s leading artists to create artwork for the building. There is a true fresco by Peter Hurd, carved doors and mantels by Gustave Baumann, tinwork by Robert Woodman, ironwork by Walter Gilbert, photography by Laura Gilpin, and the landscape architecture was designed by Rose Greely.
In 2017, Los Poblanos completed a $10 million renovation, expanding every branch of the business. They refurbished the Farm Shop and expanded the fields dedicated to lavender. Their on-site distillation operation looks like the alchemy set of a mad scientist on steroids.
In total, the inn added 28 rooms, bringing the total to 50, and added two new buildings. The new structures match the style of the farm and they preserved the original flooring and walls where possible. The Rembe’s scoured old farms and hotels around the state for light fixtures and furniture. They built the rooms to catch a cross breeze, which reduces the need for air conditioning.
Whether you are hosting an event, having a wedding, or looking for a relaxing getaway, Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm is a beautiful oasis in Albuquerque.
4803 Rio Grande Blvd NW
Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM 87107