Zuni Pueblo Main Street Project

Tribe: Zuni Pueblo

Tribal Contact: Tom Kennedy

Project Type: Land Use Plan

Location: Zuni Pueblo, NM

UNM Contact:Michaela Shirley

UNM Faculty:Ted Jojola, Moises Gonzales


Project Image

Project Summary:

In 2011, Zuni Pueblo’s Governor Arlen Quetawki, Sr. and the Zuni Pueblo Council requested that Zuni Pueblo be designated a MainStreet Project of the NM MainStreet Program and the National Trust Main Street Center.   On July 5th, 2012, Gov. Quetawki signed an historic proclamation identifying Zuni Pueblo as the first Native American MainStreet program in the United States.

The Indigenous Design and Planning Institute of the University of New Mexico’s School of Architecture and Planning had been contracted by NM Mainstreet to provide the following services for the Pueblo of Zuni:

  • Engage Zuni Pueblo leadership in appropriate protocol to begin the process of planning, and design and potential opportunities for revitalization respectful of the community’s character and cultural traditions and values.
  • Review the history of commercial activity within the Zuni Pueblo MainStreet Corridor, explore with pueblo leaders and administration recent planning and research conducted through the Pueblo’s office of planning and development, federal and state initiatives, Council of Governments, and the Native American Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) for Zuni Pueblo.
  • Define the regional identity of place and establish the physical and cultural context of the district through community asset mapping, and demographic profile.
  • Address the opportunities for the corridor within the context of the community’s resources (within the framework of its physical, social, cultural and economic capital).
  • Work with the community leadership on identifying issues and opportunities, develop community aspirations in a visioning process, and develop goals to achieve the vision.
  • Explore with the community’s leadership potential adaptive reuses and develop design schematics for those uses as well as preservation of the intrinsic historic qualities and characteristics of the structures.  Explore and develop the physical connectivity to the street and the adjacent buildings within the commercial district corridor and adjacent neighborhoods.
  • Develop a tool box of resources/strategies for the community to apply to the adaptive reuse historic and cultural properties and culturally-appropriate and place-based village design projects that address Zuni Pueblo MainStreet’s core district

The students held a mid-term presentation for the Zuni Mainstreet Board on October 16, 2013.  On October 26th the students attended the Zuni Harvest festival where they were able to talk with community members about the Zuni Mainstreet Corridor Plan. On November 25th, 2013, the students did two presentations, one for the Zuni Mainstreet Board and Tribal Council and one for the community at large. To say the least the Zuni Mainstreet Studio was a huge success.

Professor Ted Jojola and Rueben Ghahate, a member of the Zuni Mainstreet board had been asked to present this project at the American Planning Association National Planning Conference in Atlanta in April 2014. The presentation was given in a session entitled: Academic And Community Collaborations: More than Just A Studio.

The final report was delivered to Mr. Tom Kennedy on September 20, 2014. September 20th, 2014, Professor Jojola and Professor Gonzales have been asked to present at the annual Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning conference in October 2014. As a spin-off of this project, an architecture research studio is currently   being taught. The student is focusing on research and design of an art center for Zuni Pueblo. This course is being taught by Professor Mark Childs.