New Mexico Military Institute: Development of the Campus Plan and Architectural Syle 1890-1930

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MA in Historic Preservation

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To view a complete copy of this thesis please contact Goucher College Special Collections & Archives at or (410) 337-6075.


This thesis studies the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) campus located in Roswell, New Mexico. It compares NMMI's curriculum, campus plan, and architectural style to the United States Military Academy, the Virginia Military Institute, and Fort Union and assesses their influence on the development of NMMI's campus and architecture. The New Mexico Military Institute looked to the military and its leadership, educational curricula, directives, and regulations in developing its campus plans and building designs. The U.S. military system exerted greater influence on the design of the New Mexico Military Institute campus than collegiate planning concepts, national trends, or popular architectural styles of the period. It was, in fact, the development of this country's m111tary system that lead to the creation of the military school as an alternate form of public education. Military education was encouraged with the passage of the Morrill Act in 1862, but many of this country's colleges and universities provided military training only as an adjunct to their traditional curricula. In an attempt to understand the process of NMMI's development and design, this thesis reviews the history and development of the campus, its architecture, and its architects from 1890-1930. It takes into consideration campus planning concepts that were occurring simultaneously in other parts of the country and discusses how they may have influenced the development of NMMI's campus design. Social attitudes, military training concepts, and architectural developments at this time in history are explored to assess their influence on the creation of NMMl's campus plan and the selection of its architectural style.