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Historic Santa Fe Foundation Announces Launch Of Mac Watson Register Fellowship Honoring Contributions

on August 4, 2019 - 7:09am
Alan ‘Mac’ Watson. Courtesy/HSFF
HSFF News:
Historic Santa Fe Foundation Board of Directors and staff launch the Mac Watson Register Fellowship in honor of the many contributions that Watson has made to the historical and architectural preservation of Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico.
Historic Santa Fe Foundation recognizes his dedication and service as a volunteer and on the Board of the Foundation and many other preservation efforts.
Alan ‘Mac’ Watson, a Santa Fe native, received an AB in English Literature from Dartmouth College and an MA and a PhD from the University of New Mexico.
He taught English and directed the graduate program in English at Montana State University for several years before the lure of returning to Santa Fe became too strong to resist. Since 1975 he has worked in architectural conservation as a licensed contractor and principal of Watson Conserves, LLC. The firm was de-commissioned in 2016, and Watson is now a full-time volunteer.
He has volunteered for Cornerstones Community Partnerships for many years and was on the Cornerstones staff as program manager for Northern New Mexico from 1998-2002. He is a former chair of the Historic Santa Fe Foundation Board and has been a director of the Old Santa Fe Association and of Santa Fe New Music. He was appointed by Governor Richardson to the state's Cultural Properties Review Committee and served for two years as Chairman. He resigned his recent current HSFF Board Chairmanship expired in June 2019, after leading the Foundation to a very rigorous plan for its future.
“Mac has given much to all of us at the Foundation, and perhaps even more to the community and preservation of the architectural and cultural importance of our unique history. It is for these reasons and many others that we honor his name in perpetuity with the Mac Watson Register Fellowship," Executive Director Pete Warzel said.
About The Register of Properties Worthy of Preservation
Historic Santa Fe Foundation (HSFF) started the Register Fellowship program in 2018 as a test program in partnership with the assistance of UNM faculty, as well as with staff of the state Historic Preservation Division. The purpose of the Fellowship is to assist students in fields relating to cultural resource management to gain experience in researching and identifying significant cultural properties in the Santa Fe area. The Fellowship is awarded to graduate students at the University of New Mexico (UNM) who are pursing studies in the fields related to cultural resource management, including, but not limited to museum studies, historic preservation, architecture and allied disciplines.
The Fellow works with the staff and directors of the Foundation to identify and research significant historic properties in the Santa Fe area and to compose and submit nominations to the HSFF Register of Properties Worthy of Preservation (Register). This first attempt led to the addition of the Pino Ranch House to the Register in 2019.
Each Fellow of the program will produce a well-researched document outlining the history and significance of the selected property. The resulting reports will be presented to the HSFF Board, who will use the information to determine whether the property will be included on HSFF's Register and offered the opportunity to display the shield plaque on the exterior of the building.
If approved, these properties will then be listed on the Register, The Register is one of the first and one of the most important projects undertaken by the Foundation since its inception in 1961. Historic Santa Fe Foundation’s Executive Director Pete Warzel discusses the Register in June 2019:
… What is this Register of Properties Worthy of Preservation?... It is the first project started by the Historic Santa Fe Foundation upon founding in 1961. From the board minutes of the first meeting of the Board of Directors, Sept. 12, 1961: “The Board received a report from JOHN GAW MEEM as to the desirability of undertaking the design and production of plaques to be placed on landmarks determined by the Foundation.”
In a letter following the meeting Alan Vedder, Chairman of the Foundation, to John Meem, who was on the board of the Old Santa Fe Association at the time, advising him of the project: “It was agreed that perhaps the first and best project of the Historic Santa Fe Foundation to undertake would be the designing and erection of plaques on buildings and at sights (sic) important to Santa Fe.
Historic Santa Fe Foundation’s mission is to preserve, protect and promote the historic properties and diverse cultural heritage of the Santa Fe area, and to educate the public about Santa Fe's history and the importance of preservation.
For more information on the Mac Watson Register Fellowship, contact Historic Santa Fe Foundation’s Development Coordinator Melanie McWhorter at 505.983.2567 or