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Cary Blair Papers

Identifier: MSS-542-BC

Scope and Content

The Cary Blair papers contain information on committees, membership, minutes of meetings, bulletins, and reports pertaining to the Heights Community Center. There is also information on military recreation during World War II. Individual items of interest include Food Ration Slips from the WW II era in the miscellaneous folder and a letter from Jack Benny in the fund raising folder.


  • 1936-1955

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Institutional History

The Heights Community Center began development in 1936 in the Southeast Heights of Albuquerque. The Center was built by citizens who managed to overcome a lack of funds and materials. Fund raising was accomplished by collecting left-overs from WPA and school board projects and by collecting and selling scrap paper. Materials were often salvaged from old school buildings and included such items as an old furnace, bricks, window frames, glass and flooring. Much of the building was done by volunteer labor from members of the National Youth Administration. Alvin Emerick, Hubert Atherton, Tom Popejoy, Dudley Peace and Harold Lau were responsible for the labor projects.

The Superintendent of Schools, John Milne, told members of the Civic Improvement League that the 12 acres south of the University Heights School could be used for the community center. Members of the original committee were Mrs. Warner Blair, Cary Holbrook, and W.H. Leggitt.

City funds for the center were not forthcoming because many Albuquerqueans complained that the center was "too far out in the country." At that time, Yale Boulevard was not yet paved.

From 1941 to 1945 many recreational activities were organized for soldiers stationed at Kirtland Field. Some of those activities included regular Wednesday night dances and an open house on Sunday afternoons.

After the war, the community center provided meeting space for numerous organizations and classes and activities that included tennis, baseball, basketball, dancing and crafts.


1 box (1 cu. ft.)

Separated Material

Photographs have been transferred to the Cary Blair Photograph Collection.
Finding Aid of the Cary Blair Papers, 1936-1955
Processed by CSWR Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 542 BC::Cary Blair Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss542bc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 2021-05-24: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131