Skip to main content

William Emmett Burk Architectural Drawings and Plans

Identifier: SWA-Burk-Drawings

Scope and Content

The William E. Burk Jr. Architectural Drawings and Plans collection contains architectural drawings and plans of buildings primarily from New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado. Designs include schools, private residences and commercial structures. Also included are sketches, and watercolors from Burk’s academic years.

Specific items from the collection include: student sketches and watercolors by Burk (1928);Chi Omega Sorority House, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1936); White Sands National Monument / Headquarters Area Plan, Alamogordo, New Mexico (1936); Phillips Station, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1938); Stomberg’s Men’s Store, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1938); University Press Building-UNM, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1938); Valley Gold Dairy, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1945); L.P. Briggs Residence, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1946); Kappa Alpha Fraternity House/Preliminary Plans, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1947); Raton Jr. High School, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1948); La Fonda Hotel, Taos, New Mexico (1950); Fire Training Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1956); J.C. McCormack Building , Albuquerque, New Mexico (1956); Don Robb Residence Remodel, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1958); Superior Lumber Company, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1959); Coronado Airport, Albuquerque (1960); New Orleans Club Hotel, Scottsdale, Arizona (1960); U.S. Courthouse & Federal Building, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1965); Water Treatment Facility, Colorado City, Colorado (1972); Cemetery, Las Vegas, New Mexico (1974).


  • 1933-1974

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.

Biographical Information

William E. Burk, Jr. studied architecture briefly in the early 1930’s at Cornell University. He changed his focus to architectural sculpture, receiving his B.F.A. from Cornell in 1933. His serious interest in becoming a sculptor was curtailed by the depression of the 1930s, forcing him to return to architecture professionally. He initially opened a practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico, later moving to Albuquerque in 1936.

Burk redirected his professional practice briefly by joining the faculty at the University of New Mexico in 1939, helping to establish a two year pre-architecture curriculum. In 1942, he returned to design work, concentrating on various government and private projects. He built a diverse and thriving practice over a thirty year career.

Throughout his successful career, Burk thought of buildings in “sculptural terms.” In 1963, he designed his most important project, the Albuquerque Metropolitan Airport. By using the regional Spanish Pueblo-Revival Style, Burk claimed this better suited the "gateway to the Southwest" than the delicate lines of the Territorial Style. His fine arts background influenced his design philosophy of "simplicity of form and appropriateness."


10 drawers (2 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



The William Emmett Burk Jr. Architectural Drawings and Plans collection contains architectural drawings and plans for commercial, residential and religious buildings in western and southwestern cities, including Albuquerque, Belen, Raton, Santa Fe, Tijeras, Taos, and Roswell New Mexico, Colorado Springs, and Denver Colorado, Reno, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona. Student drawings and watercolors are also included.

Related Material

Center for Regional Studies and the Center for Southwest Research Fellows presentation, Ellen Evans-Colburn.
Finding Aid of the William Emmett Burk Architectural Drawings and Plans, 1933-1974
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: 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