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Paul Graham McHenry drawings

Identifier: SWA-McHenry-Drawins

Scope and Content

The Paul Graham McHenry drawings illustrate the construction, restoration and preservation of adobe and earthen buildings. Throughout these drawings, conservation and concern for the environment is a consistent theme. For example, solar panels and alternative building materials are utilized throughout.

The collection consists of oversized drawings of buildings, engineering notes and topographical maps, ranging from residences to storefronts. This collection is organized chronologically. The majority of these buildings are located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Throughout this collection, this architect utilized several different versions of his name, such as P.G. McHenry Jr. and Paul


  • 1959-2000


Language of Materials

English Spanish

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

Paul "Buzz" McHenry was a leading authority on adobe and earthen technology. After growing up in Chicago and serving in World War II as a tail gunner, McHenry attended the University of New Mexico, obtaining his degree in business administration in 1948. Starting out as manager of his own construction company, he went on to build adobe homes. Beginning in the late 1950s, McHenry became a leading advocate of earthen construction. He taught adobe building practices at UNM from 1966 -1973, and completed his Masters Degree in architecture in 1974.

Designer of hundreds of earthen homes worldwide, he authored numerous books on the subject and developed an international reputation, lecturing in China, France, Bolivia, Italy, Turkey and Peru. In 1970, McHenry traveled to Iran, studying different types of earthen buildings. His research resulted in innovative designs, incorporating arches, domes, and vaults. In 1981, he wrote, Adobe and Rammed Earth Building and Design, a technical manual for architects and engineers.

Pursuing regional projects in the 1980s, he worked on the stabilization of Fort Union, a New Mexico military post built in the 1800s. McHenry also assisted in the restoration of homes at Acoma Pueblo and buildings at the Coronado Monument in Bernalillo. During the 90s, he wrote his final book, The Adobe Story: A Global Treasure . He also founded the non-profit organization, Earth Building Foundation, and helped revise New Mexico's adobe building code in 2000. He partnered with many organizations, including the Museum of New Mexico, the National Park Service, UNESCO and the Getty Conservation Institute. A pioneer in his field, McHenry’s work still stands as a model for those interested in methods of adobe and rammed earth construction. Paul Graham McHenry’s career as an architect spanned five decades. He died in Albuquerque on January 22, 2002.

Paul Logan, "Buzz" McHenry Took the Lead in Teaching Adobe Technology," Albuquerque Journal , 1 Feb., 2002, C-7.


5 drawers (1 linear ft)

Related Archival Material

Paul Graham McHenry Papers. Center for Southwest Research. University of New Mexico University Libraries.

Separated Material

Sixteen architectural drawings of the Tumacacori National Monument have been transferred to the HABS collection, in the John Gaw Meem Archive of Southwestern Architecture.
Finding Aid of the Paul Graham McHenry drawings, 1959-2000
Jane Sinclair
© 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English
Funding provided by: University of New Mexico Center for Regional Studies.

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