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I. H. & W. M. Rapp and A. C. Hendrickson Drawings and Plans

Identifier: SWA-Rapp-Drawings

Scope and Content

The I. H. & W. M. Rapp and A. C. Hendrickson Drawings and Plans collection consists of site plans, floor plans, elevations, sections and details, as well as contour maps and plot plans of public buildings. There is one residence. Buildings represent the work of the firm I. H. & W.M. Rapp, as well as the firm I. H. & W.M. Rapp and A.C. Hendrickson.

The styles of buildings in the collection range from Early Gothic Style, specifically the Scottish Baronial, as seen at the New Mexico Military Institute to the Richardsonian Romanesque Style, reflected in the First National Banks in Las Vegas and Santa Fe. The Spanish Pueblo Revival style is reflected in the New Mexico Museum of Fine Art. Public buildings in the collection include schools, universities, churches, banks, and a hospital.

Specific items in the collection include: First National Bank of Las Vegas, New Mexico (1920); St. Francis de Sales Church, Lamar, Colorado (1926-1930); New Mexico Military Institute, Roswell, New Mexico (1917-1937); St. Mary's Catholic Church, Las Animas, Colorado (1928); Museum of New Mexico, later called the New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts,(1916); First National Bank of Santa Fe, New Mexico (1911); St. Vincent's Sanatorium, Santa Fe, New Mexico; First Presbyterian Church, Roswell, New Mexico (1932); Trinidad High School Auditorium, Trinidad, Colorado (1922).


  • 1908-1937

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.

Biographical Information

Isaac Hamilton Rapp was born in 1854. His father Isaac, Sr. was a contractor and superintendent in the building trade in Pennsylvania, who occasionally worked as an architect. In 1855, Issac, Sr. and a friend ventured to the open prairie of Carbondale, Illinois to start a contracting business. His wife Georgiana and children arrived a year later. The thriving construction company oversaw development of several buildings for Southern Illinois Normal University.

Of the nine Rapp children, seven became architects. Cornelius Ward Rapp built Altgeld Hall at Southern Illinois University in 1896, in the Scottish Baronial or "castle style". Brother Isaac Hamilton Rapp emulated the same style late in his own practice.

After apprenticing under his father well into his adult life, Isaac Hamilton Rapp and partner C. W. Bulger began a practice in Trinidad, Colorado in 1888, which specialized in public buildings. However, the firm dissolved after only a few years. Issac Hamilton's brother, William Morris Rapp, arrived in Trinidad in 1892 to help establish the new firm I.H. Rapp & W. M. Rapp.

In 1909, A.C. Hendrickson joined the firm, creating the partnership I.H. & W. M. Rapp & A.C. Hendrickson. The three partners secured a firm foothold in Trinidad, resulting in numerous commissions for some of Trinidad's major public and commercial buildings, including the Las Animas County Courthouse, and the first National Bank of Trinidad. Isaac Hamilton considered Trinidad to be his home and became a prominent citizen in the community. However, the commercial success of the firm extended beyond southeastern Colorado to Las Vegas and Santa Fe, New Mexico, and continued even further south to the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell. Isaac Hamilton continued designing for this campus into his retirement, completing more than fifteen campus buildings.

Issac Hamilton Rapp was considered a provincial architect of the late nineteenth century to early twentieth century. Although he had no formal training, Rapp was influenced by the Beaux Arts schools and became a competent designer, easily executing a variety of popular European and American styles, including Early to Late Gothic, Midwestern Prairie Style, and the Richardsonian Romanesque Style, made famous by American architect Henry Hobson Richardson. Inspired by Richardson's massive stone facades, ornate carvings, arched Roman windows and heavy columns, Rapp's imitative designs retained the integrity and simplicity of this time-honored master.

In the early 1900s, Rapp's aesthetic took a significant and dramatic turn. In 1913, the impetus for Santa Fe, New Mexico to establish a coherent architectural style directed toward enlivening local culture and generating tourism, created recognition for Rapp. His research of native pueblos and Spanish colonial mission churches resulted in designs which revived the regional vernacular architecture. His efforts gained him status as a pioneer architect for the "Santa Fe Style", or more appropriately the Spanish Pueblo Style. Among his prominent Santa Fe buildings are the New Mexico Museum of Fine Art, and the La Fonda Hotel. Rapp utilized notable features such as interior courtyards, bell towers, corbels on wooden posts and ceilings, and deeply recessed windows. Rapp's contributions to Santa Fe architecture precede that of well known southwestern architect John Gaw Meem, who arrived four years after Rapp's retirement, and became Rapp's major successor.

Unfortunately, Isaac Hamilton Rapp's career in Santa Fe came to a sad conclusion. Upon completion of the La Fonda Hotel in 1920, he promptly retired to Trinidad, having lost both his partners to premature deaths. However, the regional Spanish Pueblo Style he personally helped to recapture became the norm in Santa Fe by 1957, through strict city ordinances.

Isaac Hamilton Rapp's eclectic styles are also still strongly visible and appreciated in Roswell, New Mexico where his "castle style" remains the definitive force at the New Mexico Military Institute. Because of its strong old world design, some call the site the "West Point" of the southwest. Additionally, Trinidad, Colorado has seventy Victorian buildings designed by Rapp, contributing to it's distinction of having more buildings on the National Historic Register than any another Colorado city.


Pratt, Boyd C., Lazzell, Carleen and Chris Wilson, Directory of Historic New Mexico Architects. Unpublished manuscript, 1988.

Sheppard, Carl D., Creator of the Santa Fe Style: Isaac Hamilton Rapp, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1988.

Wilson, Chris, The Myth of Santa Fe: Creating a Modern Tradition. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1997.


3 drawers (0.5 linear ft.)


The Rapp, Rapp and Hendrickson Architectural Drawings and Plans collection contains architectural drawings and plans for buildings located in Trinidad, Colorado; and Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Roswell, New Mexico.

Related Material

Center for Regional Studies and the Center for Southwest Research Fellows presentation, Ellen Evans-Colburn.
Finding Aid of the I. H. & W. M. Rapp and A. C. Hendrickson Drawings and Plans, 1908-1937
Ellen Evans-Colburn
© 2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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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