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South Martineztown Urban Renewal Project Oral History Interviews

Identifier: MSS-642-SC

Scope and Content

The collection consists of 2 CDs (transfered from audio cassettes - Jan. 2017). CD 1 contains an interview between Vincent Martinez and José L. Martinez, an attorney representing Martineztown in their urban renewal plight. Vincent Martinez interviews longtime Martineztown resident, Richard S. Martinez in CD 2. Both interviews focus on an urban renewal/redevelopment project in Martineztown (Albuquerque, N.M.) in the 1970s. The interviewees discuss the character of Martineztown and the impact that the project, as originally conceived, would have on the community. They describe the process of community organization, political participation, and activism developed to fight the proposed project, including the legal aspects of the process, the formation of the Citizens' Information Committee, and a march on City Hall.

The Martineztown urban renewal/redevelopment project can serve as a case study in successful grassroots community organization, citizen participation, and activism. It sheds light on the urban renewal process of the 1970s, and gives insight into the evolution of the strategy negotiated between the City of Albuquerque and the Martineztown community.

There are no transcripts for the tapes. Summaries of each tape are included in the contents list.


  • 1998


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.

Background Information

Martineztown is one of Albuquerque's older, predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods. In the early 1970s, South Martineztown met the Federal standards for designation as a "blighted area," making it eligible to receive federal monies for urban renewal. The monies were part of Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty. Urban Renewal wanted to move the residents out of the area and sell the land to Albuquerque Public Schools for a new high school. The City of Albuquerque neglected to involve the Martineztown community in the planning process. Residents were angered when they were told that they would be relocated and organized to fight the proposed plan. The Citizens' Information Committee (CIC), a locally controlled, grassroots organization was formed to educate and inform residents of their options. The efforts of the residents, CIC, and others, led to redefinition of the project from relocation to rehabilitation of the neighborhood.

Vincent Martinez was a student at the University of New Mexico at the time he conducted these interviews.

Sources: Martineztown Community Plan. Citizens' Information Committee, 1971. "En Unidad Hay Poder": Community Activism and Ethnicity in South Martineztown, 1930-1974. Vanessa M. Macías, MA Thesis, 2004.


1 folder (2 CDs)


The collection consists of 2 CDs of Vincent Martinez interviewing Richard S. Martinez and José L. Martinez. The interviews focus on an urban renewal project in Martineztown in the 1970s. Martineztown is an older, predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Location of Originals

Original audio cassettes are located in CSWR vault. CDs only available for public access.

Related Material

Emma Moya collection on the History of Old Town Albuquerque and related Communities, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.

Separated Material

Original audio cassettes and backup CDs are stored in B3.
Finding Aid of the South Martineztown Urban Renewal Project Oral History Interviews, 1998
Edited Full Draft
Processed by B. Silbergleit
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

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