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Thread: Farmington, NM

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Farmington, NM

    Just a few pictures of the city where I was born. Most of these are of the riverwalk along the Animas River.

























  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    more

    Some more pictures of Farmington. You can really see the difference here between the newer, sprawly part of town in the early pictures and the older downtown in the later ones (starting with Alex Benally's Hogan).












































































  3. #3
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I did a studio project connected to the state Main Street program a few years ago in Farmington. The downtown really does have good bones and at least a few burgeoning businesses like the Three Rivers Brewing Company. However, what I also saw was one Walmart on the Aztec side and another being planned for the west side. This had effectively wiped out almost all mom and pop shops downtown (I guess they can't compete with good microbrews, though - Three Rivers was hoppin'!).

    As I walked through the downtown area on one trip, I began to notice the large number of payday and cash loan stores and counted 8 once I was paying attention. Probably a good 3-5 more that I missed. And downtown isn't that big either. It was rather depressing and the streetscape improvements they instituted didn't really mask it all that well - just made the trip to be gouged at the loan store a little more pleasant...

    There is some interesting potential in Farmington, though. The river walk is quite nice in some places and well used by locals. They even created a whitewater play spot for boaters. A lot of the revenue for this and other recent improvements (like the nice museum and visitors center) is from oil and natural gas revenues. I saw a lot of Halliburton signs there.

    Thanks again for all the photos!!
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Farmington's downtown has developed quite a bit recently, and it's significantly nicer than it used to be, but it's still got a long, long way to go. There are still plenty of payday loan places; when I took these pictures one of them had a sign in the window asking customers to write Congress in opposition to proposed restrictions on payday lending. Three Rivers is indeed nice, and it's stimulated a lot of new stuff on Main Street. There are also several Indian arts and crafts places downtown (Alex Benally's Hogan, Jed Foutz's Shiprock Trading Co., Cathy Foutz's Teec Nos Pos Pawn, Fifth Generation Trading Co., etc.), some of which are quite upscale, that have played important roles in drawing people downtown as well.

    A lot of the improvements downtown have been spurred by oil money; I didn't take any pictures on this trip of the offices of the various oil companies and oilfield services companies like Halliburton, but they're really key. With the recession and the resulting drop in oil prices the continued flow of money is in doubt, though. Farmington's been an oil town for a long time, with the corresponding boom-and-bust cycle of economic growth and decline. The most recent boom has made it big enough that it might have become enough of a general regional economic center to ride out the bust more easily than in the past, but we'll see.

    I'm not very fond of Farmington in general; the ugly sprawl in many of the pictures here is much more typical of the built environment than the few signs of pleasant revitalization downtown, and the oil-based economy and extremely conservative political atmosphere aren't very congenial to me either. I have a lot of roots and connections there, though. I was born there, and my family has lived in the area for more than 120 years. My dad is buried in Greenlawn Cemetery, as are most of his relatives. (I was up there for Memorial Day when I took these pictures.) Because of these connections, I do like to see Farmington doing well despite my problems with the place. It may even eventually turn into the sort of place I would want to live. I'm not going to hold my breath, though.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    More pictures. I took these yesterday.








































































































































  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    More Farmington pictures. Including Halliburton this time.



























































































  7. #7
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    I love the attorney's office with the alphabet soup of degrees this attorney has.

    Thank you for sharing these pictures teofilo, I really have been enjoying them!

  8. #8
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Nice job getting the Jesus billboard and Adult Video store. I have the same shot and wanted to amend the billboard to say:

    "Jesus is Watching You...and he wants to know what you picked up at the video store!!"
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Nice shots. Looks like a pretty decent, thriving town. I especially like the old school diner (Dad's). It looks EXACTLY like one that used to be in my town.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally posted by teofilo View post
    A lot of the improvements downtown have been spurred by oil money; I didn't take any pictures on this trip of the offices of the various oil companies and oilfield services companies like Halliburton, but they're really key. With the recession and the resulting drop in oil prices the continued flow of money is in doubt, though. Farmington's been an oil town for a long time, with the corresponding boom-and-bust cycle of economic growth and decline. The most recent boom has made it big enough that it might have become enough of a general regional economic center to ride out the bust more easily than in the past, but we'll see.

    I'm not very fond of Farmington in general; the ugly sprawl in many of the pictures here is much more typical of the built environment than the few signs of pleasant revitalization downtown, and the oil-based economy and extremely conservative political atmosphere aren't very congenial to me either. I have a lot of roots and connections there, though..
    As a resident of Farmington who was also born here and has lived other places but chose to live in Farmington I take issue with some of your statements. First the revitalized downtown is not mostly due to "oil money." I personally wrote a grant that paid for the street furniture such as benches, trash cans and bike racks. Most of the building improvements have also come from grants from the New Mexico Mainstreet program which is part of the National Trust for Historical Preservation.

    While I will agree that there is sprawl happening there are a core group of people fighting this blight and I don't know where you live but this happens pretty much everywhere so to knock Farmington for it kind of offends me. Farmington has its problems and you are correct a large portion of its revenue comes from energy production but again there are a core group of people who are trying to change that.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by friarbuck640 View post
    As a resident of Farmington who was also born here and has lived other places but chose to live in Farmington I take issue with some of your statements. First the revitalized downtown is not mostly due to "oil money." I personally wrote a grant that paid for the street furniture such as benches, trash cans and bike racks. Most of the building improvements have also come from grants from the New Mexico Mainstreet program which is part of the National Trust for Historical Preservation.

    While I will agree that there is sprawl happening there are a core group of people fighting this blight and I don't know where you live but this happens pretty much everywhere so to knock Farmington for it kind of offends me. Farmington has its problems and you are correct a large portion of its revenue comes from energy production but again there are a core group of people who are trying to change that.
    I appreciate your comments (as another New Mexico resident). I don't think teofilo is active on this site anymore, though. Don't be too hard on him. He's a good egg.

    I worked on a grad planning school project in Farmington in 2005/6 and drove through there between X-mas and New Year's (and used to go up every two months or so at a previous job). All of what you say is true. It was obvious in our studio project, which focused on the old downtown, that this historic core continues to suffer, despite the very nice improvements made through the Main Street program and related efforts. The area does have great bones! Still, at the time of the project, I counted no less than 6 payday loan, title loan and related predatory lending places (as well as vacant properties) in that area and as I recall, Walmart was preparing to open a SECOND store at the other end of town, essentially killing any remaining possibility that a local downtown business might be able to eek out a living.

    Still, there is some great thriving activity in Farmington and the potential for improved development, I think. Three Rivers Brew Pub, of course, continues to do great business and brew great beer. Between when I first began traveling to Farmington (for work, prior to grad school) until now, they have I believe, just about doubled their square footage. The riverwalk is also very nice and as a paddler, I appreciated the play wave they engineered. The potential for outdoor activities (running river trips, or at least ending them, on the San Juan and even the Animas along with biking and hiking) seems high as well. Its also a quick shot to Durango and even Moab, so there is potential to build off some of what they have accomplished in terms of recreational tourism (for people seeking a place away from the crowds, if you will).

    Lastly, I will just say that on our way back through around X-mas we were going to stop at Mesa Verde, but the park is largely closed in the winter, so we went to Aztec Ruins instead. I have driven by the turnoff to the ruins I don't know how many times but never visited. I guess I was not expecting much. But we had an AWESOME time there! I had no idea it was such an impressive and extensive archaeological site (and contemporaneous with Chaco and Mesa Verde). What a gem!

    Probably the biggest disappointment for me is the proliferation of those small extraction setups scattered across private lands all over the place. I can't figure out which are oil and which natural gas, but when we passed through, most of the road traffic was company trucks heading off to these setups to test or collect data or whatever. But I really felt they were an eyesore. I suppose it could be worse as far as extraction goes - I've been to a few copper mines in the southwest (including Santa Rita down by Silver City). Now THAT's a land use you'll never get rid of, even after the mines close. Its also a gift that keeps on giving (to your groundwater).
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  12. #12
    This place looks peaceful and somehow retrospective. Do you have any number of its residential density?

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