Project name: Capitol Parking Facility
Type of site: Historic residential
Period of use: American Territorial and New Mexico Statehood periods
Dates: ca. 1880–present
Project director: Matthew J. Barbour
Capitol Parking Facility
In 2007 the Property Control Division of the New Mexico General Services Department contracted with the OAS to conduct archaeological testing and archival research for the proposed location of the Capitol Parking Structure, immediately west of the New Mexico Capitol Building in the Santa Fe Capitol Complex Historic District. The study revealed that the area was a multiethnic residential neighborhood during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
In preparation for construction of the Capitol Parking Structure, a research design and data recovery plan were developed and executed by the OAS. Archaeologists explored the Prohibition (1920–1933) and the Great Depression (1929–1939) eras in Santa Fe. The Capitol Parking Structure is one of few large-scale projects conducted in Santa Fe and the Southwest to focus on twentieth-century urban landscapes.
To date over 230 features have been documented and 23,000 artifacts have been recovered as a result of this investigation. Many of the features were privies (outhouses) and refuse pits associated with the household groups occupying the area. Artifacts included large whiskey jugs, children's toys, and saw-cut animal bone.
Using function-based analytical methods, mean glass dates, and mean ceramic values, OAS archaeologists are seeking to answer questions about what kinds of activities occurred in the area, the age of the deposits, and the socioeconomic status of people who lived there. The results of this analysis will then be placed within the larger context of research on urban landscapes in the American Southwest during the early twentieth century.