Community foundation renovating a historic building

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By Mike Cook

The Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico (CFSNM) has been raising funds to help others for over 30 years. She is now asking for the continued support of the community as the foundation nears its goal of $1.6 million to buy, renovate and maintain a new home.

“This community has been amazing,” said Terra V. Winter, president and CEO of the foundation. Winter noted that CFSNM received contributions of $5 to $100,000 during the fundraising campaign and welcomes additional donations of any amount. CFSNM was within $135,000 of its $1.6 million goal as of Jan. 18, Winter said. The campaign continues until the end of February.

CFSNM purchased the Cutter Gallery – the Hadley-Ludwick House – at the corner of El Paseo Road and University Avenue, which is just south of the foundation’s current location and more than three times its square footage.

The building, which housed Glenn and Sally Cutter’s jewelry store and gallery for many years, is currently being renovated by Noble Builders, Inc. of Las Cruces, owned by Johnny Talley. All of the project’s contractors are also local, Winter said.

“We are thrilled to be here,” she said, noting that the move is not only a step forward for CFSNM, it also helps preserve an important piece of Las Cruces history, Hadley House, which is 114 years old. .

Winter said CFSNM will retain many of the property’s existing interior and exterior features, including chandeliers added by the Cutters, though CFSNM staff will replace its 180 standard light bulbs with LEDs.

Following a suggestion made by Lorenzo Alba, executive director of the Casa de Peregrinos emergency food bank, Winter said there are plans to partner with NMSU’s art department to create artwork at the ceiling as part of the renovation. The south-facing patio will feature an agriculture-themed mural created by Las Cruces Public Schools art teacher Frances Gomez.

CFSNM will share space with Mesilla Valley CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), with CASA and its six staff in the front (the original house) and CFSNM with its three full-time staff, interns and volunteers in the back .

Winter said the plan is to make the property “a community space,” with two meeting spaces available inside and the patio and another large outdoor space available.

Once the renovation is complete, it will include a catering kitchen, and CFSNM will use the significant wall space to showcase the work of local artists.

Winter said the renovation will include a donor wall acknowledging everyone who helped fund the project.

“Every donor will be recognized,” she said, and interior and exterior features will be named in honor of donors and others.

Winter said CFSNM and Mesilla Valley CASA are both expected to move into their new homes in early February, with a grand opening planned for April.

To donate, visit www.communityfoundationofsouthernnewmexico.org/building-campaign.

Contact CFSNM at 575-521-4794.

A little history

Hadley-Ludwick House was built in 1907 for Hiram Hadley, who founded Las Cruces College (now New Mexico State University) in 1888 and served as its first president. The house, with its Colonial Revival architectural style, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1991. “Built of yellow brick with a side gable roof (the house) has a finished attic and basement “, according to his PNSR registration form.

The house “has added historical significance for its connection to Russell Ludwick (he purchased it in 1936), who was a leader in New Mexico agriculture and for many years closely associated with agricultural guidance of the NMSU”, according to the registration form.

Ludwick sold the house in 1974 to Donald Dwyer, owner of the nearby Greenhouse Nursery. The house was later used as an NMSU fraternity, first by Sigma Nu and then Lambda Chi Alpha, per NPHP form. The Cutters purchased the property in the 1990s.

Foundation impact

CFSNM manages more than 300 endowments, including 46 nonprofits and more than 35 scholarships. As a charitable giving center, the foundation supports the arts, literacy and health, feeds the hungry, and supports many other causes in the 10 counties it serves: Catron, Chaves, Doña Ana, Grant, Hidalgo, Lincoln, Luna, Otero, Sierra and Socorro.

In 2020, the CFSNM awarded over $350,000 in grants; more than $670,000 has been awarded in Covid-19 response grants, including support for 38 nonprofits and 18 restaurants, with nearly 3,000 people supported and more than 2,000 meals served; over $215,000 in scholarships were awarded to 295 students; 55 non-profit organizations were supported with grants; 23 new funds were opened. CFSNM’s total assets were nearly $40.5 million.

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