Nason House

The Nason House is the home of NMSU’s Center for Latin American and Border Studies (CLABS). The mission of the Center is to promote teaching, research and community outreach on issues concerning Latin America and the border region.

Location: 

1070 University Ave.,
Las Cruces, NM  88003  

(just east of the ASNMSU Center for the Arts). 

 Nason House Booking

Nason House History

 

 

In 1918, Henry C. Trost designed the Nason House for the President of the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. During its 61 years (1919-1980) as a residence, it housed nine families. In 1980, a new residence for the University’s presidents was completed east of the main campus near the University Golf Course.

Between 1981 and 1983, the former residence was renovated to accommodate the Center for Latin American and Border Studies.

Willoughby L. Nason

In 1987, the building was dedicated to Willoughby Nason, an NMSU 33-year-old Vietnam War Veteran graduate student who died suddenly in 1979, prior to completion of a master’s degree thesis on Mexican Revolutionary War History.

Inside the house is a reading room containing a vast collection of books and artifacts concerning Latin America, collected by Willoughby Nason’s father, Charles. His father was an engineer in Guatemala and was the inspiration for his interest in Latin America. The books and other artifacts were donated by Charles’ wife, Marion Nason, in 1980. A memorial fund was also established in honor of Willoughby Nason and is used to fund graduate students in Latin American studies (Nason Fellowship).

Marion Nason also donated the funds to renovate the building to better accommodate for the Center of Latin American and Border Studies (CLABS). Within the building is the “Charles and Willoughby Nason Reading Room” where you can view the extensive book collection and artifacts.

Architecture

The House is set on a concrete foundation and has a single story on the south side and double story on the north. The red brick ground floor supports a framed upper story, covered by a low, hipped asphalt roof with broad, overhanging eaves. The band of three windows on the ground floor at the front of the house has horseshoe arches, probably not part of the original design. An extension of the front of the house toward the west has resulted in a fourth front window, flush with the original three, but not embellished with an arch.

Prairie School Architectural features are seen in the horizontal emphasis of the design – created by the variation in building materials (lower floor brick relating to the earth, and upper floor a lighter frame construction), the shape and overhang of the roof, and the banded windows – the series of windows (on both lower and upper floors) only slightly separated by narrow vertical spaces.