• Gregory Z. Smith

STARTING WITH WHY

Updated: Jul 28, 2019




I am a designer by nature and training, and I have followed that up with teaching and elected office. So, looking forward to what we can see in our future, we need a vision and a plan for getting there.


I often find that my time is limited, but there is much we need to do for our community. Time has to be made for thinking ahead, seeing what is possible, considering what is natural for us based on what has led us to where we are now.


CONCEPTUAL IDEA FOR COMMUNITY CENTER AT VILLA MORA

An example of where my architectural background and my passion for our history and local cultures come into play is as we discuss the future of the area where a dam used to protect Las Cruces from storm flooding. Even though a much larger dam was constructed to the east more than forty years ago leaving the one at Villa Mora without purpose, the old dam is still there, along with some open areas that are now being discussed for development.


The concept I've drawn here shows one way the dam can be left in place to provide a walking path and an opportunity for a portion of a new community center to have views to the east and to the west. At ground level, an entrance is cut through to provide ADA access and visual interest. In addition to the former water retention area becoming a nature park for experiencing natural surroundings in the middle of a modern city, there is support for the community center having exhibits and classes that inform about the people who were in this area before the Spanish came through in 1598 and their descendants.


While I still support a tribal gateway near downtown, if this project accomplishes all that I believe it can, it will work in concert with that gateway. We can build our brightest future on the foundations of what we know and appreciate about our past.

© 2018 Greg Z. Smith