Sunday, January 18, 2009


This is the facade of the Kuhn Hotel, situated almost under the west end of the Reinken Avenue railway overpass, close to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad (AT&SF) passenger station. The current owner told me of its fascinating history and her hopes for it to have a great future.
The hotel was built by Ruth Kuhn in 1906. Some years earlier Mrs Kuhn and her husband came to Albuquerque by horse-drawn covered wagon. Her husband turned out to be unfaithful, a gambler and a drunkard. Mrs Kuhn divorced him, hitched up her wagon and came south to Belen, where she found work as a waitress. By 1906 Ruth Kuhn's hard work and thrift found her with enough money to build this hotel. Belen was a major railway hub for the AT&SF Railroad and the hotel was a going business, catering to the traveling public, and later as a hotel for railroad workers. After Mrs Kuhn died the hotel passed to her daughters and several other owners. It also underwent several remodelings, including modern plumbing.
Joanie is the current owner and has been slowly remodeling the hotel's anterior again. The building is sound in structure, but needs a new roof and some minor exterior trim and paint. Joanie sees the hotel's future as a studio for artists (potters, painters, photographers, etc) of all schools and as a gallery and sales outlet for their works. Interested persons should contact Joani at
(505) 864-6411 in Belen.

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