In this class, we ‘tour’ Central Avenue from the railroad tracks near 1st Street, traveling west eight blocks to Robinson Park. Penttila explains how these seven blocks came to be and the differences between this “New Town” and what we now refer to as Old Town, where Albuquerque was originally founded. Penttila has a treasure trove of current and old photos showcasing Albuquerque’s history from the arrival of the railroad in 1880 to the present day.

Roland Penttila is a retired civil engineer who added amateur historian to his photography hobby and is now fully engaged in learning more and more about the city and state he adopted in 1998. He approaches his historical research like an engineering project, and is interested in all aspects of the city’s history from its founding in 1706 through the present.