Fly-through of Historic Carlsbad Caverns Stairs



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A team from the HDP office, consisting of HABS architect Mark Schara, HAER architect Jeremy Mauro, HABS historian Lisa Davidson, and HAER photographer Jet Lowe, traveled to Carlsbad, New Mexico, 29-31 January, to document the historic stairs in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Beginning in 1925, the newly-established park undertook the construction of a system of wooden staircasess in order to enable visitor access to the caverns. Within a decade, however, the park had begun the construction of a sequence of paved paths and switchback ramps as a more pedestrian-amenable replacement to the stairs, which were subsequently abandoned and eventually, for the most part, removed. The six flights of stairs documented by the HDP team, located on the east side of Iceberg Rock, are the last surviving portion of the original stair system.

Over the years the high humidity level in the caverns (close to 100%) has fostered the growth of mold on the stairs. The mold has caused the wood members to deteriorate, to the point that the stairs are no longer safe and have been condemned. Following the completion of the HABS documentation project, the stairs will be demolished. The project was sponsored by Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

This fly-through of the Carlsbad Caverns stairs is comprised of multiple individual scan stations using an HDR Pano Photo textured point cloud rendered in Pointools. The fly-through video animation was produced by Jeremy Mauro, HAER Architect.

This video does not contain sound.

The Heritage Documentation Programs administers HABS (Historic American Buildings Survey), the Federal Government’s oldest preservation program, and companion programs HAER (Historic American Engineering Record) and HALS (Historic American Landscapes Survey). Documentation produced through the programs constitutes the nation’s largest archive of historic architectural, engineering, and landscape documentation.

Learn more about HDP by visiting us online at

See more photographs of the HDP documentation of the historic Carlsbad Caverns stairs in our Facebook photo album at

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Albuquerque, New Mexico – Old Town Albuquerque HD (2016)



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Old Town is an historic district in the US city of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Old Town comprises about ten blocks of historic adobe buildings, which surround Old Town Plaza. (Plazas were a common feature of Spanish colonial towns.) On the plaza’s north side stands San Felipe de Neri Church, a Spanish colonial church constructed in the 18th century.

Old Town was assimilated into the city of Albuquerque (“New Town”) in the 1940s; today, it is a shopping and tourist destination. Many of the buildings in Old Town are residences that were converted into restaurants, shops, and art galleries. Bands play in the plaza’s gazebo. During the Christmas and holiday season, thousands of luminarias (paper lanterns) line the streets and walkways.

The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, and the Explora science center are northeast of Old Town.