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The Estufa

The Estufa


William G. Tight, the president of UNM at the time, announced in 1906 that he would be building the Estufa for the Tri Alphas.  They broke ground in January of 1907, staring the building process of what is known as the Estufa[1].  The building was finished in November of 1908[2].  It then became the official meeting place of the Tri Alphas, and later in 1915, the official meeting place of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. In 1906, Tight had a plan to bring a new style of architecture to the campus.  This was known as the pueblo style, which is the style of the Estufa.  The building itself was modeled after the Santo Domingo Kiva[3].  We can classify this building under the Spanish-Pueblo Revival style of architecture[4]. The building was stuccoed tan to match the landscape in which it sits.  Later in 1969, the city of Albuquerque wanted to tear down the Estufa to widen University Blvd.  However, members of the fraternity stopped that action.  It was eventually added to the NRHP on September 22, 1988[5].  The Estufa’s exterior has been preserved extremely well.  However, no one knows what is on the inside except for Pi Kappa Alpha and Beta Delta Chapter members and selective other Pikes from around the nation. Very few people have stepped foot within the building, and those who have that lucky opportunity are sworn to secrecy about what is inside and what occurs inside the building. 


Jonathan Skroch

US History and Criminology

Fall 2019

[1] “LOCALS,” UNM Weekly, vol. 009, no 20, January 19, 1907

[2] “TRI-ALPHA FRATERNITY HOUSE COMPLETED,” UNM Weekly, vol 10, November 35, 1908.

[3] “Pi Kappa Alpha’s Myths and Legends: Mysteries of the Estufa,” Shield and Diamond, Summer 2006.

[4] Ibid

[5] Terry Gugliotta, “Campus Heritage Preservation Survey, University of New Mexico,” J. Paul Getty Foundation, December 2006.

Photo:  The Estufa after completion in 1908.  The building has stood in the same spot on campus for over 100 years.  “Pi Kappa Alpha’s Myths and Legends: Mysteries of the Estufa.” Sheild and Diamond. Pg 21-23. Summer 2006.