National and State Register

Adobe Stables, Arkansas Valley Fairgrounds

Otero County

The Adobe Stables, constructed in 1938 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), are an important record of the federal relief programs administered on Colorado’s eastern plains during the Great Depression.  The stables were one of a series of WPA improvement projects at the Arkansas Valley Fairgrounds that provided a significant source of employment.  It is the best surviving example of WPA work in Rocky Ford.

A picture of a one-story building with brick walls on the grounds with several tall leafless trees all over.

Adobe Stables, Arkansas Valley Fairgrounds (2006 photograph.)

The WPA used adobe for many of its eastern Colorado projects as it was both inexpensive and labor intensive - a good fit with the agency’s objectives to ensure that most of the money went to labor rather than materials.  As most adobe was stuccoed, the exposed adobe walls of the stables allow an uncommon opportunity to examine the construction methods more closely.  The stables, a rare example of exposed adobe WPA construction, remained in use until the 1990s.  The property is associated with the New Deal Resources on Colorado’s Eastern Plains Multiple Property Submission.