Rio Arriba is named after the Spanish designation of the region meaning “upper river”.
Created: January 29 1852
San Pedro de Chamita 1852
Los Luceros 1852 – 1860
Plaza de Alcade 1860 – 1880
Tierra Amarilla 1880 – present
County Courthouse – Tierra Amarilla
Location: 7 Main Street – Highway 512 / Highway 162
Built: 1916 – 1917
Style: Spanish Classical Revival
Architect: Issac Hamilton Rapp
Contractor: C M Campbell & R E Campbell of Santa Fe
Description: The building faces north and is a two story buff colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of the town. The north front has three arches on the first story with a recessed entrance. Above the entrance are four white columns framing three windows. Around the roof edge is a white wide border projecting from the building. on the north side of the building is the County Administration Building.
Note: The first courthouse was built in 1880 when Rio Arriba became the county seat. The courthouse was demolished when the present courthouse was constructed.
County Administration – Tierra Amarilla
Location: 10 Main Street – Highway 512 / Highway 162
Built: 1999 – 200
Architect: Architectural Alliance, Inc.
Contractor: Star Construction, Inc.
Description: The building faces south and is a one story buff colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of the town. The building forms a “U” shape with an east and west wing. The south front has a small plaza with central entrance. The roof is hipped.
W – San Juan County
Commissioner Minutes – contractor
Photos taken 2007 and 2016