Central Marfa Historic District, an area of Texas city with a rich historical significance of art, was added to the National Registry of Historical Places.The district, centered on Highland Avenue, includes 183 buildings and architectural resources, eleven of these buildings were preserved and reused by the minimalist artist Donald Judd. Today, they are supervised by the Judd Foundation and the Chinati Foundation, which aim to preserve the legacy. This is the first time Judd architectural projects have been recognized at the federal level. THENational record of historical places is a list managed by the government of districts, places, buildings, structures and objects considered worthy of preservation. Marfa's historic district has just joined locations such as Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Fort Laramie National Historic Site in Wyoming.
Currently, Marfa is a pilgrimage place for members of the art world, due to the land of the Chinati Foundation, which houses Judd works, John Chamberlain and Dan Flavin, among others, and the expository spaces of Ballroom Marfa. Marfa's addition to the record explains the importance of Judd buildings, but also the meaning of the city's Hispanic heritage. From the late nineteenth century to the postwar, Marfa served as a mercantile center. Among the other places are Russell's Fort Military Base, which was active until shortly after World War II, and Blackwell School, which served as the only public educational institution for Mexicans in Marfa for over 50 years.
“Don Had A Profound Regard and Deep Respect for the History and Contributions of the Hispanic Community That This Nomination Specifically Recognizes”Said Judd Foundation President Rainer Judd in a statement. “He Believe that these Efforts, Reflected in the Built Environment of the Town, Should Be Preserved and Celebrated. This National Honor for Marfa is important to Understanding our Shared Past and Preserving these buildings for future generations.” The 11 commercial buildings that Donald Judd acquired and adapted between 1973 and 1994 were originally built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The artist largely preserved his configurations and reused them to his own artistic production and other artists. Of the 11 buildings, Chinati Foundation supervises three structures (Chamberlain Building, Ice Plant and Locker Plant), while Judd Foundation maintains eight (Architecture Office, Architecture Studio, Art Studio, Cobb House, Gatehouse, Ranch Office, Print Building and Whyte Building). These are spaces of public access, where visitors can study Judd art and architecture. The central historical district of Marfa, recommended by the Texas Historical Commission in December 2021, was added to the National Registry by the National Parks Service last month.