The building is named in memory of those who served in the 200th Coast Artillery (regiment) of the New Mexico National Guard during World War II. In April 1942, the regiment members, other U.S. soldiers and Filipino troops fought a courageous but losing battle in the Philippines. The story of the regiment reached its climax with the horrors and atrocities of the 65-mile “Death March” from Mariveles to San Fernando. This infamous march was followed by 40 months in prisoner of war camps. Of the 1,800 men in the regiment, fewer than 900 made it home. A third of those who returned died within a year from various complications.
The building served as the state Capitol from 1900 to 1966. In the mid-1950s, it underwent a major renovation, which changed the appearance of the building to Territorial style. The building underwent another major renovation in the 1970s, which modified the interior.
The state of New Mexico purchased this building from the National Education Association in 2003. Concha Ortiz y Pino was born in 1910 in Galisteo. Her formal education began at Loretto Academy and continued at the University of New Mexico and George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
In the 1930s, Ortiz y Pino began working to revive New Mexican folklore, arts and crafts, both to renew public interest and provide artisans with the possibility of earning money. Ortiz y Pino was elected to the state Legislature in 1937 and served until 1942. She was the first woman to become a majority whip in the Legislature. She advocated for bilingual education for children and better relations with Mexico.
Ortiz y Pino married Victor Kleven in 1943 and ran the family ranch in Agua Verde for several years. She remained active in political and civic affairs after leaving the Legislature and died in 2006.
This building has housed the New Mexico Department of Education for many years and previously was known simply as the Education Building. In 2004, the building was named in honor of former New Mexico Gov. Jerry Apodaca. Born in 1934, Apodaca earned a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of New Mexico. In 1965, Apodaca was elected to the state Senate, where he served until being elected governor in 1974. He was the first Hispanic elected governor in the United States since 1918.
One of Gov. Apodaca’s priorities was the reorganization of state government. President Jimmy Carter named him chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness in 1978. Apodaca also served in the Marine Reserves. He was a founder of Vista Magazine and was the publisher of Hispanic Magazine. Apodaca served on the University of New Mexico Board of Regents after leaving the Governor’s Office.
Two buildings or one? The Paul Bardacke Complex in reality is two adjoining buildings forming one office complex. First the east wing of the original structure was demolished and a new modern office building constructed in its place. Then, the 1934 west wing of the building was renovated and in the process a new standard for excellence in design was established. The 1934 Villagra building renovation achieved recognition by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) – Gold level for Commercial Interiors. In 2006 this was only the third LEED-Gold Commercial Interiors in New Mexico.
Paul Bardacke is a former state attorney general and a partner in the Bardacke Allison law firm in Santa Fe.
Bardacke served as attorney general from 1983 through 1986. His other work experience includes Special U.S. Attorney for District of New Mexico, 1984-1985; Instructor, Evidence and Trial Practice, University of New Mexico Law School, 1973-1982; Faculty, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, 1978; and Special Counsel to State of New Mexico, Windfall Profits Tax Litigation, 1981-1985.
Bardacke was formerly a partner in Eaves, Bardacke, Baugh, Kierst & Larson. He was admitted to the bar in California in 1969 and in New Mexico in 1970. He has been admitted to practice before U.S. district and appeals courts, as well as the Supreme Court. Bardacke attended the University of California at Santa Barbara and law school at the University of California at Berkeley.
The building is believed to have been named for Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá, who was among the colonists traveling with Juan de Oñate, Captain Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá wrote the epic poem La Historía of Nuevo México, which celebrated Oñate’s achievements