Cover photo for Hildreth "H" Barker's Obituary
Hildreth "H" Barker Profile Photo
1934 H 2024

Hildreth "H" Barker

April 28, 1934 — January 9, 2024

Albuquerque

Architect, fisherman, foodie, and father, Hildreth “H.” Barker passed away peacefully on Jan 9th, 2024 at the age of 89. 


Born April 28, 1934 in Artesia, NM to Molly K. and Wren Barker, Hildreth was in his youth both athlete and scholar. Known to all as “Yumpy,” he gained some notoriety as the winning quarterback of the 1952-53 Artesia High School Bulldogs. After being named to the New Mexico All-State team, he was dubbed by the local newspaper, “The Prince of Artesia.” H. went on to play halfback at the University of New Mexico as he later earned his Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering in 1958. Soon after graduation, he was drafted into peacetime service in the US Army for two years, stationed in Frankfurt Germany. 


After returning home to Albuquerque in 1960, H. began a career in architecture spanning more than 50 years designing residential, educational, and commercial buildings in Northern New Mexico, most in collaboration with Andrew Bol at Barker, Bol and Associates and later at his own firm, H. Barker Architects. His contemporary adobe style and proficiency for landscape integration earned numerous design awards including: 

  • Albuquerque Chapter of the American Institute of Architects Honor Award for the Carl and Beth Paak Residence, 1968

  • Friends of Architecture of the University of New Mexico Award of Merit for the Comanche Office Complex, 1968, and the Children's Psychiatric Center on the UNM North Campus, 1985

  • New Mexico Society of Architects Honor Award for the Valencia Campus Branch College of the University of New Mexico, 1988

  • Albuquerque Conservation Association Design Award for the Faith Lutheran Church, 1990

  • Distinguished Alumnus Award from the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of New Mexico, 1991

  • Albuquerque Chapter of the American Institute of Architects Home tour for the Robert and Karen Turner Residence, 2003

  • and many more.

Committed to conservation, urban planning, the future of architecture, and low-income housing, H. served in a variety of roles with civic and non-profit organizations including:

  • Director with the New Mexico Society of Architects, 1966-1968

  • Founding Member and Board of Directors, UNM Design and Planning Assistance Center (DPAC), 1968-1979

  • Instructor, Critic and Lecturer at UNM, 1968-1969

  • Chairman of Save the Volcanoes, then Founding Member and Chairman of the Open Space Task Force for the City of Albuquerque 1973-1979 (helping to protect land that would ultimately become the nucleus of the Petroglyph National Monument)

  • Chairman of the Environmental Planning Commission for the City of Albuquerque, 1979-1985

  • Board of Directors of the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club 1974-1976

  • Founding Trustee of the New Mexico Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, 1977-1979

  • Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Child and Family Guidance Center, 1978-2004

  • Board of Directors of the Urban Enchantment Trust Fund for the City of Albuquerque, 1987-1994

  • Chairman of the Board of Directors Albuquerque Arts Alliance, 1993-1995

  • Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Open Space Alliance, 2007-2009

  • Volunteer planner and architect with Rebuilding Together - Sandoval County, 2011-2015

In his spare time, H. was a passionate backpacker and fly-fisherman (tying his own flies!), as well as an avid fan of the San Francisco 49er’s and fine dining. The Rio Grande bosque near his home in Albuquerque’s North Valley would come to know him well as for decades he walked along its banks every morning with his beloved Australian Shepherd, Maddie. In his final years, he continued to explore his creative sensibilities through color and repeatedly marveled at the works of author Wallace Stegner. 


H. is survived by his three children, Brett Barker of Santa Fe, NM; Kristin Barker of Washington, DC; as well as James and his wife Tamara Barker of Boise, ID. H. leaves behind a legacy of designed spaces, protected areas, affordable housing, and, through his children, a love of artistic expression, natural landscapes, hiking and fishing. 


Memorial services will be held on Saturday, February 10th, 11:00 am at Faith Lutheran Church, 10,000 Spain Rd NE, Albuquerque. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Albuquerque Open Space Alliance, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, or Rebuilding Together - Sandoval County.


"What I want to speak for is not so much the wilderness' uses...but the wilderness idea, which is a resource in itself. Being an intangible and spiritual resource, it will seem mystical to the practical-minded- but then anything that cannot be moved by a bulldozer is likely to seem mystical to them."― Wallace Stegner
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