“If you want Health and Wealth, ABQ has both of them”
MetroABQ’s Sleeping Porches & Tuberculosis


After the railroad found its way to the Southwest in the 1880’s, the tiny town of Albuquerque became THE destination for folks suffering from Tuberculosis, TB. The headline quote above was on a brochure encouraging “lungers” to head west where the high altitude, plenty of sunshine, and dry air/low humidity were supposed cures for the deadly disease.

Enter Sleeping Porches: generally Anglo Consumptive immigrants flocked to the Southwest, & enterprising people began turning front porches–-a popular Bungalow & Victorian feature-–into screen-enclosed Sleeping Porches. The “vintage”* image above, currently the Mauger Mansion B&B, is a great example of added sleeping porches. Suffering from TB, William and his wife Brittania Mauger, a prominent Boston family, moved to ABQ for the dry air and purchased the three-story residence at 701 Roma Ave in the now historic Downtown Fourth Ward neighborhood in 1907 (for $4,350!). In 1912 they bought the lot to the west and added the two-story sleeping porch.


You will find homes with enclosed Sleeping Porches in older areas of the MetroABQ, like this sleeping porch above, also in Downtown’s Eighth & Forrester Historic Zone. There is a prominent row of small “Tuberculosis Cottages” in the Huning Highlands neighborhood, all have front porches that were closed-in, so those with TB could rent them out. These porches became a style, and architecturally important.

I recently took a UNM Continuing Ed. class called: “From Coughin’ to Coffin: NM and Tuberculosis,” taught by Roberta Boggess, which was a wealth of information, and showed me where to go for photos. Above is a sleeping porch in the UNM Sycamore neighborhood; notice the stepped-down rooftop parapet, indicating that the front structure was originally a porch, filled in with differently-sized windows.