Downtown Marfa Is Now on the National Register of Historic Places

The legacy of Donald Judd continues

Downtown Marfa
Downtown Marfa, Texas.
Paul Joseph, CC BY 2.0

Venture out into West Texas and you might well find yourself in the city of Marfa, which has been on the radar of many an art enthusiast due to its close connections to artist Donald Judd. The pandemic heightened some economic tensions within the city, but it remains home to some utterly singular work — both Judd’s own creations and the work done by others who ventured there over the years.

Now, Marfa’s historical and cultural legacy is getting as close to an official seal of approval as one can get in the United States. As reported by The Art Newspaper, the Central Marfa Historic District is now part of the National Register of Historic Places.

The designation includes 11 buildings that Donald Judd purchased over the years. The Judd Foundation, established in 1996, currently has a plan to restore a host of buildings in Marfa; as The Art Newspaper‘s report points out, the addition of these properties to the National Register of Historic Places should make that process somewhat easier.

The Chinati Foundation, also established by Judd, has also been at work on restoring spaces under its control in Marfa. All told, the National Register of Historic Places designation comes as welcome news about a long-running part of the cultural landscape.


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.