Above: Taken around 1940, this image shows the steps to the Estufa’s roof. The windowless adobe sits at Redondo Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Photograph courtesy of Center for Southwest Research.
THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO campus holds beautiful examples of Pueblo Revival architecture, from the John Gaw Meem–designed Memorial Chapel to the more modern campus bookstore. But the oldest and most mysterious of them all is a squat, unassuming building that hundreds of people pass by every day without even taking a second look. The Estufa (Spanish for “stove”) was one of the first UNM buildings to be designed in the now iconic style—and the oldest one that still stands. The windowless adobe, modeled after a Puebloan kiva, was completed in 1908 to serve as the fraternal headquarters for a loose-knit group of UNM students who called themselves the Yum Yum Boys. Once doomed by a University Boulevard widening project, it was saved when planners moved the alignment farther west. Better than a secret handshake, it’s still a Pi Kappa Alpha–only meeting place. Rumor has it that no woman or non-Pike has ever set foot inside, so don’t expect a tour unless you’re invited to pledge.