THEIR RIGHTFUL PLACE
The La Entrada city monument, which hadn’t been on public view for more than a decade, was restored to Albert Johnson Park in December. The statue of Albert Johnson, foreground, for whom the park is named, has also been returned to its rightful place after its removal in 2017 to prevent any damage during La Entrada’s reconstruction.
Johnson was mayor of Las Cruces from 1986-90, and was the first black mayor in New Mexico, according to “Black America: A State by State Historical Encyclopedia.”
Restored by Las Cruces artist Tony Pennock, La Entrada “consists of two half-circle walls that commemorate the arrival of Spanish culture into the Mesilla Valley,” according to las-cruces.blogspot.com. The monument’s colorful tiles come from Lerdo, Mexico, Las Cruces’ sister city.