The purpose of this report was to critically analyze and assess the results of the Fort Selden Adobe Test Wall Project – Phase I.
Fort Selden was one of several small adobe forts established by the United States Army to protect settlers, travelers, and traders in the southern part of the Territory of New Mexico. The fort was constructed in 1865 and abandoned in 1891. Today, all that remains above grade are the remnants of the adobe walls and the stone walls of the prison. Below grade, the stone and adobe foundations of the walls are intact.
In response to the ongoing deterioration of the adobe walls at Ft. Selden and at other sites both historic and modern in the southwestern United States, the Adobe Test Wall Project was conceived. In 1985, a total of 15 walls were constructed for the Adobe Test Wall Project–Phase I in order to test a wide range of protective coatings, wall caps, and wall foundation treatments.
Selection of the preservation techniques and materials for testing was made after a literature review and consultations with professionals in the adobe construction and preservation fields. The test walls were regularly monitored and photographed through 1991 in order to document their performance over time.