(History excerpted from Judith Elder, Assistance League Volunteer) Maria Carmen Lopez y Trujillo Martin, fortunately she has shortened her name to Carmen L. Martin and works as a programmer at the Albuquerque Council for International Visitors. She was pleased to share the Blue Portal history. She said the house her family lived in, now called Blue Portal, was built in 1942 and eventually sold in the early 1970’s. We know that the shop has been in existence since 1978.
Carmen is the 9th child of 12 children who grew up in the house. Her memories are of kind, loving parents. They fed their children first even though there were times when food was scarce. Carmen remembers having fun at Old Town Fiestas. The children would climb the roof and watch weddings and dances at the San Felipe de Neri church across the street.
Carmen’s older brother got married and his new bride came home and shared his bedroom. There were many happy memories living in the home prior to the building that we know as the shop, Blue Portal.
Elizabeth Jercinovic was President of the Assistance League in the late 70’s. Her husband and son built the back room addition. When her husband, Jerry passed away, in lieu of flowers the family wanted to make the final mortgage payment on Blue Portal.
The first choice for the name of the shop was The Cat’s Meow. However, that name had already been taken. The next choice was The Blue Door, whoops, that name was taken. We are not entirely sure when the name Blue Portal was decided on, but it sure is a beautiful name for this fine artisan shop.
One of the first crafters crocheted wreaths. Her wreaths sold like hot cakes. All the tagging and volunteer work was done by hand. Blue Portal has evolved to support hundreds of senior artists.