Greg Smith credits a structure still standing in Las Cruces with being the likely start of his lifelong fascination with architecture. He was around three years old, and the structure was about twenty, when he saw it and wanted to go in. Despite that early wish, it would be another twenty years and then some before Greg was to actually step into the building that had so thoroughly caught his attention in the late 1950s.
In the intervening years, the Smith family would move multiple times before his father retired from the U.S. Army, and Greg would earn a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree from the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University. The Smith family made Las Cruces their home in 1972, where his mother, Jo-an Smith would become known for her jewelry and her paintings.
As an adult, Greg would move a few more times before coming home to Las Cruces in 2005 to focus on architectural pursuits, especially residential designs in adobe. Here, he also quickly got involved in several non-profit organizations, including Las Cruces Downtown in 2006, which became Downtown Las Cruces Partnership a couple of years later.
Greg Smith and Allison Kuper married in 2009, the same year he was first elected president of the Board of Directors of DLCP. In 2010 and 2011, he chaired the Las Cruces Centennial Committee, which planned several events, including the Centennial SalsaFest! and the Centennial Parade to commemorate 100 years of Statehood for New Mexico. The Committee additionally proposed that the the new high school opening in 2012 be named Centennial.
The year 2011 also found Greg being elected to his first of two terms on the Las Cruces City Council, which included two terms or four years as mayor pro tem. Those eight years as a City Councilor were followed by his being hired in 2020 to be the executive director of the Doña Ana Arts Council.
The position at the Arts Council led to Greg being elected chair of the Las Cruces Arts and Cultural Coordinating Council and returning to DLCP as a board member. It also led to him having an office directly across the street from the historic structure that may have sparked his interest in architecture, particularly adobe architecture, six decades before.
There are definitely things that “come full circle” in our lives, and for Greg Smith going to work each day across from the iconic, Pueblo Revival structure, the old Doña Ana County Courthouse, that first caught his eye as a very young person, would seem to be one of those circles.