El Paso’s Preservation Movement to Transform Downtown
Industry: Commerical Building
Preservation in El Paso's downtown gains traction with investors Lane Gaddy and Paul Foster reviving once-great Bassett Hotel, Plaza Hotel, and Anson Mills Buildings.
El Paso, TX (PRUnderground) October 3rd, 2014
Downtown El Paso is in a slow but steady phase of transformation as preservation groups and visionary investors promote a revitalization of historic buildings designed by such regional architectural greats as Henry C Trost.
Malissa Arras, President of the Trost Society explains that education is needed for the public in order to make further headway:
“A lot of community members don’t recognize their value. The argument is ‘they’re old, they’re ugly, just tear them down.’ While some people might say focusing on beautiful historic buildings is frivolous, in my view these efforts can turn El Paso’s entire situation around.”
Local groups including the Trost Society and the El Paso County Historical Commission take a multipronged approach including educating the public on the value of the buildings, calling for a moratorium on demolition of historic properties until a full assessment of their value has been accomplished, addressing state and city tax and other policies that de-incentivize restoration in favor of demolition, and streamlining existing rebate programs.
El Paso businessman and philanthropist Paul Foster accomplished a stunning renovation of the Anson Mills Building, setting the high standard for future projects, and showing what was possible. Investor and developer Lane Gaddy intends to do the same with the Bassett Hotel.
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