Crews begin controversial Downtown El Paso building demolition overnight
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — Another Downtown El Paso is reduced to rubble. Construction crews worked through the night Tuesday on the demolition at the corner of Mesa and San Antonio St.
It's the same location where last week protesters and preservationists were trying to save what they believe are historic downtown buildings.
"If there's a way of preserving it, if there's a way of reusing it, we'd like to help them do that," said Bernie Sargent El Paso County Historic Commission, during last week's protest.
However, that protest was not enough to stop River Oaks Properties' plan to demolish the building, along with five other nearby structures.
Clouds of dust filled the air as the building came down, leaving only piles of rubble.
Maria Luisa Gomez, Owner of Mejor Salud across the street from the now partially demolished building said she is grateful the work took place overnight.
"For me it's better that they did it overnight because that allows me to work during the day."
She is optimistic about the changes improving downtown, while others say the architecture of the old buildings is what makes downtown El Paso so recognizable.
"What I remember most about El Paso is the downtown," said a man who drives through Downtown El Paso every day.
NewsChannel 9 attempted to contact the owner of the five properties, River Oaks, numerous times with questions about the demolition and plans for the site. They have yet to respond.
Meanwhile, the demolition is not complete, and will presumably continue Wednesday night. Try to avoid the area near the corner of San Antonio and Mesa St. if possible.