Historic preservationists fight to save Downtown buildings set for demolition

Historic preservationists fight to save Downtown buildings set for demolition

POSTED: Monday, May 19, 2014 - 4:15pm

UPDATED: Monday, May 19, 2014 - 4:18pm

River Oaks Properties filed demolition permits with the City of El Paso to demolish several buildings between 212 and 220 E. San Antonio St. in Downtown El Paso in mid-March. The latest demolition permits are in addition to the already accepted permit to destroy 109 S. Mesa St.

The Gateway Hotel, located at 104 S. Stanton at the intersection of E. San Antonio just a block away, is also at risk for demolition if the building's owner does not comply with the City's safety and building codes.

The inclusion of the recent properties has many historical preservationists upset that the historically significant downtown structures are being demolished at an alarming rate in the Downtown Historic District.

Courtesy Trost Society

According to the Texas Trost Society, seven historic buildings have been demolished either by fire or demolition within the past two years. Of those seven, five have been owned by River Oaks Properties.

The Texas Trost Society says their plan to promote an architectural heritage corridor along San Antonio Ave. between the Paso Del Norte and Richard Caples Building is now being threatened by the demolitions.

The demolition permits do not specify what will replace the buildings along San Antonio and a call to River Oaks Properties or the demolition contractors, Border Demolition & Enviornmental, was not immediately returned.

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