TxDOT agrees to hold off on Lincoln Center demolition until October 1st
POSTED: Friday, May 23, 2014 - 10:20pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 1:27pm
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — When it comes to the demolition of El Paso's historic Lincoln Center, there's no shortage of opinion on whether it should stay or go.
"The community has been fighting for this for over 5 years," said Georgina Perez.
Despite the community protest, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced last week it would begin the process of tearing the flood-damaged building down to make room for new freeways that would ease the congestion on the Spaghetti Bowl.
But TxDOT hit the brakes on those plans and sent El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser a letter on Friday agreeing to hold off on the demolition until October 1st to give the city more time to find a way to keep it standing.
"I hope that during that time, they come to realize the importance of this center and this part of town and these beautiful paintings and what it means to the community," said Irma Camacho.
TxDOT wants the city to meet some demands first, though, before they agree to pause the demolition.
In their letter to Mayor Leeser, the department says, "... If TxDOT agrees to this request the City will immediately withdraw its lawsuit and temporary restraining order against TxDOT."
City council will discuss the Lincoln Center at their meeting on Tuesday, May 27th, 2014.
Advocates pushing to preserve the Lincoln Center aren't quite jumping for joy.
"We've been lied to a lot lately. And we don't trust it and we're going to keep fighting. We're going to keep standing for what is right," said Angelica Tinajero.
"Promises can be broken. They're worth a nickel," said Jesus Zamora.
Through fundraising and protest, advocates say they'll continue the fight as long as it goes.
"Our final objective is to stop the demolition of Lincoln Center whether it's next week or in October," said Miguel Juarez.
Organizations like "Save the Lincoln Center" are taking part in the efforts to raise money for the historic landmark.
The group is having a BBQ on Sunday, May 25th, 2014 from 4pm to 8pm at Lincoln Park.
If you'd like to donate, visit http://www.gofundme.com/99zlj0
EAC Theatre Productions in El Paso is donating 50% of all profits made from their "Miss Lonely Hearts Show" towards saving the Lincoln Center.
The show is Friday, May 30th and Saturday, May 31st at 6 pm at 9405 Betel Dr.
You can buy your tickets online at holdmyticket.com or eachtheatre.com