EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Lincoln Park, located in Central El Paso under the Spaghetti Bowl, hosted a celebratory ribbon cutting Sunday to reopen the park after years of construction due to TxDot’s I-10 Connect project.

During the celebration, members of the community, the city and county were welcomed with performances from indigenous groups to showcase the community’s diversity along with its rich history.

The park is home to a handful of murals painted on the support columns of the highway, and they have become a symbol in the Borderland. Artists were able to tell their story through these paintings while also showcasing El Paso’s history and cultural heritage.

“We use this park as a Chicano park; we call it Chicano Park El Paso and to celebrate our indigenous Mexican American culture in El Paso,” said artist Gabriel Gaytan.

The I-10 connect project’s original renderings included demolishing the Lincoln Center next to the park and painting over the murals on the support columns. The Lincoln Park Preservation Committee stepped in and after negotiations between the two groups, they agreed that the center and the murals could stay.

“Lincoln Park has become the cultural hub the center of all celebrations of Mexican American Chicano,” said Hector Gonzalez, member of the Lincoln Park Preservation Committee.

During the construction of the I-10 project, 17 of the murals were painted over. However, the preservation committee plans on inviting the original artists, along with new ones, to return and paint new murals to keep the tradition alive.

“Since they were the first ones to be set foot here on Lincoln Park, we would like to keep them as a memorial but we’ll see. If not, we’ll bring in new artists and start painting the other columns,” Gaytan said.

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