El Paso City Council to discuss reinforcing Duranguito buildings

Local News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Several city-owned buildings in the Union Plaza neighborhood remain damaged after the El Paso City Council voted to find ways to repair them in November.

On Tuesday, the City Council will discuss securing the same properties in anticipation of winter-related weather and to prevent potential fire damages. The item is being sponsored by city representatives Alexsandra Annello, Joe Molinar and Claudia Rodriguez.

In November, the City Council voted to reinforce the buildings that were damaged in 2017 by construction crews who moved to demolish the structures.

The buildings are located where the city intends on placing a Multipurpose Performing Arts and Entertainment Center. They were purchased by the city in 2017. In November, the council had also voted to find a consultant to provide a cost estimate on the project.

The proposed project is commonly referred to as “the arena,” has stalled mainly due to several lawsuits between the city and historic preservationist Max Grossman.

A demolition ban is still in place due to one lawsuit arguing over whether the city observed requirements by the Texas Historic Commission’s antiquities code.

The suit alleges an archaeological study, which is required by the state to conduct major demolition of public properties, did not consider a claim that there may be Apache artifacts under the Duranguito neighborhood.

Grossman claims nearly 1,000 Apache men, women and children once lived where the neighborhood stands today. The history traces back before the 18th century when rancher Ponce De Leon built his ranch north of the Rio Grande.

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