City Council voted 6-0 today to grant an appeal to allow the demolition of Downtown El Paso's 100-year old John T. Muir building, which was designed by Henry Trost, one of the Southwest's premiere architects.
The decision reverses an earlier unanimous decision by the Historic Landmark Commission to deny the application for demolition.
The debate lasted nearly two hours and included passionate pleas from the great nephew and niece of Trost, who designed more than 200 buildings in El Paso, more than in any other city.
"It's a sad day for our family," said Henry Trost, the great nephew of Trost, who lives in Santa Teresa. "And it's a sad day for El Paso as well."
City Rep. Cortney Niland said her decision not to save the building was based on three factors.
"It is not on the historic register," Niland said. "It's a non-contributing historic building and it has been irreparably altered."
The applicant was Borderplex Community Trust, a group of 200 different investors, which owns more than 800,000 square feet of space Downtown.
Borderplex would not disclose its future plans for the site, which is located at 230 and 218 to 222 North Mesa, adjacent to San Jacinto Plaza.