EL PASO, Texas - Precinct 2 county commissioner David Stout presented a preliminary report of the County's historical survey of downtown on Wednesday.
Stout's presentation focused on the historical significance of Duranguito.
The historic preservation firm Hardy Heck Moore began work on June 26th. The firm said there are seven properties in Duranguito that it recommends for National Register of Historic Places eligibility.
"I'm still in disbelief as to why the city would insist on erasing its own history by razing the buildings full of memories and significance in favor of a box, an arena, or a multipurpose cultural performing arts center," Stout said.
They are all located within the footprint of the downtown arena:
- 331 S. Santa Fe Street
- 212 W. Overland Avenue
- 306 W. Overland Avenue
- 305 Chihuahua Street
- 309 Chihuahua Street
- 315 Chihuahua Street
- 325 Chihuahua Street
Both 305 Chihuahua Street and 309 Chihuahua Street have demolition permits.
The goal of the survey is a National Historic Register Nomination. A nomination would provide properties with significant state and federal tax incentives.
But it would not necessarily prevent a property from being demolished.
"It's just really important for us to note that there are in fact historic assets in this area," Stout said. "The city has mislead us in the past, knowing full well these assets exist."
Representatives with Hardy Heck Moore said over the phone that these properties have architectural significance. The buildings are also still in good enough shape to be eligible for a National Historic Register Nomination.
The firm did not provide specific reasons for historical significance from each of the properties. Representatives said all of that information will be available once the survey is completed.
County Commissioners unanimously approved $140,000 for a historical survey of downtown back in Feb. 2016.
The survey will look at this area of downtown. stretching as far north as River Avenue. as far south as the border. as far west as the Union Depot, and as far east as Cotton Street.
According to the contract, the county will have the finally survey report in early 2018.