About a month ago, it was published in the El Paso Times and in the El Paso Inc that the current owners of the Muir Building want to tear it down. As you might have guessed this has already stirred the pot between historians and developers:
I had kind of forgotten about it, but as luck would have it I came across a blog post from the TimeTravelNow Blog. It had a picture of the Muir building from about the 1950s:
This happy bustling scene is a sharp contrast to what the location looks like now:
It got me thinking a bit. That contrast highlights the challenges that we’ll face in the coming years as we try to wrestle back vibrancy to our downtown after years of neglect. We have had a few redevelopment shining stars, namely the Plaza Theater and the recent Mills Building remodels. My fear is that like the Muir building, much of our historic buildings are to far gone to salvage.
The great beast ASARCO has already been slain and the government is winding up its far reaching public corruption scandal. Downtown development is our next great battle royal and the factions are lining up to take sides. Break out the popcorn, this will be a fun fight to watch.
Our hike in the Mountain was a short one. We were trying to hit a small cave from the Ron Coleman trail-head and the boys got about halfway and were done! I continued and took the above pic from atop the cave. After leaving the canyon we headed over to the Tram to take the easy way up the mountain:
It was a nice morning with hardly any clouds in the sky. At the top I was able to shoot a few sequenced pictures that I stitched into the following panorama:
If you zoom into the Asarco area you can really see how much work they have done in remediating the site. I exited the the viewing platform to get a few pics of the tram as they came up the mountain:
I’ll warn you, make sure you check in with the ranger at the top if you leave the platform. They get a little grumpy if you haven’t signed in and are wandering around the trails. I’m always amazed that the broadcast antenna have weathered our ferocious windstorms as well as they do given their size:
After we looked around for a while it was time to head back down. The ride is pretty smooth, no doubt in part to the large pully system in use to ferry the cable cars. That brings me to my next painting:
I’m using the pulley system as the inspiration for my next painting. It’s another smallish painting by my standards, but I think it will serve as a nice contrast to the previous small vehicle paintings.
Starting another little study of a Willys Military Police Jeep. I’ve cropped out the most obvious “Jeep” feature, leaving only the secondary design elements to clue you in. I think I’ll save the grill for another painting.