A while back it was decided to let the Muir building get razed since it was considered “non contributing” and deemed to expensive to restore by the owner. The general gist was that the modifications by the various tenants over the years had removed much of what made it historic. In its last role as a Payless Shoe Store it did look that way.
You can debate that all day long but until you start taking down walls, you don’t really know. There’s a good pic taken by Jim Tolbert at the elpasonaturally blog that shows how much was really left under the facade. Now I’m no engineer, but it looks like there was quite a bit of the original building left that could have been worked with:
Buildings come and buildings go. It’s a tough decision and if the money isn’t there or if its not financially feasible to the owner what are you going to do? You would hope the need to preserve the past would trump the pocketbook but its rare when that actually happens.
I drove by the spot were the Muir sat and if there’s a small silver lining to all of this, its what was hidden behind it:
Its a pretty nifty look at some old building signage that I would guess predates the Muir’s construction. I hope it doesn’t get immediately painted over in favor of white so that the future patrons of this, soon to be parking lot spot, will get to see some history.