Tag Archives: Texas

Inside the Roberts-Banner Building

One of the more unique buildings sitting off of San Jacinto Plaza is the Roberts-Banner building.  I’ve checked it out a few times recently and used to frequent it for lunch in my runner/courier days, when it had a McDonalds.

It was built in 1910 and is one of the better surviving Trost buildings downtown, though it’s mostly vacant now.  There had been a banner advertising its remodel but it’s either been removed or blown off.  El Paso Development news reports the city’s interested in it, but no firm details.

The owners have the all the doors open, either in a bid to air it out or because the locks don’t work.  It adds to the already surreal, frozen in time vibe, the interior has.  There is one office that still houses a business, G J Jewelry:

The small space is packed and looks to have all the necessities for the trade.  I’ve only been here on the weekends and haven’t seen  anybody inside. The Christmas decorations sort of imply some level of inactivity, but you never know:

All of the office spaces are small one or two room affairs still sporting radiators for heat. You get the sense that this building was probably quite active in its past, housing all manner of solo practitioners, lawyers, doctors etc.

The Roberts-Banner is in a good spot overlooking the rebirth of our downtown.  Lets hope the building gets its share of TLC too.  Full set of pics here on flickr: Roberts-Banner Building

The Lady and La Calavera

While heading down Texas street I stopped to grab a pic of a probably post-prohibition era sign, painted on the side of a building:

 There are a few of these old wall signs left scattered around downtown and this one advertising Bevo makes it especially unique.  Not far from it is a large wall mural by Tino Ortega:

The piece is pretty impressive, easy accessible while driving by.  Most street art is best viewed by pounding the pavement and walking up to it though.  The scope is always more impressive from the sidewalk level.  One of the benefits of seeing it up close is you will will notice a nice companion piece nearby that would be easily missed in a passing car:

Sugar skull, guardian of the alley. Forever watching…waiting, what have you seen?

More Outdoor Public Art

I’ve been helping set up at the Downtown Art Market and after finishing up I headed out to get some pics of some outdoor art around the area.

First up is a piece by EXIST1981. Its tucked behind a building off of San Antonio Avenue:

The Mandala Mural was created in honor of the artists son and was created entirely by spray paint.    Not far from it is another mural by Federico Archuleta:

This piece is a joint commission between Juaritos and Amor Por Juarez.  Both murals sit in choice locations for viewing and add some great color to the often forgotten backsides of buildings.  With so many industrial warehouses in the neighborhood, more murals such as these would really go a long way in helping establish the area as an art district.

Further down in the Union Depot area I found a couple of small paste/poster pieces:

As I continue to wander around downtown, I’ll keep posting up what I find.  There’s a lot out there waiting to be found.

Old San Francisco Historic District

MapI spent some time at the Downtown Artist Market on Saturday and after setting up, I walked up to what is called the Old San Francisco District of El Paso.  Its a curious sliver of a neighborhood that looks like it was originally part of Sunset Heights before the freeway cut though town.  There’s been a lot of activity in the area with the construction of the Chihuahua’s ballpark, and I wanted to see what effects if any, this has had on the area.   I walked up the new pedestrian walkway, turning left at Franklin and about halfway down the block was the first sign of  “progress.” The neighborhood laundry has been closed and looks to become some kind of establishment that sells alcohol:

 The 60 day TABC required posting was on the door and the lot was fenced up.  I’ll bet the cost of entry downtown for a bar/grill establishment has gone up in the last year so, making this location a prime target. It’s a short walk from the ballpark with street parking. Winding around to Missouri, facing east there is another building now empty that used to be a grocery:

There was no obvious activity.  l’ll bet it won’t be long before something fills the empty space.  The rest of the buildings are residential apartments so you have to figure that some sort parking requirements will  go into effect to help the residents.  Either that or on game night you just don’t leave your house unless you are coming back after the game.  It’s a pretty cool little spot retaining, for now, a lot of charm for this often forgotten part of town.  I shot a few more pics before I heading back to the market:

For the full set of pics see: San Francisco District on flickr