The historic building at 324 S. El Paso St. burned on December 12 and demolition was completed about one week ago.
It was erected in 1885, when El Paso had a population of only a couple thousand inhabitants, and stood for 138 years. It dates to the days of horses and buggies, saloons and gunfights.
The building was purchased by Chun Mei Chuang from one of Paul Foster’s limited partnerships on August 5, 2022 and burned four months and one week later.
As far as I know, the cause of the fire is still under investigation, and I look forward to learning exactly what caused this tragedy.
At least one news report indicated the fire began in a dumpster behind the building, but that was debunked by the Fire Department, which insisted it began inside.
The City did nothing to prevent the demolition. At a minimum, the facade could have been spared so as to maintain the character of the oldest commercial avenue in El Paso.
But no, the demo equipment appeared immediately and the building vanished even though the investigation is ongoing.
Now we have a permanent scar on El Paso Street, and I have no doubt that some local architect will design something horrible for this location.
Enjoy your evening.