The De Soto Hotel in downtown El Paso is burning. See the attached photo from a friend of mine.

It was originally called the Great Northern Hotel when it opened for business in December 1905. That was more than 116 years ago! The original owners were D. P. Stewart and J. J. Crawford, who were local contractors and builders.

The 2017 County architectural survey determined the load-bearing brick building to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

According to CAD records, the De Soto was purchased by Mills LLC on March 28, 2019. I believe the LLC is controlled by Rogelio Gonzalez.

KVIA is reporting that the building was undergoing a $1.2 million renovation that included an incentive package from the City.

I am now hearing that there is a report, as yet unconfirmed, that two arrests were made at the scene. The person in handcuffs in the attached photo may or may not be one of the two. I do not know.

This is a tremendous loss for El Paso. The De Soto could have contributed to the ongoing revitalization of our downtown core. Instead it will join a growing list of historic El Paso buildings that were destroyed by fire.