Mayor and City Council Representatives

City of El Paso

300 N. Campbell

El Paso, Texas 79901

Dear Mayor and City Council Representatives:

Four years ago today, on September 12, 2017, the City of El Paso attempted to demolish several historic buildings within the so-called “Arena Footprint” in Duranguito. It took a very large protest followed by an emergency court order from the 8th Court of Appeals to force the City to desist.

For the last 1,461 days, court-ordered injunctions have prevented the City from destroying the neighborhood.

Thankfully, we now have a Mayor and three City Council representatives who oppose the construction of a multipurpose basketball arena in Duranguito and hope to see the area preserved. They appreciate the historical and cultural significance of the architecture and understand its economic potential, and they also recognize that El Paso cannot possibly afford a 15,000-seat “arena” since it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars more than its advertised price.

Most El Pasoans accept and understand that the project is dead, especially since Mayor Leeser has gone on the record opposing it altogether.

But it is important to remember that the City spent more than $12 million acquiring the Duranguito properties, so it needs to protect them so that they may be restored in the future.

To that effect, we respectfully request that the City structurally reinforce the buildings that were damaged by a bulldozer four years ago and that the roof of the Mansion at 306 W. Overland be repaired. We also request that the bricks and other materials that have fallen off the buildings and are lying on the ground be properly secured.

Rain and wind have caused the damaged buildings to deteriorate further, and the danger of arson has increased as a result.

We have attached photos of one of the buildings that was damaged by a bulldozer: the Flor de Luna building, erected in 1888. One was taken in November 2018 and the other last month. You can clearly see how it has deteriorated as a result of the City’s inaction.

Moreover, we noticed that the City has left the doors open to most of the buildings within the “Arena Footprint,” accelerating deterioration and all but inviting vagrants to enter them and light fires.

We believe that the cost of the necessary structural repairs would be very modest and sincerely hope that you will take action swiftly.

Sincerely yours,

Max Grossman

El Paso, Texas

J. P. Bryan

Houston, Texas