On June 15 the County Commissioners Court voted 3-2, with Judge Samaniego and Commissioner Stout dissenting, to divide Segundo Barrio between two historic districts along Campbell St., with the Downtown National Historic District to the east and the Segundo Barrio National Historic District to the west. This plans excludes Sacred Heart Church and approximately 200 other historic buildings from Segundo Barrio and is absolutely unacceptable.
Yesterday, the Court again voted 3-2, with Judge Samaniego and Commissioner Stout dissenting, to reject an alternative plan that would instead separate the two districts along Paisano Drive, the proper historical boundary. I encourage you to watch the video here, starting at the 21:30 mark. Every single speaker during public comment supported the alternative plan but Commissioners Leon, Perez and Robinson could not be swayed–not even by a petition that carries more than 1,600 signatures.
The outcry from the public, historical organizations, and Segundo Barrio institutions–including Sacred Heart Church. Centro de Salud Familia La Fe, and the South Side Neighborhood Association–was so intense that the Court opted to hold a special meeting this Thursday afternoon or Friday morning in order to review and potentially take action, yet again, on the boundary between the proposed districts.
Yesterday KVIA ran a lengthy report on yesterday’s discussion and vote, and the El Paso Times published a solid report that was updated this morning. KTSM’s excellent report of last week is a must-see.
WRITE TO THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COURT AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Please write to the County Commissioners Court and Economic Development if you support establishing a Segundo Barrio National Historic District that conforms closely to its historic and cultural boundaries. If you already wrote to the Court, please write to them again anyway!
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Max Grossman, PhD
Executive Board, Preservation Texas
Vice-Chair, The Trost Society