Photo courtesy UTEP

Gallery+Story: Public Invited to Tour UTEP’s Historic ‘Hoover House’

Members of the public are invited to visit the official residence of The University of Texas at El Paso’s President, the Hoover House, during an open house June 3 and 4 to celebrate the home’s centennial.

“The Hoover House is not only a historic property but a place where University history is made,” President Natalicio said. “Each year, we welcome UTEP students, alumni, faculty, staff, friends and supporters to a variety of University events held in this beautiful residence. For me, it is an honor and privilege to live in UTEP’s official home, and a great pleasure to open its doors to share so many of the University’s happiest occasions with our UTEP family and friends, community members and visitors from across the world.”

UTEP President Diana Natalicio will officially open the house and give remarks at 9 a.m. Saturday and again at noon Sunday. She will be joined by Paydirt Pete and the UTEP cheerleaders. Birthday cake will be served.

The mansion, located in Kern Place, was one of the first homes built in the area in 1917. It is named for the family that donated it to the University and has been home to five UTEP presidents, including the current resident, President Natalicio.

Serving a dual role as both a residence and a center of hospitality for UTEP, the Hoover House has hosted dozens of dignitaries, including former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and former First Lady Laura Bush. It also is the setting for many celebratory and ceremonial events.

The last time the home was opened to the general public was in 2014, when community groups were invited to use the home for special events during UTEP’s Centennial celebration.

The Hoover House was built by Richard M. Dudley, a banker who became a Texas legislator and El Paso mayor, and his wife, Frances. Dudley, a member of the Texas House of Representatives, co-authored the bill funding the construction of the new State School of Mines and Metallurgy (now UTEP) after the original campus was destroyed by fire in 1916.

In 1930, five years after Dudley’s death, Mrs. Frances Dudley sold the home to Rosario Campo de Fernandez Blanco and her husband Tomas F. Blanco, a wealthy brewer from Mexico.

Nine years later, the Internal Revenue Service took possession of the home for nonpayment of taxes. Robert Thompson Hoover, a prominent local cotton merchant, purchased the home in 1944 for $14,000. His widow, Mrs. Louisiana Hoover, donated the house to the University in 1965.

At their meeting on July 17, 1965, the Board of Regents, on the recommendation of Texas Western College President Joseph Ray, designated the home “Hoover House” in honor of the Hoover family. Ray was the first University president to live in the home, residing there with his wife, Jettie H. Ray, from 1965-68.

Other residents included President Joseph R. Smiley and Mary E. Smiley (1969-72), President Arleigh B. Templeton and Maxie Templeton (1972-80) and President Haskell Monroe and Margaret Joann “Jo” Monroe (1980-87).

President Natalicio moved into the Hoover House in 1988.

What: Public open house to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Hoover House, the official residence of the President of The University of Texas at El Paso

When: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, June 3 and noon5 p.m. Sunday, June 4

Where: The Hoover House, 711 Cincinnati Ave.