After a Saturday conference about Duranguito and a possible second plan to preserve the area, supporters of the new plan released renderings and a video of the area.
The “El Paso Preservation Forum” hosted Preservationist J.P. Bryan, State Sen. Jose Rodriguez, and five speakers who all advocated the preservation and restoration of Duranguito, to make it an ‘Old Town’-type attraction.
Preservationist Dr. Max Grossman said the event was an “unqualified success,” with nearly 200 residents from all walks of life in attendance.
Of the discussion, Grossman added, that “Duranguito, the birthplace of El Paso, must be preserved for posterity rather than demolished for a D-League basketball “Arena” and that it has great potential to drive heritage tourism in our downtown”.
According to the Paso del Sur Facebook page, Dr. David Romo presented a virtual reconstruction of the neighborhood created by a team of designers led by Diana Ramos.
Other members of the team were Victor Soto, Andres Armendariz and David Dorado Romo, and the video produced by Ingrid Leyva.
As part of the presentation, the group included the following description of what Duranguito could be:
This restored neighborhood could showcases the city’s rich global border history to visitors from around the world.
The Plan for the Rebirth of Duranguito proposes a cultural heritage corridor with museums, mercados, performance areas as well as renovated low-income housing, community gardens and other residential services that provides a cutting-edge urbanistic model for historic preservation and equitable development that is truly inclusive for all sectors of the community.
This community-generated plan for the restoration of El Paso’s oldest neighborhood is inspired by kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken objects based on the philosophy that when something has suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful.
One of the strategies for the funding of this vision is based on a citizen’s initiative petition that is now before City Council to reallocate the 2012 bond funding to pay for the establishment of the Mexican American cultural center as part of this restored historical corridor in Duranguito.
Other proposed sources of funding for the renovated affordable housing will include federal and state funding sources, community land grants, and federal tax incentives for historic preservation projects.
To view our in-depth coverage of the Downtown Arena Saga, click here.