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Texas Trost Society Presents from Boomtown to Metropolis: The Architecture of Downtown El Paso

The Texas Trost Society announced Monday the opening of a new, free exhibition in Downtown El Paso.

The Texas Trost Society will host “From Boomtown to Metropolis: The Architecture of Downtown El Paso,” a bilingual exhibition that explores the diverse architectural styles of downtown El Paso by analyzing 21 unique buildings and 8 architectural drawings, and comparing several of the buildings to iconic historical prototypes in other American cities and in Europe.

According to their release, the Texas Trost Society seeks to “educate the public about the significance and beauty of our architectural patrimony and to encourage preservation efforts in our community.”

Organizers will be hosting a ribbon cutting on December 2nd at 11:00 AM on the Corner of Oregon and Mills, with free tours and giveaways through 2:00 PM.





Gallery+Story: Firm Behind Hotel Paso Del Norte Redesign Receives “Creative Spark” Award

Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design was awarded first prize in the “Creative Spark” Competition at the Top Hotel Projects World Tour 2017 for its renovation design of Hotel Paso Del Norte, a Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel, in El Paso.

Kobi Karp’s restoration of the historic property will pay homage to the hotel’s history and will give downtown El Paso a luxurious and iconic landmark. Located in the heart of downtown El Paso, the hotel’s renovation plans include all 356 hotel rooms and suites, as well the second-floor grand ballroom and conference rooms.

“We are honored to be recognized for our vision for this 100-year-old hotel,” said Kobi Karp, founder and principal at Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design. “We were inspired by the striking, historic architecture of the existing structure, which speaks volumes of the hotel’s and El Paso’s rich history.”

Upon arrival, Hotel Paso Del Norte guests will enter a reception area highlighted by the luxurious stained-glass dome, accentuated with ornate plaster details. The restoration of the original 10th-floor rooftop will use the ballroom as a prelude to the pool lounge area surrounded by a luxurious full-service spa, state-of-the-art gym.

The bar room, next to the rooftop terrace, will be expanded to overlook panoramic views of the Franklin Mountains, the historic Rio Grande and the Mexican border.

The redesign will highlight local materials such as copper, brass and deep burnished leathers to create the traditional robust atmosphere of the El Paso historic hotel. The use of local natural materials, such as worn rough wood finishes, will be used to offset the burnished metals set alongside charcoal gray and deep dark brown colors of the red Ochre colors surrounding the Franklin Mountains.

The historic building was originally completed in 1912 with 195 rooms. The architect of the then 10-story Hotel Paso Del Norte was Henry Charles Trost (1860-1933). Built on the site of the city’s famous Happy Hour Vaudeville Theater, Italian artisans were brought to El Paso to assist with creation of the massively ornate interiors in the three lobbies.

The most impressive feature, even more than the elaborate mahogany carvings, was the magnificent 25’ diameter Louis Tiffany-style stain glass dome built in 17 pieces. The hotel earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

In 1986, a 17-story building was built adjacent to the existing “old” hotel increasing its size to 356 rooms.

The hotel is adjacent to the El Paso Convention Center and within walking distance of museums, historic San Jacinto Plaza, downtown entertainment and business districts.

Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design is widely experienced in hospitality and historic renovations, having been the recipient of numerous awards including the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Historic Preservation Award.

For more information about Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design, please visit their website.

Texas Trost Society Announces Major Events for Downtown El Paso in October

The Texas Trost Society is launching an exhibition in the ground-level windows of some of Downtown El Paso’s greatest treasures.

Exhibits will be placed in the display windows of the Plaza Hotel (1930), Kress Building (1937), and Roberts-Banner Building (1910). The ribbon-cutting will be Saturday, October 1st at 10:00 a.m. in Pioneer Plaza; and the exhibits will be completely free to the public.

Max Grossman, Vice-Chair of the El Paso County Historical Commission says, “This is by far the most ambitious exhibition of its kind ever hosted in El Paso and it is funded by numerous corporate sponsors, including Mills Plaza Properties, Humanities Texas, the Hunt Famliy Foundation, MCAD, DMD, Kemp Smith, Western Refining, Martin Lofts, the Electric Company, In Situ Architecture, and several others.”

Malissa Arras, Executive Director of the Texas Trost Society and the Organizer in Chief adds, “This exhibition will educate El Pasoans of our historic building’s irreplaceable value and why they deserve to be saved for their beauty, what they contribute to the region’s history, and their economic potential.”

The Urban Transformations: Visions of the Past and Future of Downtown El Paso exhibition promotes history and culture by providing photographs, tours, contemporary artwork, and educational materials to remind El Pasoans of a time when the city enjoyed a booming economy and subsequently underwent an architectural transformation that rivaled some of the biggest cities in the country, and show them what they can look forward to after our historic core is revitalized.

Six Guns and Shady Ladies will perform between 11:00am and 12pm, and there will be free tours of downtown architecture in both English and Spanish. Additionally there will be coloring books and activities for families.

The exhibits will showcase the transformation of El Paso from a small cattle ranch into a booming metropolis in exhibits curated by Dr. Max Grossman, architectural historian, as well as host artistic works envisioning the future of downtown El Paso in a juried exhibition.

Participating artists include Daniel Rios-Lopera, Peter Svarzbein, Matthew Villarreal, Los Dos, Arturo and Vallarie Enriquez, Candy Mayer, Jessica Tolbert, Marc Stone, and Anne Giangiulio.

That same night, at 7:00pm, the Texas Trost Society will host a fundraiser inside Trost’s W.S. Hills Building (1926). Proceeds will support historic preservation efforts in El Paso. Tickets are $95/person and include food, adult drinks, and live music. The donation also includes a gift and membership to the Tom Lea Institute and Texas Trost Society.

This event, titled Head for the Hills: Live Exhibition and Fiesta, will be held in the Trost-designed W.S. Hills Building (108 1/2 Texas Avenue) from 7:00 pm to 12:00 am.

Head for the Hills pays homage to the artists that have given us an understanding of what it means to be from El Paso del Norte. Attendees will celebrate with music, fashion, live arts, local fare, and dancing in one of the most beautiful buildings downtown has to offer – soon to be a hub for the arts and heritage tourism – with a keynote presentation by J.P. Bryan, renown architectural conservationist and patron of our region’s cultural traditions.

Sponsors for this even include appetizers sponsored by Stonewood, Crave Kitchen and Bar, Malolam, Hillside, and Independent Burger, cocktails sponsored by Jarritos, Hornitos Tequila, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and bar service provided by International Bar.

Live music provided by Frontera Bugalu and D.J. Julio Salgado. Live art by Los Dos, Matthew Poe, Abel Saucedo, Exist, Laura Turon, Zayra Estrada, Paola Martinez, Zeke Pena, Michelle Arnold, and Rogelio Garcia. Prints by Proper Print Shop.

Contact Carolina Franco at 915-533-0048 or by emailing


Video: The Architecture of Trost | Only in El Paso by KCOS

Take a tour around El Paso and observe its architectural masterpieces with the beauty of Henry Trost.

Henry C. Trost was one of the most iconic architects of the American Southwest, and was the best-known architect based in El Paso in the early part of the twentieth century.

Directed by Tony Dueñez and produced by The Jam Handy Organization

The Web Series
Only In El Paso, launched in the summer of 2014 with 10 digital videos sharing stories of people and places you can experience only in El Paso.
Each episode tells a unique and positive story about someone or something that can be experienced Only In El Paso.
Local filmmakers and topics are selected through a competitive process. Now in it’s third season, KCOS is excited to share even more stories of local history, culture, arts, and personalities of our region.
Season Three
* The Architecture of Trost
* El Paso’s Star
* Mud People: The Tigua Tribe from the  Pueblo of Ysleta del Sur
* What El Paso Means to Me
* Handmade Boots
* Cleofas Calleros
* Korea in El Paso
* Jennifer Han
* Fort Bliss History
* Matachines de San Lorenzo

To view the other shows in the series, click HERE.

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