• May 18, 2022

Trost Society Launches Interactive Map of All Known Trost Buildings

The Trost Society recently announced the completion of a two year project to create a virtual interactive map of the more than 600 buildings that were designed by Henry C. Trost or his family architectural firm in the United States and Mexico.

Henry began designing buildings as early as the 1880s and in 1903 settled in El Paso, where he and his brother Gustavus co-founded Trost & Trost. A third brother, Adolphus, joined the firm in 1908 and introduced the technology of reinforced concrete construction to the region, making possible the modern high-rise.

The firm designed many of the most beautiful buildings in El Paso, including the Caples Building (1909), Anson Mills Building (1911), Hotel Paso del Norte (1912), El Paso High School (1916), Popular Dry Goods Co. (1917), Hotel Cortez (1926), Bassett Tower (1930), and Hilton Hotel (1930).

Henry and his brothers were capable of designing a wide variety of building types and in every conceivable style, including Classical, Romanesque, Renaissance Revival, Pueblo, Art Deco, Moorish, and even Bhutanese. 27 of the 39 buildings the firm designed in downtown El Paso are still standing, and there are hundreds more situated throughout El Paso and the Southwest.

The Trost Society mapping project stems from research that was conducted by the late Dr. Lloyd C. Engelbrecht and his late wife June-Marie Engelbrecht, who had won a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to study the Trost legacy nearly 30 years ago.

Margaret Smith, the granddaughter of Gustavus Trost, established the Henry C. Trost Organization in order to showcase and continue the Engelbrechts’ research, keeping the Trost legacy alive.

“With the founding of The Trost Society in 2013, public awareness of the rich architectural patrimony of El Paso and the surrounding region has increased dramatically,” officials with the Trost Society shared.

Web designer and Trost Society co-founder Mason Sales, who conceived the project together with Malissa Arras, has just completed a virtual interactive map of all known Trost buildings in five states and Mexico, and he was assisted in this monumental undertaking by Victor Hurtado.

Among the volunteers who contributed time to this project were Maria Barney, Nicholas Dahle, Josh Paul Garcia, Kritzia Perez, and Michelle Prado.

“Our virtual map will be improved and updated as we continue to learn more about the architectural firm’s commissions. We invite the public to enjoy this valuable new research tool and to learn why El Paso is so fortunate to have been home to an architectural firm of such stature,” officials added.

For more information or to become a member of the Trost Society, click here.

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