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Part 2 Asarco / Update

picture from theplazatheatre.org courtesy of El Paso Community Foundation

picture from theplazatheatre.org courtesy of El Paso Community Foundation

First, I apologize for the absence the past few days.  I didn’t get to post on Thursday and  Friday because I left for Goldthwaite, TX for a wedding and did not return until last night.  While my phone service was spotty, I did manage to receive some e-mails and also saw that a few of you commented on a couple posts and I will respond to those as soon as I can.  I was reading the El Paso Times this morning and came across an article that talked about the plaza movie festival

We owe many thanks to Eric Pearson and the rest of the organizers who put on such a great event and I am so happy a lot of you made your way downtown to experience it.  These are the types of events that will define us as a community and are essential building blocks to having El Paso meet its potential.

This past weekend, I wrote my first guest column in the El Paso Times.  I am very honored to have been one of the four that was chosen and I look forward to sharing the El Paso experience with others. 

Part 2 Asarco

On Wednesday, I spoke about how I would like a new building built that would focus on featuring a museum, a learning center, and meeting facility.   I have spoken with a few other people since then and they have mentioned the need to gasworkspreserve some of the buildings there as they are historic and definitely hold a certain value to the community.   When I heard this, it made me think of Gas Works Park in Seattle.  The picture to your right is Gas Works Park after the environmental clean up was done.  The site was once used as a plant that manufactured gas from coal and then oil.  When the plant shut down, the city acquired the property in 1962 and by 1975, it was opened to the public as  a park.   The foresight by Seattle’s civic leaders is a vision that I hope our civic leaders also hold. 

I would really be disappointed to see the area turned into an industrial district or a large parking lot.  I hope that many of the old structures can remain and be refurbished.  While this process might take a while, the time to start planning is now.  The man behind Gas Works Park is an architect by the name of Richard Haag.  Maybe we should bring him to look at the site and then have him offer his ideas on  what he thinks would be best. 

As soon as a trustee is chosen by the State, Asarco can take that  next step towards a new beginning.

My name is David and I am living El Paso.



10 Responses to “Part 2 Asarco / Update”

  1. Al Soto says:

    On the Asarco article about keeping some of the artifacts…the one thing that those fingers of fate those smoke stacks remind me of…is the third finger being given to us by Asarco…tear it down….all of it….down….and make it what it was before Asarco destroyed it…two twin lakes…and a park…on a mesa, overlooking the Rio Grande….where El Pasoans….would picknic…after a mule train from downtown, lead them there…
    I DARE YOU….

  2. A. Edward Lewiston says:

    I actually have felt the same way about Asarco (not the middle finger thing, but the preservation thing). Mining and smelting are part of El Paso’s history and what a better way to honour it than to create a park similar to the one you describe in Seattle or like the Fundadora Park in Monterrey, NL, Mexico. This would be a great way to make a good thing out of something that was at one point a good thing for the region.

  3. Al says:

    I think that the Gas Works Park in Seattle sets the perfect example of what the Asarco site could become, including Davids idea about a museum and preserving El Paso’s history,
    there would be picnic areas along with plenty of trees and nice lawns that could become a big draw for the locals and tourist alike.

  4. annette says:

    Interesting, I hadn’t heard of the Gas Works Park. I guess safety concerns would be the first thing on my mind as far as building a park there, but GWP shows remediation is possible. And I like the idea of parks along the border. It could be similar to the Chamizal.

  5. livingelpaso says:

    I guess we will find out what happens over the coming months but if we let our voices be heard, then maybe we have a chance at getting what we want there! My sister sent me an interesting article about GWP that I will share with you guys tomorrow.

  6. Al Soto says:

    If we had the misguided vision to try to set up a monument to a person that contributed to the greatest holocost in the World….let’s not try to set up a monument to the greatest polluter in this Rio Grande 3 Sate, 2 Country…Asarco site…
    No Equistrain…and No Asarco…they are almost one in the same….with Asarco to a a lesser degree….yet still a great polluter that will have to pay for it’s crime to humanit…that conquistador…has gotten away from our grip…however…the day that monument goes down…I hope will be hopefully before that “Asarco Third Finger”…but I’ll take that conquistador monument going also down. just after… Asarco’s third finger…my opinion

  7. Al says:

    I would say Juarez is the biggest pollutter on the border, always has been theres no air regulations there and it’s still in operation.

  8. Al Soto says:

    Are you kidding me….Juarez is the biggest polluter on the border….??? Maybe since 2001 or so….but Asarco since 1898…we have a matter of degree for sure…and a matter of arsenic, lead, cadmium…and potentially ( when it’s proven )…nuclear waste…I don’t think Juarez produces any of those to the same degree as Asarco did…but then…you seem to know something I don’t know….and if it’s true…let’s start stopping it, and then not destroy all those things that are polluting from Juarez…and build them a monument….are you kidding me…

  9. livingelpaso says:

    Preservering certain aspects of Asarco doesn’t mean that we are building a monument to it. We simply are preserving an area that has been a part of El Paso’s history for over a century. Like I said before, look to Gas Works Park as an example.

    I don’t like the health risks Asarco produced either, but that is over with. Their permit is gone and it would be extremely difficult for them to get it back, probably impossible.

  10. Al Soto says:

    That part of polluting history is well to be left in the past and not brought forward into the future…
    So what’s good to miss guided individuals in Seattle…is good for miss guided individuals in El Paso….?

    My understanding is that they will try to get it back…..and you know.it…the best way to guarantee they don’t…is to “KNOCK DOWN that ASARCO 3rd FINGER” Chiminey…..forever and never to be used….again….don’t trust them now….will not trust them later….but I do have a positive suggestion, and a new paradigm for those that wish to refine…raw materials…into precious and usefull metals….with a much larger field of raw material….so there is hope for ASARCO to come back…but they have to leave El Paso….for good…

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