Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Downtown Update: United Bank, Luther Building Make Strides

Two major construction projects in downtown El Paso are just one block apart, and work on both is apparent while maneuvering orange barrels on North Campbell Street.

The first, United Bank of El Paso del Norte, is well along on its way to becoming an office building. The structure, located at 401 E. Main, began life as a parking garage several years ago but was purchased by the local bank in order to create a new office structure downtown.
The façade on the new United Bank building is nearly complete. Decorative wrought iron highlights the arches.
The original garage structure has all but disappeared beneath a new façade structure. And a bell tower at the buildings southeast corner has become an easily identifiable feature that can be seen from Interstate 10.

United Bank tower.
The first floor of the building will become United Bank's downtown location, while the second and third floors will remain parking levels. A fourth and fifth floor have been added and will become office space. The resulting 92,000 square foot building is of Spanish Colonial design.

Large arches now line the front of the building featuring impressive wrought iron work that mostly hide the parking area within the structure. Sizeable suspended awnings hang over storefronts at street level. The new façade varies little from the original design with just a few changes to windows on the upper levels.

Construction continues on the City’s Luther Building just one block to the south. Workers have stripped much of the blighted industrial façade to reveal the original brickwork underneath.

The historic building was donated to the City last year by Paul Foster. Foster, one of the partners involved in bringing a Triple-A ball club to El Paso, gave the building to the City to facilitate the emptying of the former City Hall in order to make room for a new baseball stadium at the site. City Hall was demolished earlier this month.
Historic brickwork is now visible as construction crews have stripped the blighted façade from the Luther Bldg.
Once work is completed on the 62,400 square foot Luther Building, it will house the Information Technology and Engineering & Construction departments. It will also serve as the new home for the Records and Document Center.
Rendering of what the Luther Building will look like when renovations are completed.
A recent relocation flyer released by the City states that construction should be complete by fall of 2013. The Luther Building is located at 218 N. Campbell Street, next door to the new City Hall.