Monday, April 15, 2013

History Made: Asarco Smokestacks, Former City Hall Demolished


Events went largely as planned this past weekend as the dormant Asarco smokestacks and the former City Hall building were demolished on consecutive mornings in El Paso.

The former City Hall building took only 10 seconds to be demolished.
Saturday morning saw the towering Asarco stacks fall over like chopped-down trees as explosives helped fell the historic columns. Spectators gathered in parking lots around UTEP and on the sides of surrounding streets, though Interstate 10 and Paisano Drive were closed for the event. The boom of dynamite at each column’s base signaled the coming fall, and in seconds both stacks were gone.

A slight breeze brought dust from the demolition over I-10 and may have been more than expected; the freeway remained closed for over two hours total, longer than planned and causing expected congestion on Mesa Street due to diverted traffic. Otherwise, the mostly calm morning air helped to keep the dust near to the ground, and officials could have hardly received more cooperative weather.

Winds were stronger during City Hall’s demolition on Sunday, though officials had previously stated that wind strength would not be a factor in their decision to proceed. Precisely at 9:00 a.m., explosives brought down the building in a matter of seconds. The northern half of the structure went first, and helped pull down the southern section, most likely in order to pull the southern facing wall away from the nearby railroad trench.
Dust from City Hall's implosion took over downtown as winds blew it towards the east.
Clouds of dust quickly drifted eastward as breezy conditions turned windy, engulfing downtown’s highrises in an eerie haze. Unlike the Asarco aftermath, piles of rubble many feet high could be seen after City Hall’s implosion. Officials stated that cleanup would begin immediately.


Both demolition events this weekend help prepare the properties for future use. Asarco is currently in the middle of a years-long remediation project that will clean up the site and make it viable for future sale. Project Navigator, Ltd., of California is in charge of the site’s remediation and sale.

After clearing up the rubble, the former City Hall site will see construction begin on a 9,000 seat baseball stadium that will house the San Diego Padres Triple-A club, currently in Tucson. Opening day is schedule for one year from now in April of 2014.

Mountain Star Sports Group, the team who purchased the baseball club and is bringing it to downtown, released a statement just before City Hall’s demolition, stating, "We believe the new ballpark represents long-lasting, sustainable progress for our City. We appreciate the vision of our Mayor and City Council and thank them for their commitment to bring Triple-A Baseball to El Paso and to build this significant asset in the heart of our City - for all El Pasoans.  We are dedicated to providing affordable family entertainment in a fun and safe environment.  There is much work to be done between now and next spring, and we look forward to watching El Paso's new ballpark rise from this site and hosting Opening Day 2014."

3 comments:

  1. Hello EPDN,
    First of all, congrats for having a very informative blog about El Paso's future. I would like to say your blog should go mainstream with local new stations, in order to inform the past and future generations of El Paso, given that El Paso wont be the same in the next 10 years, but in a positive change.
    As for me, I was born in El Paso and have been living in El Paso for 26 years. At the moment I'm attending Utep and the reason I write this email, is to ask people with this type of blogs, to inform and spread the word of El Paso's future, in order to change Utep's students mentality about living ElPaso after graduation, which 90% do. Not only the graduates, but inform the old generations who do not want change in El Paso, since majority of the old generations want to make it worse for the new generations.
    In reality, a large amount of El Paso's population do no know about El Paso's bright future, and at the end the new generation population end up living to Austin, Phoenix, DFW, San Antonio and even spooky Albuquerque.
    For example, what percentage of El Paso's population know this website http://www.planelpaso.org/
    or EPD news.
    Another example, many people from El Paso are stuck in El Paso's circle of life, which has to change by asking for change. For instance, why not make polls asking the residents El Paso what they want, by posting images of other cities attractions, like Austin's Domain power center or Albuquerque's ABQ Uptown.As a matter of fact, ElPaso has gorgeous weather and we should have a power center in every corner of the city.
    However, does EPDNews know what is going to happen with Asarco's land. Will it become Utep land, soccer stadium, new Sun Bowl, Six FLags. What about Cohen stadium? will that stadium be converted into a water park or soccer stadium or even a resort.
    What about Simon malls in El Paso, will they ever be taken to the next level, since The Fountains and Monticello will give them competition. How about make Sunland Park mall a high end mall for the westside with a Hotel connected to it and even taken to this level http://www.theshopsatlacantera.com/
    As a matter of fact, why not put an ice skating rink in Cielo Vista Mall. How about the new power center by River Oaks by Montana, will it have condominiums, apartments, offices, like the Domain in Austin http://www.simon.com/mall/the-domain
    In conclusion, El Paso residents can really use the need of being inform of EPDNews, in order to keep and recruit new population. El Paso's future is bright, but without knowing about El Paso's future, will provoke for Utep graduates to leave. Not only College students, but high school graduates will also leave ElPaso in order to live Austins or Phoenix life.
    Now some final questions, will El Paso ever look into a soccer stadium with a division 2 team or division 1, given that El Paso is a soccer city.
    http://www.mlssoccer.com/
    http://nasl.com/
    How about have tourist double Decker rides from downtown El Paso to Juarez.
    What about a resort at escarate park or cohen stadium.
    Will Speaking Rock casino ever opne again?
    I also read Six Flags a few years ago wanted government land in order to make a Six Flags in El Paso.
    Why not make Socorro and San Eli, as old town attractions with restaurants and involve the missions as well.
    Make Fort Bliss a tourist attraction since the base is one of the best in the country.
    And of course, make the best water park in west texas since El Paso has hot climate.
    Thank you for blog space and Viva EPT.
    El Paso should have a phrase like Austin's, Keep Austin weird. Ours should be, Viva el chuco.

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  2. In my own opinion I felt that it was sad to see the Asarco Smoke Stacks imploded, and see El Paso's history lost forever.Seems to me that there was such a rush to get rid of them and as I read all the negative comments from people that don't seem to know what they are talking about;OH WELL! their gone now.
    As for the implosion and demolition of city hall,I remember during my first Navy hitch when I was over seas and I had a subscription to the El Paso Herald Post,where there on the front page there was a picture of city hall under construction, Life is to short,even for city hall.
    I am all for the new stadium and for Mountain Star Sports bringing a Triple AAA franchise to our city. I even voted for all three bond proposals two for the quality of life and for the hotel tax increase.
    Now that it is all said and done,I feel that our new stadium is going to be built to small in the seating capacity,at the least a 10,000 seat stadium would be worth the demolition for city hall.

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