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Young Men’s Christian Association Building
El Paso, Texas

 

Description: Young Men’s Christian Association Building
Other Names: none
Address: North Oregon Street and East Missouri Avenue, southeast corner, El Paso, El Paso County, Texas
Type: fraternal: YMCA building
Original Client: Board of Directors, Young Men’s Christian Association, El Paso
Date: 1906-1908
Condition: demolished 1961

Architect or Firm: Henry C. Trost
Associated Architect or Firm: Trost & Trost
Contractors:
Dimensions and Orientation: three stories with elevated basement, 120 feet, 2 inches across Oregon x 758 feet; faced Southwest
Budget/Cost: $130,000

Foundation: stone with concrete coping
Wall Materials: yellow brick
Roofing Materials: composition
Other Materials Used: terra cotta ornament, galvanized iron cornice; the specifications for the Social and Reading Room call for wood paneling, stucco ornament, and art glass.
Remodeling and Additions: See Y.C.M.A. Tower

Location of Drawings: El Paso Public Library: (D-5) 14 ink on linen, and 2 brown line, original plans dated August 31, 1906 and September 28, 1906, including side, front and rear elevations, sections and interior details. See also bibliography.
Location of Documentary Photographs: El Paso Public Library: Aultman A5312, perspective view

Bibliography: (1) Trost & Trost, Architects. El Paso: Trost & Trost, 1907, page 9 (rendering of elevation); page 38 (rendering of Missouri Street side); page 50 (rendering of main entrance)
(2) El Paso Will Have Y. M. C A. Building, Bisbee Daily Review, March 18, 1906, page 10 (description of fund raising efforts, including the work of W. W. Turney, who headed a business men’s soliciting committee)
(3) Welcome Visitor Here, Bisbee Daily Review, April 3, 1906, page 2 (description of visit to Douglas of C. G. Titus, secretary of the El Paso Y. M. C.A. building campaign, who is devoting some thoughtful hours to floor space. Trost & Trost have the plans in hand, which bespeaks a building of as much utility and elegance as the funds to be expended will admit.)
(4) El Paso Dedicates Her New Y. M. C. A. Building, El Paso Herald, March 27, 1908, pages [1], 6 and 7 (description of the building and the program of activities of the Y. M. C. A.; illustrations of exterior and interior; report on architects and budget; report on opening ceremonies, and on the history of efforts that supported the building)
(5) Fraternity Homes Well Represented Here, El Paso Herald, January 28,1922, page 4-A (photograph of exterior)
(6) Lloyd C. Engelbrecht, Henry Trost: the Prairie School in the Southwest, The Prairie School Review, volume VI, number 4 (Fourth Quarter, 1969), pages 14-15 (discussed, illustrated with exterior photograph reprinted from The Western Architect)
(7) Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht, Henry C. Trost: Architect of the Southwest (El Paso: El Paso Public Library Association, 1981) pages 60-61 (discussed); page 61 (illustrated with exterior photograph by Julius Shulman); page 128 (bibliographic notes)
(8) Carol Viescas, Service agencies answer cries of a growing city, El Paso Times, Thursday, April 2, 1981, page 10-F (history of the building)

Remarks: This building was El Paso’s first gymnasium, and included facilities for swimming, indoor track, handball and bowling. In May, 1906, Henry Trost and Charles G. Titus, general secretary of the El Paso Y. M. C. A., were sent east to see other association buildings to get ideas for planning this one, according to Bibliography item 4, above. The influence of Sullivan was apparent in the concentric arches of the main entrance, in the two story tall arcades on the first and second story portions of the main facades, and in the metal ornament on the face of the slab cornice. (Quoted from Bibliography item 7, above.)

Prepared for the El Paso Public Library by Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1990