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Coldwell School
El Paso, Texas


Description: Coldwell School
Other Names: Government Hill School
Address: 4101 Altura Avenue at Boone Street, El Paso, El Paso County, Texas
Type: educational: elementary school
Original Client: El Paso County Board of Education
Historic Inventory:
Date: completed autumn, 1930
Condition: extant; in use as a school

Architect or Firm: Gustavus A. Trost (?)
Associated Architect or Firm: Trost & Trost
Contractors: H. T. Ponsford & Sons
Dimensions and Orientation: T-shaped; two stories with elevated basement; faces south; main facade approximately 130 feet long, minus outside stairs
Budget/Cost: $75,000-85,000 (according to an undated El Paso Heraldclipping from late March, 1930)

Foundation: reinforced concrete
Wall Materials: variegated red brick
Roofing Materials: flat
Other Materials Used: concrete ornament and coping
Remodeling and Additions: one story wing to the west; two story wing to the east; side entrances removed

Present Owner: El Paso Independent School District
Location of Drawings: El Paso Public Library: Ponsford 425, photograph of rendering of front elevation.
Location of Documentary Photographs: El Paso Public Library: Aultman 1096, facade with crowd of children and teachers; Aultman 1097, perspective view before landscaping; Aultman 5947, duplicate of Aultman 1097.

Bibliography: (1) Talk Sale of Girls’ School to El Paso, El Paso Times, March 12, 1930 (report on site selection for the Coldwell School, and on rejection of the suggestion that the building used by the El Paso School for Girls be bought by the public schools; architects named)
(2) School Site Change Voted, El Paso Times, March 19, 1930 (discussion of site for Coldwell School
3) Coldwell School to Cost $85,000, New Plans Provide, (undated
El Paso Heraldclipping from late March, 1930; includes discussion of budget, report that bids were to be received on April 8)
(4) Judge Coldwell Misty Eyed at Dedication of School, El Paso Herald,
October 25, 1930 (report on dedication of Coldwell School and on talk by the son of the man for whom it was named)

Remarks: The Art Deco entry with an arched opening is similar to the Hot Springs High School  and Lordsburg’s Central Grade School, both of 1930. Named for Judge William Michie Coldwell; see: Ida W. Coldwell, William Michie Coldwell, Pioneer Lawyer and Civic Leader, Password, volume XXXIV, number 3 (Fall, 1989), pages 121-126.
The back entrance to the gymnasium has two arched doors and concrete stairs. There is polychrome brick chevron shaped ornament over the entrance.

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