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Chamber of Commerce
El Paso, Texas


Description: Chamber of Commerce
Other Names:
Address: 310-312 San Francisco Street, El Paso, El Paso County, Texas
Type: commercial: chamber of commerce
Original Client: El Paso Chamber of Commerce
Date: 1908 -1909
Condition: demolished 1969

Architect or Firm: Henry C. Trost
Associated Architect or Firm: Trost & Trost
Dimensions and Orientation: two stories; trapezoid with street facade at an angle; 72 feet, 5 inches across x 91 feet, 2 inches deep and 83 feet,6 inches deep; faced north

Foundation: concrete
Wall Materials: brick
Roofing Materials: tar and gravel
Other Materials Used: art glass specified for skylight of interior court
Remodeling and Additions: facade altered when the building was used for offices

Location of Drawings: El Paso Public Library: (A-9) 16 ink on linen sheets of plans, including side and front elevations, sections and details
Location of Documentary Photographs: El Paso Public Library: Aultman, A5105, facade; A5617, perspective view; A5219, interior decorated for Taft-Diaz meeting, Scott Photo Company photograph; A5044, an office interior

Bibliography: (1) El Paso Chamber of Commerce, El Paso, the Story of a City, 1883-1910 (El Paso: El Paso Chamber of Commerce, [1910]), unpaged (exterior [A5617] and interior photographs)
(2) El Paso Chamber of Commerce, Prosperity and Opportunities in El Paso, the 1911 Report of the El Paso Chamber of Commerce (El Paso:Chamber of Commerce, 1911), page 5 (exterior photograph)
(3) Sam Hill Ray, A Picture History of the Pass to the North (El Paso: Commercial Printing Company, 1967) page 71 (exterior photograph [A5617])
(4) Hal Tinker and Kenneth A. Goldblatt, “The El Paso Chamber of Commerce: Looking Backwards,” Password, volume XIV, number 2 (Summer, 1969), pages 42-48 (history of the Chamber and its 1908-1909 building; photograph on page 44 of facade as altered, and note that the building “is being razed to make room for the civic center”)
(5) El Paso Herald, October 28, 1908 page 16 “New Home For This Organization Proposed and Plans Are Submitted”
(6) EL Paso Herald, November 14, 1908 page 17 ” San Francisco and Main Streets the Proposed Site.

Remarks: Said to have been “the first building in the Southwest erected for the exclusive use of a chamber of commerce” (unidentified clipping from an El Paso newspaper). The building was the site of a conference between United States President William Howard Taft and Mexican President Porfirio Diaz, October 16, 1909. On March 15, 1911, former U. S. resident Theodore Roosevelt visited the Chamber’s offices.

In October 1908, Trost & Trost submitted plans for a new chamber of commerce building. The plans called for the building to be two stories high, with a well hole in the center from the roof to the lower floor. Around the lobby were to be nine large Gothic columns, with main stairways going up from the right side. The first floor was occupied by rooms for the directors, the secretary, a reception room and vestibule. A art glass skylight was in the interior of the court.

Some of the location considered for the chamber of commerce was the City National bank on the third floor, the second floor of the Golden Eagle building and the quarters of the Herald building. In 1908, it was decided to build a building at the junction of San Francisco and Main Street.
This building is the site of a conference between President Taft and Mexican President Porfirio Diaz in October 19, 1909. On March 15, 1911, former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt visited the Chamber’s offices.

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