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Krakauer, Zork & Moye Building Addition
El Paso, Texas


Description: Krakauer, Zork & Moye Building additions
Other Names: Mercantile Building
Address: 117 San Francisco Street, El Paso, El Paso County, Texas
Type: commercial: retail store and warehouse
Original Client: Krakauer, Zork & Moye
Date: original building 1909; an alteration was prepared by Trost & Trost in 1910, and possibly carried out; additions and alterations, designed by Trost & Trost, were carried out in 1916 and 1925
Condition: demolished

Architect or Firm: Henry C. Trost
Associated Architect or Firm: Trost & Trost (original 1909 building by Brubaker, Stern& Gibson)
Contractors: V. E. Ware, for 1916 additions and alteration
Dimensions and Orientation: faced southwest; San Francisco Street (southwest) facade: 54 feet, unchanged in width by later additions; four stories, after additions and alterations of 1916; 1925 dimensions of the irregular, five sided building, brought together under a common roof, included a North El Paso Street facade, angled to follow the bend in that street, of 295 feet up to the bend, plus an additional 62 feet, 3 inches after the bend (see Remarks, below)
Budget/Cost: $100,000 for 1909 building; $20,000 for 1910 alteration; $65,000 for 1916 additions and alterations

Foundation: concrete
Wall Materials: re-enforced concrete, faced with brick, trimmed with concrete, facade faced with stone; 1916 addition utilizes similar materials
Roofing Materials: flat; Spanish tile at store front
Other Materials Used: terra cotta ornament
Remodeling and Additions: extensively altered and increased in size, 1916 and 1925

Location of Drawings: El Paso Public Library: (A-3) 10 ink-on-linen sheets, including front and side elevations, dated March 5, 1916; 10 ink-on-linen sheets dated November 4, 1925; Ponsford 115, photograph of rendering of perspective view of remodeled building, made in 1916, but showing portions not executed until 1925
Location of Documentary Photographs: El Paso Public Library: El Paso Business, Aultman, A5704; A5014, A5067, A5769, views of railway side and rear; Aultman A5797, view of storage yard before it was roofed over; one of the “Golden Jubilee” photographs, made May 16, 1923, includes an aerial view with the Krakauer, Zork & Moye Building visible (given to the El Paso Public Library along with a letter describing the gift, Walter Bender to Maud Sullivan, May 29, 1923); aerial views of downtown El Paso seen fromthe southwest, made 1925-1929, one designated C-260, one unmarked, show the building after alternations of 1925; photograph made after alterations of 1925, with dimensions added in ink

Bibliography: (1) “Houses Razed for Warehouses,” El Paso Herald, August 25, 1909, page 15 (budget given; report that houses on the building site have been razed and that work will be under way “soon”)
(2) American Institute of Architects, Indiana Chapter, Yearbook of the Indiana Chapter, A. I. A., and Catalog of the Third Annval [sic, i. e.,Annual] Exhibition, 1912 [shown at] John Herron Art Institute,¬†Indianapolis, May 11 to 31, [and in] South Bend, June 8 to 16 (Indianapolis: author, 1912), unpaged, “Mercantile Building, El Paso,Texas, Brubaker& Stern, Architects” published as exhibit number 30
(3) American Architect and Building News, volume XCVIII, number 1806 (August 3, 1910), Building News Section, page 14: “El Paso. Trost& Trost are preparing plans for alteration to Krakauer, Zork & Moye Bldg. Cost $20,000.”
(4) El Paso Chamber of Commerce, Prosperity and Opportunities in El Paso and El Paso’s Territory the 1911 Report of the El Paso Chamber of Commerce (El Paso: Chamber of Commerce, 1911), page 44 (role of Charles M. Gibson and Brubaker, Stern& Gibson in designing the Krakauer, Zork& Moye Building); page 48 (description of the building)
(5) “K. Z. & M. Add to Store,” El Paso Herald, August 26, 1916,Progress and Building Section, page 5 (description of changes, architects and contractor named, budget given);
(6) El Paso Herald, August 26, 1916, Progress and Building Section, page 3 (published rendering, similar to Ponsford 115, noted above, except that it is cropped)
(7) Frank Mangan, El Paso in Pictures (El Paso: The Press, 1971), page 138 (aerial view of El Paso, ca. 1950, showing railroad tracks running down Main Street, past the loading docks of the Krakauer, Zork & Moye Building)
(8) El Paso Herald, January 11, 1911 page 23
(9) El Paso Herald, March 25, 1916 page 9 ‘New K.Z.& M. Warehouse’
(10) El Paso Herald, December 4, 1915 page 4

Remarks: (1) Commission 2366 for both sets of plans (1916 and 1925)

The five sided building site for the Krakauer, Zork & Moye Building was almost trapezoidal in shape, bounded by San Francisco Street on the southwest, an unnamed alley paralleling North Santa Fe Street on the west, two segments of North El Paso Street meeting at an angle on the east, and the railroad tracks (which ran down Main Drive until 1950) on the north. Buildings designed in 1909 by Brubaker, Stern & Gibson, an Indianapolis firm which built extensively in Mexico and in the southwestern United States, included a formal, three story building fronting on San Francisco Street, behind which was a storage yard equipped with overhead freight handling trolleys; beyond the storage yard were four track side warehouses with loading platforms on sidings connected with the main railroad lines by private switches. It is not clear what alterations were planned or made by Trost& Trost in 1910 (see item 3 in the Bibliography, above). The 1916 plans by Trost & Trost are for alterations and additions to the 1909 buildings. The San Francisco Street building was originally 3 stories high, 3 bays wide and 7 bays deep (as seen in the photograph published in Bibliography item 2, above); the 1916 plans added a fourth story, in harmony with the existing building. The 1925 plans by Trost & Trost integrated the San Francisco Street building and the track side buildings by roofing over, and walling in, the storage yard between them.

A notable feature of the 1916 addition was a series of panels of Sullivanesque ornament on the new fourth story, alternating with window panels.

Charles M. Gibson left Brubaker, Stern & Gibson shortly after the completion of the first phase of the Krakauer, Zork & Moye Building, and the firm then changed its name to Brubaker & Stern. When a photograph of the first stage of the Krakauer, Zork & Moye Building was published in 1912 (see item 2 in the Bibliography, above), it was identified as the work of Brubaker & Stern, because Gibson had already left the firm. An El Paso publication of 1911 (see item 4 in the Bibliography, above) referred to the Krakauer, Zork & Moye Building as the work of Brubaker, Stern & Gibson.

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