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Singer Sewing Machine Company
El Paso, Texas


Description: Singer Sewing Machine Company
Other Names: Mrs. Clark’s Cafeteria,The Sample House Restaurant; Whataburger No. 378, when used as a sandwich restaurant; currently subdivided into Eagle Finance 211 Texas Avenue and General Finance, 312 Texas Avenue
Address: 211 Texas Avenue, El Paso, El Paso County, Texas
Type: commercial: retail store
Original Client: Singer Sewing Machine Company
Historic Inventory: National Register number 80004113; Texas HistoricalCommission Marker
Date: January 1928
Condition: extant

Architect or Firm: Gustavus A. Trost (?)
Associated Architect or Firm: Trost & Trost
Dimensions and Orientation: two stories, West side taller than East, 30 feet on Texas Avenue x 86.66 feet; faces south
Architectural style: Spanish Colonial Revival
Budget/Cost: lot $65,000; building $35,000; $5,000 interior

Foundation: probably concrete
Wall Materials: reinforced concrete with plaster veneer
Roofing Materials: flat; Spanish tile on taller bay
Other Materials Used: wood pillars and spindles; iron balcony
Remodeling and Additions: interior converted into a restaurant; interior later converted into financial offices

Present Owner:
Location of Drawings: El Paso Public Library: (N-43) one sheet, pencil on tissue, labeled “Trost & Trost”: details of a small two story building, with wood stair to second floor, and details of iron railing, possibly related to the Singer building
Location of Documentary Photographs: El Paso Public Library: Ponsford 208a-208c, postcards, perspective view with cloth awnings; Ponsford 113, Texas Avenue facade before addition of awnings; Texas Historical Commission.

Bibliography:(1) El Paso Herald, March 4, 1927 page 8 ‘El Paso To Have New 2-Story Bldg On Texas Corner’
(2) El Paso Herald, May 26, 1927 ‘Announcement of New Building purchased by Singer Sewing Machine Company’
(3) El Paso Herald August 24, 1927 H.T. Ponsford & Sons have winning bid

Remarks: In 1927, the Singer Sewing Company announced the purchase of the lot at 211 Texas from Ervin H. Schwartz, Manuel Schwartz and I. Weiss. The price of the lot was $65,000 (CASH). Mrs. Clark’s cafeteria leased building at that time but the lease was running out. The budget for the building was $25,000. (final cost $35,000)  H.T. Pons ford & Sons submitted the lowest bid for construction and received the job ($22,000) Footnote: Mrs. Clark in May of 1926 signed a 10 year lease for the Union Bank Building on San Antonio Street

The space on the second floor was intended as a school for seamstresses; the first floor was for retail trade from January 1928, until December, 1982. The building was remodeled in the early 1960’s.  At that time some of the windows on the south and the west sides were sealed in, their function as ventilation becoming unnecessary with the installation of a central cooling system.

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