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    Gage Hotel
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    Hotel El Capitan
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    Val Verde Hotel
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    Owls Club
  • El Paso High School – El Paso, Texas

    El Paso High School
  • Trost Residence – El Paso, Texas

    Trost Residence
  • Albuquerque High School – Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Albuquerque High School
  • University of Texas El Paso – El Paso, Texas

    University of Texas El Paso

South El Paso Housing Project
El Paso, Texas


Description: South El Paso Housing Project
Other Names:
Address: East Fourth Street, El Paso, El Paso County, Texas
Type: domestic: apartments
Original Client: El Paso Housing Authority and Uncle Sam
Historic Inventory:
Date: 1939
Condition: extant

Architect or Firm: Gustavus A. Trost
Associated Architect or Firm: Trost & Trost
Contractors: Robert E. McKee
Dimensions and Orientation: three section of building, each being two story
Budget/Cost: $1,300,000.

Foundation: concrete
Wall Materials: red brick
Roofing Materials:  tile
Other Materials Used: steel windows
Remodeling and Additions:

Present Owner:
Location of Drawings: none
Location of Documentary Photographs:

Bibliography: (1) El Paso Herald-Post, August 2, 1939 page 5, show drawing of project
(2) El Paso Herald-Post, December 5, 1939, description of the apartments
(3) El Paso Herald-Post, July 28, 1939 page 7 ‘Disagreement Delays Work on Housing’

Remarks: In 1939, El Paso’s first low cost housing project took shape in South El Paso. The project was part of President Roosevelt’s Federal Housing Administration Program that was established in 1934. The goal of the program was to improve housing standards and conditions.
R.E. McKee was the contractor of the project to build 57 buildings. The first apartments units were to be homes for low income families that could afford to pay $2.00 to $2.25 per room.

The government apartments were to be located in the area of East Fourth Street. The demolition of the current buildings at the site was awarded to J.W. Chamness at a cost of $3,345. Approximately 150 residences and tenement buildings were to be demolished.

Even before the demolition began there was problems. The residents currently living there were given very little money for their homes and the ones who would not sell were taken to court. Mr Chamnes in charge of the demolition, planned to use common labor men for the demolition and stated that there would be enough work for union men in the construction phase of the project. The El Paso Housing Authorities asked the Labor Relation Board of the United States Housing Authority in Washington to send a conciliator to settle the dispute. The construction contract with McKee was also held up until the conciliator arrived. The dispute was settled and work soon began on the project.

In June, the second floor brick walls of one apartment building, the concrete floors of two buildings were ready and the masonry work was completed for the fourth. There were 18 apartments and the administration building in the first section. Uncle Sam and the El Paso Housing Authority spent $1,300,000 on the project. There was 1200 rooms for approximately 1600 people. Shade trees, shrubs, walkways and playgrounds was provided for families who lived at the south El Paso Housing project.

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