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University of Texas at El Paso – Old Main
El Paso, Texas

Description: Old Main, University of Texas at El Paso
Other Names: Main Building
Address: El Paso, El Paso County, Texas
Type: educational: college, later university
Original Client: University of Texas Board of Regents
Historic Inventory: none
Date: 1917
Condition: extant

Architect or Firm: Henry C. Trost
Associated Architect or Firm: Trost & Trost; Kathleen L. Worrell; Charles M. Gibson, of Gibson & Robertson; Edward Kneezell
Contractors: V. E. Ware
Dimensions and Orientation: faces south; three stories; foundation has inside dimensions of 131 feet x 45 feet, 6 inches; walls batter inward 7 inches per ten feet; height, about 45 feet from grade to roof eaves (sloping site)
Budget/Cost: part of original expenditure for campus; no breakdown was made (see University of Texas EL Paso Plan)

Foundation: concrete
Wall Materials: plaster, over brick, stone and concrete
Roofing Materials: composition
Other Materials Used: exposed brick and glazed tile trim
Remodeling and Additions: addition constructed 1967

Present Owner: University of Texas Board of Regents
Location of Drawings: El Paso Public Library, O1, 30 ink on linen original plans dated April, 1917, including sheets 2-7 and 9-11: plans, front, side and rear elevations, plus sheets 12-14 and 29-30: details shared with other campus buildings; Ponsford 439: photograph of Trost & Trost watercolor rendering, undated
Location of Documentary Photographs: El Paso Public Library, Ponsford 436 as part of general view, c. 1917-1918; Aultman A5956, A5961 (close up general views, with automobiles), A5512 (as part of general view, c. 1917-1918), and A5957 (as part of general view, c. 1921)

Bibliography: (1) Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht, Henry C. Trost: Architect of the Southwest (El Paso: El Paso Public Library Association, 1981) page 67 reproduction of facade from ink on linen drawing, El Paso Public Library O1, sheet 9, listed above, and a photograph. Aultman A5957, listed above, showing Old Main as part of general view of the campus); pages 64-68 (discussion of the origins of the campus architecture and the role of Trost)
(2) Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht, The Trost Touch; Henry Trost & the Bhutanese Architecture, Nova, the University of Texas at El Paso magazine, volume XVI, number 2 (December, 1980), page 3 (Aultman A5957, listed above, and page 4 (reproduction of El Paso Public Library O-1, sheet 9, ink on linen drawing listed above)
(3) Francis L. Fugate, Frontier College, Texas Western at El Paso; the First Fifty Years (El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1964), following page 28: color reproduction of Trost & Trost rendering of facade; facing page 68: photograph, 1918, general view
(4) Evan Haywood Antone, editor, Portals at the Pass; El Paso Area Architecture to 1930 (El Paso: El Paso Chapter, American Institute of Architects, 1984), pages 46-49 (discussion, illustrated with early photographs (A5956 and A5512 and a 1983 drawing by Morris A Brown)

Remarks: Commission 2414 El Paso architect Edward Kneezell was superintendent of construction.

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