Another amazing building that has sat empty in downtown El Paso has been bought and will be renovated by three local architects.

The long grey building in the foreground of the photo is the W.S. Hills Building at 215-219 E. San Antonio. Bill Helm, Edgar Lopez, Rida Asfahani, and developer Mustafa Rifai, told the El Paso Inc. that they decided to put their money where their mouth is and bought the 91-year-old building that was designed by Henry Trost in 1926. The building is a block away from San Jacinto Plaza and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is part of a block of historic Trost buildings including the Abdou Building and Buckler Block Building in downtown El Paso. The Abdou Building is slated to undergo its own renovation and the Buckler Block Building was restored and reopened as the CVS Pharmacy in 2012.

Downtown has seen a boom in the renovation of historic buildings since about 2012, and it is so good to see more and more buildings being brought back to life. The renovation of the Buckler Block Building is a prime example of keeping the exterior façade of a building intact and repurposing the inside of our historic structures to a modern usage.

It would be amazing to see all these buildings renovated to their original condition, but the better path is to make sure we have the exteriors saved and the interiors restored as much as possible, but still usable in the modern era. That is the way to save downtown El Paso.

Way to go Bill Helm, Edgar Lopez, Rida Asfahani, and Mustafa Rifai!