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El Paso’s Blue Flame Building Will Shine Again


A historic downtown El Paso building and an iconic El Paso symbol are getting a new life.

The El Paso Housing Authority has reached a deal to purchase the former El Paso Natural Gas building and plans to reactivate the “flame” at the top of the building, according to a NewsChannel 9 report.

The famed Blue Flame building — nicknamed so because of the teardrop shaped structure at the very top — will light up temporarily when the deal is officially announced on Wednesday, Oct. 18, before going dark again as renovations get underway.

The Housing Authority’s plan, the article states, is a public/private partnership with El Paso billionaire Paul Foster that would allow HACEP to house 150-families, while the first floor would be rented out commercially.

Housing Authority CEO Gerald Cichon told the news station he expects renovations to be completed and the building back in the weather forecasting business as early as January 2020.

Posted by El Paso History on Saturday, April 3, 2010

Locals of a certain age and time may remember when El Pasoans could get a general idea of what the weather the next day would be like depending on the color it illuminated at night.

When the flame is BLUE, no change is due.
When the flame is RED, warmer weather’s ahead.
When the flame is GOLD, cooler weather foretold.
A FLICKERING flame means wind, snow or rain.

The gas company came up with the rhyme decades ago as a memory technique to help people remember what each color represented. Because our weather is relatively steady year-round, it mostly shined blue — hence the building’s unofficial moniker.

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