The Duranguito Saga Has Another Chapter – When Will Enough Be Enough?
The on-going saga of Duranguito continued this week. On Monday, the City of El Paso and UTEP professor Max Grossman were back in court arguing over whether or not there is any reason to not tear down old buildings and put up a voter-approved arena. The City says there is no reason to not tear down the dilapidated buildings on the site and that if their archeologist runs into any artifacts they will document and preserve them. Grossman, who has said that the buildings are historically significant, as well as argued that there is a ditch that is one hundred years old, and that Pancho Villa's men stayed in one of the buildings, and that Duranguito is the site of the last remaining Chinese laundry in the city, now has a new argument for why Duranguito should be allowed to continue to deteriorate instead of being razed to make way for something that was approved by voters.
Grossman said that a book was written that says there was an Apache peace camp. That is a brand new theory as to why the neighborhood shouldn't be rehabilitated. Of course, he has had two years and numerous other arguments that haven't worked, but he managed to get stays on demolition permits through endless appeals, and that happened this week as well.
Grossman says that close to 1,000 people lived in the Apache peace camp between 1778 and 1825 and artifacts may be below the ground. That's all well and good, but let's be realistic - that neighborhood is well over one hundred years old. It has had tents erected on the site, there have been wooden edifices built there, the current buildings that occupy the land are, in some cases, one hundred years old, streets have been paved, ripped up and repaved over the years. There have been any number of earth movers, back hoes, and construction machinery in and on Duranguito for over a century. If there are any artifacts left, they are likely unrecognizable at this point.
It's no secret that I think this fight is nonsense. It's also no secret that Grossman and his Houston lawyer will continue to fight it. But really, at long last, when is the legal system going to finally realize that these endless appeals are nothing more than an ego exercise for Grossman? Enough is enough.