Some of the Lincoln Park murals in the area under the Spaghetti Bowl in central El Paso are in danger of being lost because of a TxDOT project. TxDOT is working on a major project that will begin next year to connect I-10 to Loop 375, also known as the Chavez Border Highway. From the time TxDOT announced in 2014 that going ahead with the project meant tearing down the Lincon Center, a community center that was badly damaged in Storm 2006 and has been closed ever since, the project has been controversial. It became even more problematic when TxDOT announced that some of the iconic murals on the pillars that hold up part of I-10 would be lost because they could not be preserved.

Patricia Martinez
Patricia Martinez

That's the bad news. The good news is that the first mural that was painted, an amazing image of the Virgin Mary, will be spared. TxDOT officials say they will cut the column off and "fix the top of it so it doesn't look like it was cut off and just left there."

I've always seen the murals from the freeway, but a couple of days ago, I got off I-10 and walked through the entire set of murals. They are beautiful and vibrant, and they speak to the heart of El Paso. The Virgin Mary mural was the first mural painted 1981 by the late artist Felipe Adame. Eleven of the murals could be coming down and TxDOT is working with the Lincoln Conservation Committee to determine which ones can be saved.

I reached out to the Lincoln Conservation Committee but they did not answer my emails or phone calls about the history of the different murals. I am glad that the majority of these amazing works of art will remain. They really are not-so-hidden gems in our town.

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