The Kern Place area on the westside has been an iconic neighborhood in El Paso since the first homes began popping up there around 1914. The view of the city, the eclectic mix of home styles and country club feel have continued to make Kern a prestige address in El Paso.

Peter Kern, who developed the neighborhood, and was trying to make the area more attractive to home buyers, put up a large arch at the intersection of North Kansas and Robinson. Two large pillars anchored an arch that was decorated with symbols like a zodiac calendar, the Kern family crest and 444 electric light globes that spelled out "Kern Place." The arch was lit for two years, but it was so bright that the Kern residents complained. The arch stood until 1954 to make room for a street-widening project. There is no mention anywhere of surviving pieces of the arch. It was really spectacular, and it's a shame that none of it seems to have survived so we could at least have a little piece of history. But the new arch that marks the area is a welcome piece of public art. It will be interesting to see what the other arches look like in other iconic El Paso neighborhoods.

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