Lost Foundations

El Paso’s downtown area is kind of unique. Many if its buildings have remained relatively unchanged since their initial construction.  Sure, businesses have come and gone and some new buildings have replaced old dilapidated or damaged structures.  For the most part though, we have retained in continual use many of the buildings and homes that date back to the early 1900’s.

The neighborhoods in central El Paso and in the Sunset heights area retain their older character as well.  As they say, you can’t stop progress and with construction of the I-10 freeway, it would obliterate a few hundred homes and businesses that ran along its route.

Downtown El Paso before I-10

On both sides of Prospect St. were it croses over the freeway there are 2 distinct areas were a few remnants of these buildings once sat.

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Parking up on the north side of prospect, you find the first set of stairs to nowhere:

Lost Prospect
Lost Prospect

What’s fascinating is that in addition to the stairs the foundations are largely intact.  The walls may be long gone but somebody still resides here:

Shirt Curtains
Shirt Curtains

On the south end of Prospect St. there is a larger area that was once apartments. There may be some other reason that they are no longer standing as they seem to be situated closer to the historic San Francisco neighborhood and out of the range of the freeway.

Let Love Enter
Let Love Enter

This plat of land had more of an archaeological dig feel to it. Large sections of sidewalk and wall foundations are easily identifiable.

The dig site
The dig site

And just like the other side there are various signs vagrant activity. Old shoes, mattresses and camp like sites were butted up against the few remaining walls.

The throne room
Dr. Jones! We found the throne room!

The tile entryway in one of the buildings was still intact, you don’t find build quality like that anymore:

tile floor
A little Swiffer wet-jet action and its good as new

I had to split as I was parked illegally on Prospect St. but I did get a few more interesting shots that can be found here: Lost Foundations

Sunset Grocery

If you are traveling west on I-10, one building that stands out in the Sunset Heights neighborhood is the Sunset Grocery.

Sunset Grocery

Sunset Grocery

The distinctive green and white color scheme make spotting the three story building from the freeway easy.  The bottom store is filled with various antiques and other items but does not appear to be a real store.   I “Googled” looking for any information about the building and came up empty with the exception of a dubious Facebook page. (Update 11/7/2012: I have come across a new Facebook Page that appears to be legitimate and is worth checking out for the history and other photos)

Faded Sunset

The painted signage that was once prominently displayed on the brick facade is almost completely faded away.  The building sits at a off square intersection, so its footprint is kind of unique, I don’t think there are any right angles.

Not square

Not square

The apartment entrances are in the back with a few parking spots so if you want your next rental home to be in a historic neighborhood you can give them a call.

For Rent

For Rent

Full Flickr set here: Sunset Grocery

Fabens, Texas has a big cock!

Well it does:

My, what a big cock you have there

Fabens, Texas is the last stop east out of El Paso county.  The ginormous rooster guarding Fabens Street is not the only interesting item here.  Some of Steve McQueen’s “The Getaway” was filmed there, though off hand I couldn’t pick out where.

Before the rooster is a Pontiac Ventura permanently embedded in an empty lot.  It appears to be advertising the locations great potential for your future business opportunity:

Crash and Burn here!

Traveling down Fabens Street, left onto Alameda and in about a mile you will find what looks like a airplane graveyard:

Final boarding call for the last flight out of Fabens

The property has several fuselages scattered about it along with random airplane parts and crates of Steno cans.  The Steno and plane wrecks gave me a creepy “Alive” vibe, minus the cannibalism and bitter cold.

Fabens is also not immune to the effects of rampant file sharing and movie piracy:

Eddie couldn’t holdout for the return of Betamax

Just down the street from Eddie’s is Hotel California:

Captain, Please bring me my wine

Not really.  It sure does look similar to the Eagles album cover though.  The warm hands of God must have kept their palm trees alive during February’s unusual 4 day freeze, unlike 95% of El Paso.

I didn’t have much more time to keep driving around freaking out the locals so I headed back to EP.  The full Flickr set can be found here: Fabulous Fabens