San Jacinto Plaza, a historic park at the heart of downtown El Paso, is an ideal starting point for a tour of some of architect Henry Trost’s most famous El Paso buildings.
Here is a list of buildings within walking distance of the plaza:
Roberts-Banner Building, 1910, at the corner of E. Mills Avenue and Mesa Street. An exposed-concrete building, it is set for redevelopment as retail and office space. A Mexican spy network met here during the Mexican Revolution.
Anson Mills Building, 1911, 303 N. Oregon St. It was the largest poured concrete building in the world at the time it opened, and the only building to get a Texas Historic Civil Engineering landmark. Beautifully restored and now used for office space and retail.
Paso del Norte Hotel, 1912, 101 S El Paso St. The hotel is a Chicago-style skyscraper with a large interior shaft and decorations of the European Beaux Arts style. Most recently dubbed the Camino Real Hotel, developers are now renovating the hotel to reopen in October as Paso del Norte Hotel.
Alhambra Theater, 1914, 209 S. El Paso St. A four-bay facade decorated with Arabesque tracery and Islamic calligraphy, the theater is currently the Tricky Falls music venue.
Hotel Cortez, 1926, located on San Jacinto Plaza, a Spanish Colonial Revival structure. President John F. Kennedy stayed here during an El Paso visit. It is now an office building.
Plaza Hotel, 1930, 106 Mills Ave. This Art Deco building opened as the Hilton Hotel. In 1950, Liz Taylor lived in the Penthouse when she was married to Nicky Hilton, one of hotelier Conrad Hilton’s sons. It was renamed Plaza Motor Hotel in 1963 and closed in 1991. Developers are renovating the building as a boutique hotel set to open in spring 2019.
O.T. Bassett Tower, 1930, 301 Texas Ave. A setback skyscraper with elements of Art Deco and Gothic design. The lintel is decorated with a sculpture of Trost’s face. The tower is now home to the Aloft El Paso Downtown.