EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14/CBS4) — The Segundo Barrio Historic District in El Paso will soon be listed under the National Register of Historic Places.
RECOMMENDED: Mexican-American landmark El Paso's Segundo Barrio chosen for restoration fund
With the approval from the federal government, which will be formally published Nov. 15 by the National Park Service, 686 buildings including Sacred Heart Church will be eligible for restoration incentives, a news release from the City of El Paso stated.
"There's so much history, there so much great architecture here. It's finally being recognized not just by the city, county or the state, but by the United States," said Historian Dr. Max Grossman.
Segundo Barrio has been called the "Ellis Island of the Southwest," as it has welcomed countless immigrants from Mexico and all over the world for more than 100 years.
We expected this application to be approved, but it’s still amazing to see it actually realized. This is a significant and exciting County achievement,” said El Paso County Commissioner David Stout, who brought the proposal before the El Paso County Commissioners Court. “Meanwhile, however, the Downtown Historic District application is with the National Park Service in a sort of limbo. It meets all the criteria, but because more than 50 percent of property owners, by a very slim margin, oppose the district, it has not been approved.
Nationally designated Historic Districts come with no property rights restrictions, but they do provide financing tools that give property owners incentives to renovate their properties. Certain restrictions on the property do apply if, and only if, property owners decide to use those financing tools, typically tax credits, the news release stated,
“I hope that once property owners Downtown see how it works in the Segundo Barrio district, they will withdraw their objections, which are based on misinformation about their property rights in a nationally recognized historic district,” said Commissioner Stout. “Meanwhile, I’m very happy to be able to celebrate the recognition by the federal government of the importance of the Segundo Barrio.”
But by the turn of the century, development was taking place. For more than 100 years, it has served as the “Ellis Island of the Southwest,” welcoming countless immigrants from Mexico and all over the world.
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