Borderland residents in favor of park on ASARCO Talks underway

By Ruben Veloz – KFOX14

EL PASO, Texas — El Paso residents could see a memorial at the ASARCO smokestacks, that’s if a local architect is able to reach a deal with the board of trustees.

Up until a few months the ASARCO smokestacks were to be demolished until a local group called “Save the Stacks” kept that from happening.

Since then local architect Geoffrey Wright has gotten involved with “Save the Stacks” to preserve the smokestacks.

“The stacks are in impressive iconic part of El history.” said Wright. “Since it’s an incredible structure, we think it’s better to save them because once they’re gone, they’re gone.”

Wright has a team of analysts studying the smokestacks, which he says shouldn’t cost too much.

“Building cuts keep evolving and the latest codes would want it to be a little bit stiffer than when it was originally built,” Said Wright.

The smokestacks were built in 1966.

According to Wright, both smokestacks are taller than the Washington Monument, which Wright says are a big part of El Paso history.

Many El Paso residents said they’re in favor of having the ASARCO sight cleaned up.

“I think they should be preserved as a landmark and possibly other uses that can be made of them,” said Judy Kile.

One option is to make it into an observation deck or a restaurant.

“We would probably like to put a glass elevator on the other side of the stack so people would get a thrill ride up to the top,” said Wright, but the smokestacks could still disappear if a deal isn’t reached.

“I don’t see any costs in keeping them up, but we don’t have a final inspection and the final technical results so we need to reserve judgment,” said Wright.