Saturday, July 03, 2010

Getting off I-10: Manhattan Heights neighborhood in El Paso

Most travelers never get off the freeway, and that's their loss.  They miss places like the Manhattan Heights neighborhood of El Paso, which we'll feature in the next few days.  Built in the shadow of the Franklin Mountains, this neighborhood has an historic beginning. 

The city's website says this:  "From 1901 to 1908, the Federal Copper Company operated a smelter on a barren stretch of land several miles northeast of downtown near the Franklin Mountains. After the smelter closed, the land was purchased and later platted as the Castle Heights and Manhattan Heights additions. The first named streets in the area reflected the land’s recent use—Federal, Bronze, Copper, Silver, and Gold. Local architect Otto H. Thorman designed a Georgian Revival influenced residence for Mr. and Mrs. S. H. Levell at 3037 Federal in 1914, which was the first home in new subdivision. Residential construction continued at a steady pace, and many of the first homes were spacious, well proportioned, and designed with Classical Revival and Georgian Revival stylistic influences."
  Page down to read more!

Also from the city's website:  "To the west of Memorial Park throughout the 1920s and 1930s, architects such as William G. Wuehrmann, Mabel Welch, and Henry Trost designed numerous residences. Each architect acknowledged the particular quality of El Paso’s Chihuahuan Desert environment and the region’s long-entrenched cultural connection to Spain and Mexico when designing homes from clients. As a result, many residences in Manhattan Heights contain Spanish Colonial Revival elements. The neighborhood also features numerous bungalows, the most prevalent single-family building type in the United States in the opening decades of the Twentieth Century, which contributes to the neighborhood’s visually richness. Welch championed Spanish Colonial Revival as the preferred and most appropriate architectural style for El Paso, and her work ably demonstrates her commitment to a respectful awareness of the community’s Hispanic heritage."

This is one of El Paso's most walkable neighborhoods, and we suggest, also one of the most bikeable. In fact, our cycle-friendly hotel, the Hyatt Place El Paso Airport will shuttle their guests and bikes across the freeway to within spitting distance of this lovely neighborhood.  A map showing the neighborhood's location is here.  Get out and look around!


Anonymous said...

Just to let you know your website has been referenced in the new book El Paso's Manhattan Heights.

Beth said...

Hey, that's great...thanks for letting us know about that! Beth Nobles, Texas Mountain Trail