Saturday, April 13, 2013

El Paso, TX Historic Icons: View of ASARCO Smokestack and Mt. Cristo Rey (Cross sculpture top right). The Rio Grande flows right above the sand hill, going by both.  Photo taken by Mary Jean Marquez on 4-6-11.
The Historical ASARCO Smokestacks-El Paso, TX
By:  Mary Jean Marquez

Today (4-13-13) marks an emotionally sad day in the El Paso, TX & Smeltertown, TX communities, as the Historical ASARCO smokestackes were demolished. 

There were two smokestacks that were built.  The first one was built in 1950 and stood at 612-feet tall. The second iconic red and white smokestack, on the photo above, was built in 1966 and stood at 828-feet tall.  These majestic ASARCO stacks were not merely cement and medal, but represented history of generations who gave of their lives to build a thriving city, and worked hard to provide for their families.  This history was chosen, by the El Paso, TX leadership and others, to be destroyed.  What took years and generations to build, were blasted out of their foundations in a matter of seconds.

It would have been a powerful and right move for the El Paso, TX leadership to "Collaborate" with the people of  the fabulous El Paso, Smeltertown, TX communities, to work together toward preserving this rich  history.  So much beauty and richness could have been created/birthed around both smokestacks, as other cities have done, instead of destroying them.

                                 The question will always remain, "What could have been?"

There are so many different views/perspectives on the stacks going down, and we must remember to respect each others views with civility and common courtesy; We must respect the many people who have a strong emotional connection to the generational history of these stacks. I can personally understand that connection, because I and my husband have family and friends, who are still living and from past generations, who were a part of that great history.  ASARCO was a blessing to so many in the form of work and community, and that strong bond-spirit of community is still alive and going strong.  Hopefully those who were a part of that rich history will continue to heartily share their memories with future generations, keeping them alive.

Although the stacks were demolished and are now gone-a thing of the past, the people's memories cannot be demolished or erased from hearts and minds by anyone! 
In closing, I would like to give a big "Thank You" to all of those who stood strong, fighting to save these "ASARCO Historic Giants".

To view the demolition:

Video in memory of all of the people/families of Smeltertown...who invested sweat and blood making a living for their families at the Historic ASARCO:

Mrs. Mary Jean Marquez
Creator and Founder of ElPasoNista
Creator and Founder of Women Uplifting Women

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