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El Paso’s ‘Star on the Mountain’ has undergone 80 years of change – with more yet to come

A look at the LED lights used to form El Paso's Star on the Mountain.

EL PASO, Texas -- For 80 years, El Paso's 'Star on the Mountain' has shined a light home for many Borderlanders.  

The Texas landmark has seen changes and improvements since its inception in 1940 by the El Paso Electric Company.

Some El Pasoans may not know that on Easter the star would transform into a cross in the 1960's.

The star has also been lit during major holidays and significant moments in American history, for example, during both the Iranian hostage crisis and the Gulf War.

When the decision to keep the star lit year round was made, the management of it fell to the El Paso Chamber of Commerce - which was given guardianship of the star by the city.

Since then, the star has seen improvements and also its fair share of vandalism by misguided individuals.

Paul Terry of the organization El Paso Shining Star helps maintain the light monument with the help of the Chamber.

“We have a few people who like to come up here and break lights and tear things up. That's not the real El Paso, people that enjoy the star. We would rather just keep them away,” said Terry.

The Chamber's Claudia Rosales has been a part of working on new renovations for the landmark.

“The plan for the Star on the Mountain was to convert it from fluorescent lights to LED which is something that we did at the end of last year,” Rosales said.

The new LED lights were provided by Adrian Dugis Santana, a lifelong El Pasoan and member of The Chamber; he donated 500 LED bulbs.

“These new LED's we installed definitely shined bright and definitely pack a punch on the brightness,” the Coronado High School graduate explained.

Changing the bulbs from fluorescent to LED was only phase two of the changes coming to the Star on the Mountain.

Once prototypes are approved and a plan can be worked out, the star may be like nothing anyone has ever seen before.

Terry, Santana and The Chamber are all working together on phase three.

"We can turn them any color we want. We could have multiple strings that could change different colors. We can make them dance. It's limitless what we can do but we’re still in the design stages,” Terry indicated.

Rosales also weighed in about the star's future potential.

“These LED's do not blink or change color, but we are hoping that is something we can have in the near future for the city of El Paso,” Rosales said.

She also added this advice for residents of the Sun City: “Please be proud of your star. Take care of it and enjoy it. That's what it’s here for."

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

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Wil Herren

Wil Herren is a former ABC-7 news and sports reporter.


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