One of Las Cruces’s historical landmarks, built in 1929 and designed by Henry Trost, faces the threat of demolition due to illegal activity taking place within the building.
Troy Ainsworth, an historic preservationist specialist of the City of Las Cruces, spoke Thursday with city developers about retaining the building and incorporating it into the rest of the development plan, prevent a demolition permit to be issues to give the City time to come up with possible solutions, and demonstrate that historic preservation is also and economic development tool.
“That building in particular as well as many of our other older buildings here in Las Cruces are underutilized assets. We really have to demonstrate and show they have value,” Ainsworth told ABC-7.
The building has been a major part of the community for decades, but it is beginning to fall apart. With graffiti painted all over the walls and trash throughout the property, the building has proven to be a safety issue. However, regardless of being torn up and littered with trash, there doesn’t seem to be anything structurally wrong with the building.
City officials aren’t the only ones concerned about the demolition. Connie Porter, a Las Cruces resident, believes the building is too beautiful to be torn down.
“I do believe and I’ve always said, it should be saved for other purposes. The outer part of the building and the structure itself is what’s important,” she said.
The president of Mesilla Valley Preservation, Eric Liefeld, had gone through the process with the previous developer to see that the building was protected. But with a new developer taking over control of the property, the prior agreement has to be renegotiated. City officials are in talks with the new developer to see what can be done to preserve the building.