Community leaders take tour of abandoned Lincoln Center, as next step to save it

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 12:26am

Once a vibrant and bustling part of the community, the Lincoln Center has been closed since 2006 after the floods damaged it. For year, it has been a boarded up vacant building, until now.

Monday, community leaders and the media got a tour of the building from TxDOT and the Lincoln Park Conservation Committee. Inside, a thick layer of dust coats the floors, old murals cover the walls and plenty of things remains from it's last days, when it was used as an emergency shelter for those displaced in the 2006 floods.

"Files, people's information on those computers. They're still upstairs. The city just closed it's doors and they left," said Lincoln Park Conservation Committee leader Hector Gonzales.

Last year the city gave it to TxDOT, recommending the building be demolished because of the damage. But after the Lincoln Conservation committee put up a fight, TxDOT gave the group second chance to save it. Now city council had a change of heart and voted to reacquire and help reopen the center.

"It doesn't deserve to be left in the condition that it's in.We as a community, owe our obligation to clean it up," said State Senator Jose Rodriguez (D) District 29.

A peak into the building's history gave many the chance to see its potential future.

"This is the closest we've been to saving the building and things are moving much quicker since the senator joined forces with us. Now the city is looking like they're interested in rejoining the effort," said Gonzales.

Senator Rodriguez plans on enlisting community groups and sponsors to help reopen the center.

"So this center continues to be a viable, vibrant, active, community center for our citizens here in El Paso," said Rodriguez.

City council is still deciding on how to come up with funding to reopen the building. The conservation committee is currently  working on a business plan. Meanwhile, Senator Jose Rodriguez will request that TxDOT allow volunteers to come and clean the building, so that when other community leaders come to view it, it will be presentable.


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