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Preservation News Along the Border

By María Castillo-Curry

The Tecate Depot is added to the most endangered list of the Great American Station Foundation
SOHO's nomination of the Tecate depot for the Most Endangered list was accepted by the GASF in 2001, recognizing it as part of the San Diego and Arizona and Tijuana-Tecate railroad corridor which forms a continuous cultural thread along the border. The state government of Baja California together with the municipal government in Tecate and Carrizo Gorge Railway are taking action to preserve the depot with an estimated $300,000 investment.

SOHO Works with Sierra Club to protect border heritage from adverse impact
The Immigration and Naturalization Service is making plans to build 14 miles of fence on the Mexico-US border. Several environmental and preservation organizations are teaming against this proposal because of its adverse impact on archeological and historical sites. The Playas de Tijuana neighborhood in Mexico and the Border State Park in Imperial Beach form a unique cultural and natural area that will be negatively affected by the fence. SOHO is supporting the efforts of the Sierra Club in order to mitigate or eliminate the impact of this project.

SOHO Condemns Defacement of Chicano Park Murals
SOHO condemned the vandalism of the murals at Chicano Park and three at the Centro Cultural de la Raza, which took place prior to the celebration of Cinco de Mayo. The Chicano Park Steering Committee could be awarded a 1.5 million dollar federal grant for the restoration and preservation of the murals. SOHO would offer to support their nomination for the National Register.

Oldest street in Tijuana gets a face-lift
Arguello Street is the oldest downtown street in Tijuana as documented by an 1889 map. With a matching grant totaling $200,000, the municipal government in Tijuana and the merchants of Arguello Street remodeled the facades of the businesses. The government has stated that historical colors were used and that the facades were remodeled to look original. However, Ricardo Fitch, a member of the Commission of Preservation in Tijuana, who was able to convince the government to avoid the use of faux colonial elements, argues that there was not enough historical research prior to the work. He also raised questions about the authenticity of the colors used.

The ex-Municipal Palace in Tijuana to become a museum
The Tijuana municipal government will create a museum of history for the city in the ex-municipal palace (city hall) next year. The edifice, built c. 1924 by the Quayle brothers of San Diego was remodeled as colonial in the 1970's. Tijuana's Commission of Preservation is using the Baja California State Preservation Law to convince the municipal government to restore the façade to its original neoclassical style.

Future trips on the Iron Road of the Californias!
Announcing two thematic railroad tours as part of the Iron Road of the Californias project. The first tour is titled "Traditional Industrial Architecture (1890-1960)" and is scheduled for September 21, 2002, departing from Campo at 9.00am. The objective of this trip is to observe the architectural styles and contexts of traditional industries along the San Diego and Arizona and Tijuana-Tecate railroads. The second tour is scheduled for November 2nd with the title "The Transformation of the Natural Landscape in the Californias Border Region" departing from Campo also at 9.00am. The objective of this tour is to observe the transformation of the natural landscape and the environmental impacts on the border as a result of industrialization and urban growth in the San Diego-Tecate and Tijuana region. Experts from San Diego and Tijuana will guide both tours. Please contact María Castillo-Curry at mec2000_1999@yahoo.com for more information on these exciting tours.

2002 - Volume 33, Issue 2

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