Sights and Scenes: El Paso

Sights and scenes around the streets of Downtown El Paso.

First settled in 1680, El Paso is the six-largest city in Texas, with nearly 700,000 residents, and the second largest majority-Hispanic city in the country, with 81% of its population being Hispanic. In addition, the El Paso - Ciudad Juarez bi-national metropolitan area is home to over 2.4 million people, making it the second largest cross-border metropolitan area on the United States-Mexico border.

Historically, El Paso was the largest settlement in New Mexico, as a part of the Republic of Mexico until its cession to the United States in 1848. At the heart of the city lies downtown El Paso. Downtown is made up of several distinct districts with a unique sense of place and level of vibrancy. Here are a few sights and scenes from various districts within downtown El Paso, captured during October’s Next City Vanguard Conference.

Las Plazas Arts District

Anchored by San Jacinto Plaza, the Las Plazas Arts District was once considered the center of town during the city’s earliest days. Today, the district is a vibrant collection of restored historic buildings, interactive public spaces, cultural and special event destinations.

Union Plaza (Nightlife and Entertainment)

Located on the west side of downtown, Union Plaza is a former industrial district built around El Paso’s Union Depot. With the Union Depot still operating as an Amtrak station, the Union Plaza district has emerged as destination for entertainment and nightlife in industrial buildings repurposed for a new mix of uses.