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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Preserving the Past at Magoffin Home

By Leslie Bergloff, Magoffin Home Site Manager

For the last four months, the Magoffin Home State Historic Site in El Paso has been undergoing a transformation. This historic adobe building has been the focus of an important preservation project that combines the materials of the past with the best preservation technologies of the present. The renovations will ensure that many more generations of visitors can be transported back in time to enjoy and learn more about the Magoffin Home and early Southwest history.

More than 50 El Pasoans have been hired to work with Stoddard Construction Management, Inc. on the project. The leaking roof is being replaced and the wood exterior trims repaired and repainted. Repairs to the adobe are also included in the work, along with updates to the electrical and mechanical systems. New drainage and grading around the building will prevent any more damage to the adobe bricks.

Each contractor is dedicated to making sure they meet all the requirements of the Antiquities Code as well as the Secretary of the Interiors standards for the preservation of historic buildings. It won’t be long before the home is open and in better condition than it has been for many years.

During a recent paint analysis, some unusual paint finishes were discovered. These “faux finishes” will be restored the building’s exterior doors, windows, and screens. This will more accurately represent the exterior of the Magoffin Home in the late 1800s, when the scoring on the plastered adobe was originally completed. The new paint will make the home even more authentic for visitors.

Community support has been positive throughout the project. People stop by to see what is going on and call to thank the Texas Historical Commission for making sure this El Paso treasure is being preserved. The outpouring of their encouragement and support shows the level of commitment the community has for preserving this historic site. Hardly a day goes by without someone asking when it will open again. Although the work will not be completed until spring 2012, it will all be worth the wait!

For updates and more photos of the project, go to The Magoffin Home is located in downtown El Paso and is part of the Texas Mountain Trail Region.

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