Notes: A street view of El Paso Street at the corner of San Francisco Street at the old Plaza, looking south toward Mexico. Visible in the left foreground is the Bank of El Paso, probably the State National Bank of El Paso, chartered in 1881. On the other side of the street several business signs are visible, including the Star Restaurant and Mundy Bros. Market. The corner of a building is visible on the right (northwest) corner of San Francisco St. It may well be the building of the publisher, W. G. Walz's Mexican Art and Curiosity Store, which was located at the very top of El Paso Street.
The photo is captioned in ink, "El Paso St. 1881" in an early hand. The date seems reliable. Based on the El Paso Directory of 1886-87 (the first for the city) and the July 1888 Sanborn Fire Insurance maps of the town (digitized by the Library of Congress), this view predates those references. The buildings in this view are mostly one and two story adobe buildings. By 1888 they were two and three story brick buildings.
Albumen silver print. 7-1/2 by 4-1/2 inches. On a slightly larger contemporary mount.
Edition + Condition: A medium contrast print in the foreground, fading in the distance. Imperfect mounting of the photograph has left a small bubble along the bottom edge. One letter of the ink caption intrudes into the image. Maker's mark stamped in blue ink on verso (back). Mount near fine; image also near fine.
Publication: El Paso: W. G. Walz, 1881.
Item No: #307856