The City of El Paso, Texas, took several big steps toward a new cultural development project this January, as it focused its efforts on four potential sites downtown. The planned Hispanic cultural center and children’s museum, along with a large multipurpose event center/arena, are key components of a $470 million “Quality of Life Bond” approved by the citizens in 2012. AMS has been part of the planning process since 2013.
Two years ago, AMS was engaged by urban design architects HKS to advise an urban planning project celebrating the border city’s rich cultural heritage. The development of new arts and educational programming was a high priority to bring vibrancy to the community, and serve a population largely comprising young families.
AMS explored the inclusion of the two venues — a Hispanic cultural center, and a children’s museum — as part of the larger bond investment to develop a large multipurpose event center/arena and improve city parks, libraries, museums, the zoo, and downtown. AMS cited the city’s core values, assisted in defining emerging community and facility priorities, outlined opportunities, and completed a market analysis.
Our research and conversations with the community led us to suggest an inter-connected collaborative approach to the museum and cultural center that would contribute to an El Paso “cultural corridor.” The coordinated approach would create shared opportunities across architecture and programming to maximize the impact of the development and the experience of the visitors. We concluded our work with “next steps” that would enable the city to further develop and achieve desired outcomes for the two Bond projects.
We congratulate our colleagues in El Paso as this bold initiative to build quality of life takes its next steps forward.
For more information on the initiative, see the following news articles:
- Quality of Life signature projects: Opportunities and concerns to go before council
- Four Downtown El Paso areas considered for bond projects
- City narrowing site search for Downtown arena, museum, cultural center