10 years since Asarco Fell

If you are a native El Pasoan you probably remember the giant smoke towers that used to stand on the edge of the border freeway known as the Asarco Stacks. In 1910 El Paso’s lead smelting was expanded to also smelt copper and the well known  Asarco stacks we remember were established. Ore’s were brought in from mines in Mexico to be smelted and refined  at Asarco. In the 80’s and 90’s our family lived in a home in Kern Place with a great view of the stacks. I can still remember the early morning whiff of sulfur in the air on processing days. While there are pages and pages of reports on the negative impacts Asarco had on the environment, pollution levels, and contamination of soil in our surrounding neighborhoods… there is still a part of my brain that feels like our skysape is missing a piece now that they are gone. As we commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the stacks coming down, I wanted to take a moment to remember the enormity of those mighty towers, to acknowledge the economic growth and contributions to the railroad the plant brought to El Paso, to remember the thousands of workers who labored there over the nearly 100 years it was an active smelter, and most of all, to remember the families who experienced tragedy because of the pollution it caused. They may not be visible in the sky above our Sun City any longer but the impact they had on our city will be a part of El Paso’s history forever. read more about Asarco here: history of Asarco 

Watch a video of the stacks falling: video

Purchase a copy of my Asarco painting here: buy a print

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