Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Consolation building a treasure worth preserving

Las Cruces, you are my city, my family, my history, my place of birth. I want to thank you for giving me life and story, culture and art, the blessing of hope and a vision of who we are and what we can become.

I am distressed because vision is being eroded, lost to speculation, to what is deemed the necessity of progress, business venture outweighing the respect and preservation of what makes us who we are.

We are a Borderland culture and the preservation of this historical Trost building is a part of our history, our architecture, and our art.

Denise Chavez, author and owner of Casa Camino Real Bookstore, sits for a portrait in her pop-up book and art sale in what was Patina Home, Friday May 18, 2018. The pop-up sales proceeds are going to benefit Chavez's project the Museo de La Gente, Museum of the People.

To destroy the Trost building that is located on the former Las Cruces golf course is to erase our history. Do we really want to do this? As someone who was born in the back bedroom of my present home, once cotton fields, whose family came from the east side of Las Cruces, the Mesquite Historical District, someone who attended eight years of Holy Cross School, had my Holy Communion, Confirmation , and life values ​​initiated at St Genevieve’s Church, a sacred building destroyed for gain, it is hard to imagine this happening to the Trost building.

These open wounds are still there for those of us who grew up in Las Cruces. It is devastating to remember the destruction of St. Genevieve’s and so many other local buildings in the past. Where was our vision? My heart still hurts when I think of how beautiful the Three Crosses area was with that green landscape and its elder trees. How can we have let this sentient life be destroyed? How?

Do we want more destruction, more loss for a city that prides itself on its history and people? To imagine that our vision will leave us with the destruction of this historic Trost building is unthinkable.

As a student at Madonna High School, a private girl’s high school once located in Mesilla Park, I attended a prom at the Trost building. It was a magical place and was always a source of pride for our community.

Where is our history? Where is our sense of who we are and what we profess to value?

I am asking you to save this building, to save our history as Mr. Trost was a premier Southwestern architect, our legacy, and our pride. Have you researched his work and seen the enormousness and grandeur of his vision?

Please save his building. It is who we are. Las Cruces. Es lo Nuestro. It is ours. And it matters.

For many years I have been working on Museo de La Gente/Museum of the People an archival resource and community center that will house the history, literature, art, and culture of our Borderland region.

Consider the Trost building as a future cultural space, a showcase of Borderland art and achitecture. As someone who knows the cultural history of our Frontera, it is imperative to save what is of value, of historical significance, a place that is deeply loved and revered by all our community.

Action must be taken to preserve the Trost building.

Please let me know how I can help as a writer, artist, and community activist.

Denise Chávez, owner of Casa Camino Real Bookstore, can be reached at 575-649-9173 or [email protected].

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