In 2008, one of our Trost Society volunteers was one of the Managers of the Greyhound Bus Terminal across Santa Fe from the old Haymon Krupp & Company Building in downtown El Paso. The owner of the Krupp, Billy Abraham, was beginning the restoration of the structure by doing interior cleanup and demo, plus replacing old, dated wiring. Our volunteer observed construction equipment parked on the sidewalks next to the building (documented in one of the attached images), and crews working day and night. Unfortunately the financial collapse of 2008 hit the country, and Abraham’s money and investments were lost, and the building sat deteriorating for the next 10-1/2 years.
On November 7, 2018, at a court-ordered auction involving several Abraham owned properties, the Krupp building was sold to Florida investor Stuart Meyers. The Meyers Group was responsible for the outstanding restoration of the iconic Trost & Trost Hotel Paso del Norte.
The Haymon Krupp building was completed in 1916, designed by maestro architect Henry C. Trost and built by contractor V.E. Ware. Initially planned for 5 stories, the building was four stories at completion. The cost was $75,000 for this commercial manufacturing and retail facility. The design is a Chicago Commercial/Manufacturing plan, very similar to the Windy City’s 1911 Pullman Coach Warehouse and Factory, designed by R.S. Lindstrom. In preparation for this building, Krupp and a representative of Trost & Trost (likely Henry Trost) traveled to Chicago to inspect similarly purposed structures. According to the El Paso Herald of December, 1915, this caused controversy in El Paso because some folks thought Krupp was hiring a contractor and workers from out of town. After assuring the local citizenry that everything was on the up-and-up, and only local labor would be used, the building, a veritable tank of a structure, was completed the following year.
The Krupp building was advertised as the first “flat slab reinforced concrete building in El Paso” in a 12/24/1916 El Paso Herald print ad. In actuality, its east and north facades are brick masonry, and the southern and western faces are reinforced concrete. Both Trost & Trost and architect Charles Whittlesey had completed reinforced concrete structures in El Paso by this time, substantially thinning the veracity of the Krupp claim.
Krupp had owned and operated the Bazaar, a retail clothing outlet that had operated in a storefront on the northwest corner of San Antonio and Mesa, and a second location in a Trost & Trost designed building at Oregon and Overland, that is currently occupied by Starr Western Wear. Before occupying his new building, he dropped the Bazaar moniker.
The owner of this company was not known simply as a retail proprietor — his success and fame (and generosity) was widespread. Quoting a previous Trost Society article on Haymon Krupp:
“Haymon Krupp (1874-1949) was a Jewish merchant and investor from Lithuania who came to our city in 1890, just as the population reached 10,000 inhabitants. He was a pioneer of the American outdoor clothing industry and a co-founder of the Texan Oil and Land Co., established in 1919. The company drilled the first successful oil well in the Permian Basin; and in 1928, after overcoming technological barriers, Texon broke the world record and drilled the deepest oil well on the planet (8,525 feet)!
“Krupp was also known for distributing thousands of dollars worth of coal to the poor in El Paso and throughout West Texas every Christmas for 40 years. He once was once honored as the “most distinguished citizen of El Paso” and the “Most Useful Citizen in Texas.” (https://www.facebook.com/TrostSociety/posts/1389213117863417)
A number of businesses have operated out of the Krupp building, which was most notably the site of the Justin Boots factory and distribution center for several years. As detailed above, the building has been vacant and deteriorating some time. Currently owned by investor Stuart Meyers, plans are in place to demolish the structure for a new apartment complex; however we hope a restoration is in its future.
Modern photography taken by Mark Stone 07/23/2018. Historical photographs courtesy of the El Paso Times.
— Mark Stone
Construction Date: Jan 1, 1916
Address: 119 West Overland Avenue, El Paso, TX, USA