On El Paso, Texas's western side, there is a historic neighborhood called Kern Place. The area is located north of downtown and just east of the University of Texas at El Paso. Kern is a part of El Paso's District 1 and is presently represented by Peter Svarzbein.
Peter E. Kern (1860–1937), after whom the area was named, founded Kern Place. In 1881, Kern first visited El Paso. Juan and Guadalupe Ascarate sold him a lot of land in 1886, and the McKelligon tract, which was the largest of the sales, eventually became the Kern Place community.
Peter E. Kern built the area, which previously had a peculiar gate at the entrance. The neighborhood's Madeline Park is named after Kern's daughter. The neighborhood's unique housing is bordered by shops and a small entertainment center.
Kern did not want any businesses on his land, and he named the streets after people and places he "admired." Kern borrowed money to develop the land from Texas Bank & Trust, which ultimately merged with First National Bank. Kern donated Madeline Park to the city of El Paso in 1915 after having 500 trees planted there. On May 4, 1926, Kern sold the property that made up Kern Place.
The Kern Village Shopping Center was built in 1959 thanks to the purchase of the Kern Place site by Clinton and Hal Dean Jr.
At the intersection of North Kansas Street and Robinson, Kern built a gate that served as an archway to the neighborhood's entry in 1916. The gate cost $2,500 and was made of iron and stone. Kern located Toltec descendants and engaged them to assist with construction.
The residences in Kern Place have distinctive architecture, and some of them were constructed by locals. The Paul Luckett Home, built of native rock and situated at 1201 Cincinnati Avenue above Madeline Park, is one of the more well-known residences. Its circular walls and a crenelated rooftop have earned it the nickname "The Castle."
Kern Place in El Paso, In order to serve as "a memorial and his legacy to the generation present and who will come after them," Kern wanted the gate to endure forever. Over time, vandals stole various parts of the gate, leaving only the stone pillars standing. The gate was ultimately taken apart in 1954 as part of a street-widening project.
As part of the Sun City Lights Project, a brand-new gate that will be situated on Cincinnati Street and serve as a nod to the former Kern Place Gate was planned in 2017.
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