VIGNETTE > El Paseo

Sunnyside Entrance to El Paso  - 1970s

Sunnyside Entrance to El Paso – 1970s

In 1936, Edna Foster, a community activist, purchased the ramshackle three-story Holtum Building at 15 Throckmorton and vowed to make improvements. She also bought the lot behind it on Sunnyside Ave. She hired Gus Costigan to remodel the Holtum Building and help her  envision an adjoining complex of buildings, courts and gardens on either side of a passageway running from Throckmorton to Sunnyside. The name El Paseo was accepted by the City Council as a street and building complex. Design and construction was delayed by World War II, but El Paseo was finally completed in 1948. Upon entering the complex from Throckmorton Ave., the first business on the right is a restaurant which first opened in 1947 and has been under various managements ever since. During the first 30 years, tenants who worked and lived in El Paseo  included landscape architect Herman Hein, interior decorator Charles Durre, The Greenwood Tree oriental art store, John Finn’s accounting, Verne Hockett’s Insurance, The Christian Science Reading Room and various lawyers and physicians.  Today, the restaurant occupies the entire complex except for two shops on Sunnyside and two in the old Holtum Building on Throckmorton.