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Monday, December 20, 2004
More on Downtown Brownsville Architecture
Elizabeth st. in downtown Brownsville in the mid-20th cent.
It's funny, the things you will find when you google something precisely enough. I was researching the internet for any information concerning the renovation of the El Jardin Hotel in downtown Brownsville, when I found this whole barrage of interesting links, which made me love my town even more. Arriba!
El Jardin Hotel Commentaries:
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/opinions_comments.php?id=49147_0_11_0_C14(comment at lower section of page)
Currently, the second largest building in the Brownsville skyline, it is also abandoned and just about left to ruin to bats, teenagers looking for trouble and the weather of time. There are rumors about its eventual renovation running about, but we'll have to wait and see if there’s any promise to them. Back in it's more glorious days, the hotel catered to many prestigious guests like Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindberg.
Capitol Theatre Coverage:
Currently, plans are underway to renovate The Capitol and its adjacent buildings into a large performance hall. The interior of the theatre alone would work as a reception area alone. Of course, money constraints are delaying the actual initiation of the renovation. (Any interested philanthropists out there??) Downtown has a scattering of old theatres that most younger Brownsville generations would not recognize as such today. My mom was telling me the other day that Brownsville had as many as 8-10 theatres before our current Cinemark days. One early memory of mine is when my parents took me to the theatre downtown. I remember running down the aisle up to the screen and my dad having to get me...(I must have been not much younger than a toddler and I want to say it was the Majestic theatre but I am not sure...)
Brownsville Architecture Enthusiasts:
Brownsville Society for the Performing Arts
These folks are at the forefront of the Downtown Brownsville Revitalization. I was even happier to find two more Brownsville blogs!
Brownsville Culture and Life Coverage:
The first link is to an article about Brownsville by local RGV culture and arts magazine The Mesquite Review and the second link is like a Brownsville High School (which saw it last days in the 60's before our current load of 5 high schools) reunion page with tons of pictures and memorabilia.
Also exciting to note is that downtown Brownsville is garnering the attention of filmmakers. Here is a clip of an article that ran in The Herald yesterday about an independent film called "The Souless" that is being shot in Brownsville (one location in particular is at over at the TinSoup art gallery.
Film Commission welcomes Mexico City native moviemaker.
By JEANNIE FLOYD
The Brownsville Herald
December 19, 2004 — Steven Spielberg is not filming a movie in Brownsville, but up and coming filmmaker Cruz Angeles thinks the city makes the perfect backdrop for his new psychological thriller, “The Soulless.”
With more filmmakers frequenting the area, who knows ... maybe one day Brownsville city officials will role out a red carpet of their own.
“I love Brownsville,” 31-year-old Angeles said during an interview on the set of “The Soulless” at Tin Soup Artspace located at 903 East St. Francis St. “It’s interesting. The city has its own character.”
Angeles and his film crew arrived in Brownsville on Dec. 13 and filmed “The Soulless” for two days.
Angeles said Brownsville’s border community lends an authenticity to the film that couldn’t be found in any other location.
“It has a very interesting geography,” he said. “You have access to both sides of the Texas border and a (strong) Mexican heritage influence.”......
To finish reading this article click here.
Another film that was recently shot in Brownsville and in Matamoros was Puños Rosas. The film site's picture galley is another good resource for photos of Brownsville, SPI and Matamoros.
So yeah.... unique architecture, a bi-cultural atmosphere, a rich history, future filmmaking mecca and passionate and creative people...things are happening in Brownsville and if you are not here, then you need to come and see...and if you are here but not engaged in this cultural activity, then you need to get involved and have a part in the internal growth of your city.
I feel it is so important that Brownsville residents relocate their attention to Downtown Brownsville. We have something here that so many towns would love to have. About a month ago I went the opening of Market Street in The Woodlands, Texas, which pretty much recreated a downtown center in a 30-yr old city. And here, we have an awesome and unique downtown center with a 200 year history and are pretty much neglecting to invest in its many wonderful opportunities and possibilities. And it's not an issue of money for development really, but more an issue of interest. If you get more people interested and wanting to extract more from a certain location...then the money will come, the money will come.
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