The Albert Fall Mansion
14997 Evans Rd. Selma, Bexar County
2006 Most Endangered List
The Albert Fall Mansion in El Paso is one of 12 sites that Preservation Texas, Inc. has named to its tenth anniversary retrospective list of Texas’ Most Endangered Historic Places.
Originally named to the 2004 list of Texas’Most Endangered Historic Places, it is designated as a saved site on the 2013 list. Preservation Texas officials announced the selections on the steps of the Texas State Capitol on Preservation Day, February 20. The annual announcement is part of Preservation Day activities organized by Preservation Texas. Advocates from all over the state come to participate in informational sessions, meet with legislators at the Capitol and get an in depth look at lessons to be learned from the sites named to the list.
“The 2013 list provides a retrospective for us,” said Charlene Orr, president of Preservation Texas, Inc., a statewide partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We decided to focus on lessons learned during the last 10 years by highlighting success stories as well as losses and threatened sites that continue to need urgent attention.” The 2013 list includes six saved sites, three threatened sites and three lost sites.
“Our six saved sites reflect the importance of collaboration between committed grassroots leadership and elected officials and city officials who realize the importance of historic preservation.” she continued. “It’s this powerful combination of resources that can make the difference in preserving a site or losing it.”
“Inclusion of lost sites is important because it illustrates some of the very real obstacles communities face in their efforts to preserve the historic resources of Texas,” said Orr. “And by including threatened sites, we hope to generate additional support that will take them to the next level in their preservation process.”
The two-story Classical Revival mansion was home to Kentucky-born Albert Bacon Fall (1861-1944). He gained notoriety as a circuit judge in the New Mexico Territory and served as the new state’s first elected senator from 1912-1921, where he was recognized as an expert in U.S.-Mexico affairs. Appointed as the Secretary of the Interior under President Warren G. Harding,
he served from 1921-1923 and was convicted of accepting a bribe during the Teapot Dome scandal. The house is significant because of the connection to Fall’s life, and its age and architectural design.
Community organizations including the Historic Landmark Commission of the City of El Paso, El Paso Preservation Alliance and the El Paso County Historical Commission worked with the City’s Historic Preservation Officer and kept the community’s attention on the structure. As a result, the City of El Paso acquired the house by eminent domain, buying the property from the owner. The house will be leased for use by the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center-El Paso. It is a great example of community collaboration using an ordinance as intended to save a significant property.