1930 McMath Printing Company

Here is a wonderfully designed Spanish structure, located at the corner of Wyoming and Cotton in El Paso. It was completed in 1930 for the McMath Printing company, a major El Paso printing firm that was in charge of twice-yearly phonebooks for cities throughout the American Southwest, including Tucson, El Paso, Phoenix and Albuquerque. During their heyday, they printed the telephone directories for over 85 towns of all sizes, and had a reputation for quality that has been rarely matched.

McMath Printing, owned by William S. McMath, was founded in a small shop at 420 E. San Antonio in 1913. Within 3 years, the company relocated to a larger shop at 520 E. San Antonio, the site of the current Glass Monster (aka El Paso County Courthouse). 

The company, which had 40 employees and a payroll of almost $100,000 annually, operated successfully at that location for 14 years. As sales exploded, they needed a new facility - and built the structure that stands today at Cotton and Wyoming. McMath did business out of their corner location for the next 29 years, before the business and building were sold to Hill Printing in November, 1959. The owner, William S. McMath, passed away at the age of 82 on May 12, 1948 - the King of El Paso printers.

The Class D Commercial Building Permit for the structure was issued on February 18, 1930 with an estimated cost of $17,000. Initially, opening day was planned for April 1, however the building was not opened and occupied until May 20. 

The contractor was George Baudette, a gentleman who is documented to have been the contractor for only one other build in town. There is no documented architect for this beautiful building, however the design very strongly suggests Otto Thorman. The building design is reminiscent of Thorman's KROD building, with its central corner tower and wings; the central mission bell tower was seen on the Mission Theater, also a Thorman design.

Final erection cost for the building was &35,000, more than twice the original estimate. Today, the structure appears to be in great condition, and is the home of the Living Hope Christian Counseling Service.
Text and research provided to sketchclub.net by Mark Stone, citing newspaper articles and advertising accessed at newspapers.com

Newspaper clipping of the architectural drawing of the building is from the February 15, 1930 El Paso Times page 6, via newspapers.com

Google Earth Street View accessed 03/08/2021

Google Earth Street View accessed 03/08/2021

Newspaper Clipping of the Opening Announcement is from the May 20, 1930 El Paso Times, page 2, via newspapers.com

Google Earth Street View accessed 03/08/2021