Ed T. Amonette Residence, 1928

Recently, another El Paso based non-profit organization asked us (the Trost Society, where I volunteer) to supply a list of buildings designed by iconic El Paso builder and architect Mabel C. Welch. Welch, El Paso's first female architect and Texas' second, is reported to have designed over 1,000 local buildings, the vast majority of them residences. We went back to period newspapers and found almost 60 local addresses that were identified as Welch builds.

One of the most interesting of these homes is a Craftsman styled residence at 3108 Wheeling in Manhattan Heights. We know Welch as a designer of Spanish styled buildings, so seeing this clean looking Arts & Crafts was a surprise.

The home was built for Ed T. Amonette, a hardware retailer who was in line as the 4th successive owner of the old iconic Krakauer & Zork Hardware Co., which had gone out of business locally on the 28th of February, 1920.

Krakauer & Zork, a company founded in 1886 on El Paso Street, was insolvent and drowning in debt, and sold the business and inventory to Paul Rayburn. Rayburn created the House-Hold Hardware Company on March 1, 1920, located at 214 N. Stanton; but sold out to J.B. Wood in 1922. Wood in turn sold the business to Hines Hardware the following year; and Hines, in its turn, sold out to the Olson-Watts Hardware Co.

Finally, in 1927, Ed T. Amonette purchased the company, which remained at 214 N. Stanton. Amonette ran the firm until December, 1931, when he finally closed it. The building was taken over by the El Paso Tent and Awning Company. (Ironically, as Amonette took over what had been Krakauer & Zork in 1927, Luis Zork, son of the company's founder, paid off the old company's outstanding debt and started Zork Hardware. A fascinating story detailed in the November 10, 1927 El Paso Herald.)

The home, located at 3100 Wheeling, is a very clean looking Craftsman designed residence, hipped-roof with huge overhanging bracketed eaves. The fully covered front porch drives the heat away in the summer. The brick columns are not conical, which we would expect to see in this style. It is a variegated red brick building on a rock/concrete foundation, which is common for this period.

The Amonette family remained in the home until at least 1939; a refreshing curve-ball from the fertile mind of Master Architect and Builder Mabel Welch.
Text and research provided to sketchclub.net by Mark Stone, citing period newspaper clippings accessed at newspapers.com

Google Earth Street View, accessed 03/05/2021

Google Earth Street View, accessed 03/05/2021

Google Earth Street View, accessed 03/05/2021