Border Studio: Oñate Crossing

April 13, 2022

Social Equity + Environmental Resilience + Identity and Community + Border Justice + Border Issues

Project Overview

The El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro’s National Historic Trail’s (ELCA) Oñate Crossing Site historically connected El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México.

Over time elevated highway ramps, roads, parking lots, river channelization and border security have resulted in neglect, abandonment and disconnection of the historic site from communities on both sides of the border.

Students developed new visions for repurposing the site through the design of landscape, border wall strategies, water use, historic preservation, adaptive reuse, design strategies and other aspects of the site with the use of the historical information collected to date.

Students from three universities participated in parallel studios and together visited the site, met with stakeholders and presented their master plans to representatives from the National Park Service and the site’s owner, Abara Borderland Connections. The project will culminate in a publication to include the three universities’ work in 2022.

Community Partners

  • National Park Service
  • Abara Borderland Connections
  • University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning
  • Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez School of Architecture

CAPLA Student Participants

  • Alyssa Arnold '22 B Arch
  • Luis Corrales Valencia '22 B Arch
  • Jose Curtis '22 B Arch
  • Karitza Davila '22 B Arch
  • Garrett Dunn '22 B Arch
  • Ryan Helmick '22 M Arch
  • Matt Johnson '22 M Arch
  • Loren Liebermann '22 B Arch
  • Estefania Peña '22 B Arch
  • Jessica Schuler '22 B Arch



Design Concepts and Visualization of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Oñate Crossing Historic Site in El Paso and Associated Sites in Cd. Jaurez. $7,500 Funding by University of New Mexico.


Architecture Students, ARC410F/510F, Instructed by Teresa Rosano, Assistant Professor of Practice in Architecture


El Paso, Texas


September 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022