That’s my own word, and my first project with a local architect specializing in private residences – i.e. small spaces, where each element matters.

It’s for a bike shop in a mid-century modern building, now given new life but true to it’s original vision. That business uses another invented word in their name, “Cyclery”. From this shop I frequent, it’s only a several block ride to access part of El Paso’s trails, carefully cut into the limestone rocks and boulders.  And two blocks from UTEP, and several more blocks to where I live.

Photos at various stages of the soon-to-open Crazy Cat Cyclery store –

before (1/14) – the front

1) The road bike side, along busy Stanton – that’s Eh-stahn-tone in Spanglish.

But this side, except directly under the yucca, will be left for a future phase. The idea is a simple, rhythmic planting in front of the parking spaces implying cadence. With some related sculptures indicative of the road cyclist.

before (1/14) – a nice Yucca torreyi to be retained, worked around
before (1/14) – side…

2) The mountain bike side, uphill along Baltimore – that’s Bal-tee-mor in Spanglish. Think of this as implying how one moves up the trails on the mountain slopes, cutting and weaving between rock…and sculptures in the future.

before (1/14) – lava rock mulch, red or black, is not my thing…
2/14 – inspiration from the trails I bike and hike is my thing…

But the architect was not inspired by angular slabs of rock with Agave lechuguilla. She was into rounded “arroyo rock”, local slang for limestone boulders and rocks.

6/14 – more on the art of finding the right boulders and installing them…

Martina the architect and the heavy equipment person who made it happen (his grandfather built the Gage Hotel in Marathon).

6/14 – and the owner Robert…
7/9/14 – boulders and grades mostly set, oaks and damianitas in, other plants where containers are set in…

Robert’s father recommended he use some “encino trees”, the architect asked me what they are. Yes, she asked a guy whose design practice is named “Quercus” for oak, and whose logo uses not just any oak leaf, but an encino leaf…encino is Spanish for live or evergreen oak. The owner told me how it was great I was on-board with encinos.

Yeah, I’m so on-board, that in 1998 I named my business “Quercus”, since my former home office was along an arroyo with encinos growing in it. Ha!

But the upper terrace on this side and sculptures related to maountain biking will have to wait for yet another phase.

before (1/14) – the corner…brutal, sign to how the building relates to the site…
3/14 – reshaping the out-of-shape is my business and the architect’s…meeting the architect with sketches and plan view…
7/9/14 – more plants in and more to go…

And how about that new sign and canopy? To me, it’s not merely breathing new life into an old building – it’s realizing the architecture for today.

7/9/14 – even an outdoor communal space, one tree in

I laid out those seat walls to ground the building, the 10’+ grade change at Baltimore, and to enclose people relaxing in that space.

This is one of few places in Kern Place with any thought to providing real, outside relaxation. Crazy Cat may have an espresso bar inside, too, so do as the Italianos (and Mexicanos) do, and take it onto the patio!

And that tree is an encino, too!

More on this small landscape’s progress, soon…


2 Replies to “Recyclery”

  1. I am in love with the boulders! Seriously, I need a crane to get me some nice big ones in my back garden! As always, I enjoy seeing your projects come together :-)

    I have a post just on the boulders that we lucked out into getting! And thanks…


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