Historic Buildings of Rio Grande City

Rio Grande City, Starr County

Founded by Henry Clay Davis in the mid-19th century, Rio Grande City is one of the state’s most architecturally significant cities along the Rio Grande River. Tourists and businesses associated with NAFTA have in recent years begun to draw attention to this once almost unknown community. Despite the growth in awareness, the city remains challenged economically and many of the historic properties are neglected and underutilized.


Some of the city’s most noted buildings include the Samuel Julian Stewart House (c.1850), known for its combination of Spanish and Mexican architectural influences; the LaBorde Hotel (1877), featuring a combination of Spanish and French influenced architectural traditions; and the Silverio de la Pena Building (1886), the work of master mason,Heinrich Portschellar. Many of these buildings are part of a historic district being proposed for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.