You are here

Old Cameron County Jail

-A A +A
1913, c. 1925, 1930, Atlee B. Ayres. 1201 E. Van Buren St.

Built by Ayres in Classical Revival to complement the courthouse, the county jail received additions in the 1920s due to continued population growth. According to public records, the last addition in 1930 created resentment by local architects over the selection of San Antonio–based Ayres for such a substantial public commission. The facility was renovated in 1993 as an office for attorneys, with interior floor plan, doors, bars, and jail cells intact.

The jail towers over the Fourth Ward, or Barrio Buena Vida, a traditionally working-class neighborhood where, historically, the majority of citizens of Mexican origin resided in Brownsville. Today, the area is notable for its small, side-gabled, board-and-batten cottages sited close to the street and facing the alleys.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.