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The Plaza

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1876–1910. Bounded by St. Peter's, Victoria, St. Joseph, and Mier sts.
  • St. Francis de Paula Catholic Church (Photograph by Gerald Moorhead)

This public space functions as a counterpart to the sporadically developed courthouse square and documents varied architectural styles and materials. At its western face, centered on Victoria Street, is St. Francis de Paula Catholic Church (1909) by Jules Leffland of Victoria. The sheer size of the Gothic Revival design provides a commanding presence over the plaza, which is landscaped with trees, benches, and a central bandstand. A one-part commercial block (c. 1905) at 202 St. Joseph Street with a cast-iron storefront was recently rehabilitated as a law office. The Levi Building at Mier Avenue and St. Peter's Street, with elaborate brick cornice and chamfered corner entrance, signals the arrival of Jewish mercantile families to San Diego, who came at the heyday of the sheep ranching economy. The north face of the plaza contains several caliche-block dwellings, including, at 211 St. Peter's Street, a large side-gabled residence (c. 1880) that represents the adaptation of a traditional South Texas building material to Anglo-American building types. In addition to this plaza and that of the courthouse, yet a third public space to the west, the Plaza de Alcalá, was reserved as an entertainment venue in the 200 block of Collins Avenue.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "The Plaza", [San Diego, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: Central, South, and Gulf Coast, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 265-266.

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