The residences of Laredo's elite colonial families originally collected around the plaza. This one-story house defining the public space's western edge was built of sandstone with rusticated classical embellishments added c. 1908. Its owner was Colonel Santos Benavides, the highest-ranking officer of Mexican descent in the Confederate Army and later mayor of Laredo and state legislator.
Next door at 204 Flores Avenue, the c. 1870 John Z. Leyendecker House is a one-story, U-shaped dwelling with a zaguán that was also later embellished with rusticated base and lintels. It was built for Leyendecker, a German immigrant and soldier in the Mexican War who married the sister of Santos Benavides. The land for the residence was their wedding gift, and signaled the intermarriage of the first wave of post-1848 immigrants with the landed families. Currently a law office, the building served as a Leyendecker family residence until 1994 (1996, Carlos Jiménez Studio).
At the northern edge of the plaza, the Judge F. Mullaly House (1901), at 1016 Grant Street, is a two-story brick dwelling set back from the street with a double-tiered porch, indicating the transition to Anglo-American styles. Mullaly's marriage to a Leyendecker indicates the strong family ties around the plaza.