To the east of the plaza, along Zaragoza Street, a series of major houses with vestiges from the colonial period back up to the riverbanks. Most notable is this house built by rancher-merchant Don José Reyes Ortíz on land granted in 1826. The U-shaped dwelling grew from its original west wing laid perpendicular to the street. As family size and fortunes grew, the house was extended with a front wing in sandstone facing the street, and a later second story in brick with a construction date of July 1, 1872, inscribed on a rafter. The Ortíz House is distinctive for its open-air galleries and its terraced courtyard overlooking the Rio Grande, which may be glimpsed from the street through its zaguán, secured by a wrought-iron gate in the Spanish tradition. Today, it functions as a center for border cultural affairs managed by Texas A&M International University in Laredo.
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Casa Reyes Ortíz
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