You are here

17th Street

-A A +A
1912–1947. 17th St. between Galveston and Beaumont aves.

As the hub of the Hispanic business district, this busy, pedestrian-friendly artery is continuously lined with one-and two-story brick commercial structures highlighted by the D. Guerra and Sons Building (1912) at 100 S. 17th Street. The Cine El Rey at number 311 (1947), another anchor of this corridor, responded to the increased demand for Spanish language entertainment in McAllen due to the post–World War II influx of Mexican workers. The Moderne design, with projecting neon marquee and porcelain enamel wall panels, seats 700 spectators. The geometric motifs decorating its interior walls and ceiling were restored during the theater's rehabilitation as a movie house and community center.

Another cultural anchor in the Hispanic sector, the Roosevelt School at 1619 Galveston Avenue acquired an addition by San Antonio architect Ralph Cameron in 1927. The brick addition is notable for its ornate entrance with large sculpted figures and geometric motifs designed by S. C. P. Vosper, Cameron's draftsman, based on Meso-American themes, signaling the building as McAllen's historically designated “Mexican School.”

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "17th Street", [McAllen, 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, 294-296.

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.