Built for François La Borde, a merchant born in New Orleans and raised in Matamoros, the residential-commercial compound was expanded over a twenty-three-year period. Varied in design, the flat-roofed, two-story, square-plan, central residential block responds to the Border Brick style with its floating cornice, while exhibiting Queen Anne features in the jigsaw-cut brackets and gingerbread details of its double-tiered wooden gallery. Flanking each side of the residential segment, one-story side wings with brick quoins served as warehouse and office space. Projecting to the front, rear, and along the back, the wings created a courtyard accessed by an arched entrance along Garza Street.
Due to renewed military activity along the border as a result of the Mexican Revolution, La Borde hired San Antonio architect Dielmann to add a second story to the side and rear wings to house the increasing number of visitors. Dielmann cleverly used the brick cornices topping the first story of the wings as a base to install a second floor with extended brick parapets, making for a composition so well integrated that it appears to be original in its totality. Since 1917, the building has been in continuous service as a hotel, with a major rehabilitation in 1982 that included period furnishings.