The largest city in Hidalgo County, McAllen positioned itself from its founding in 1904 as the center of trade in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Within a few years of incorporation McAllen transformed itself into the City of Palms. This tropical image was cultivated by city officials, as they lined major streets with palm trees, built a captivating landmark hotel ( MR1), and constructed new neighborhoods to accommodate a 70 percent population increase between 1920 and 1930.
While residential development continued far to the north, the more commercial south side continued to grow, as McAllen expanded to the new U.S. 83 corridor with skyscrapers and medical, tourist, and retirement facilities to ensure its competitive edge over its neighbors.
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