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  Texas : Architecture : Drive-by Architecture :
Drive-by Architecture

San Benito's Exotic, Eclectic Aztec Building

Photos courtesy Cruse Aviation
and the San Benito Historical Society

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The Aztec Building as City Hall

Photo courtesy San Benito Historical Society
   
Once in a while a truly unique building gets built. Perhaps it was the brainchild of a Winter Texan's fervid imagination - or perhaps it was someone wanting to built tall on a small lot to fully utilize the beautiful view overlooking the water. Was it a contractor fufilling an order from a Yankee owner - or was it simply built to attract customers and be the talk of the town?
"The Art Nook, Aztec Building, San Benito, Texas"

Postcard courtesy Steve Cruse
 
A view from the Aztec rooftop

Postcard courtesy Steve Cruse
   
Although it is currently occupied, the building still remains something of a mystery. It has had at least four incarnations - as a restaurant, an artist's retreat, the San Benito city hall and (currently) offices for Los Ninos - an adoption agency.

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The Aztec Building as restaurant
Photo courtesy Steve Cruse
John Troesser

Readers' Forum:
I remember when the city cut the "bow" off of this building to extend the road... What a shame! Before that it really looked like a ship on the water. My parents used to dance on the rooftop. How cool is that! - Cheryl Hunt, October 17, 2005

We encouage San Benitites to send in any memories they may have of the Aztec building - whether they include getting a permit, attending art classes, eating a memorable meal, dancing on the rooftop or all four. Contact us.

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