For much of its existence since construction in 1935, the Spanish Revival Style mansion was a private and rather luxurious residence, complete with a Roman tub. It possessed the distinction then and now of being one of, if not, the largest adobe structures in Texas (10,000 sq. feet).
After a period of over 60 years and two different owners, the house was put up for sale at an auction. Despite Quinta Mazatlan’s appeal, developers with eyes on other projects wanted to demolish the adobe home. Thanks to the citizens, the City of McAllen bought the property in 1998, Quinta Mazatlan avoided the bulldozer and assumed a much wider responsibility in the community. In 2006 Quinta Mazatlan opened as a “mansion with a mission."
Previous owners Jason Matthews and later Frank Schultz may not have looked beyond the gates of their property in terms of its potential influence. But now the 20-acre Tamaulipan Thornforest property joins other protected areas from South Padre Island in the Gulf all the way to Roma in the west under the World Birding Center (WBC) organization.
For the City of McAllen, the mansion welcomes business people and dignitaries to the area. Its Spanish architecture and extensive gardens make Quinta Mazatlan a fine reception area for all ambassadors who seek audience in McAllen, one of the largest cities in the Valley.
Quinta Mazatlan is now an urban sanctuary working to enrich people's lives by sharing knowledge about birds, plants, and environmental stewardship in South Texas. Quinta Mazatlan and its WBC partners promote birding and conservation of Valley habitat, especially as it benefits numerous avian residents and neo-tropical migrants. The Valley currently has 1.2 million people on the American side (and at least 2.1 million on the Mexican side), and represents the fastest growing metropolitan area in the country. The protection of woodlands and green space is an important goal for the City of McAllen and its neighbors.