The smooth whitewash stucco blanketing Casa Navarro (228 S. Laredo St., 210/226-4801, www.thc.state.tx.us , 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wed.–Sun.) doesn’t quite mesh with the blocky correctional facilities nearby. Once inside, however, this cozy home of Tejano patriot Jose Antonio Navarro radiates a charm not found in the urban fortresses beyond the house’s thick adobe walls.
Navarro’s home reflects his simple yet refined environment, including interpretive panels, Texas law books, a rustic desk with an inkwell, and other period furnishings offering insight about his family and city during the mid-to-late 1800s. Most of the home was constructed circa 1848, and its recent acquisition by the Texas Historical Commission has helped raise the profile of the deservingly significant complex.
Navarro’s service to Texas is legendary—he served in the legislature under Mexico, the Republic of Texas, and the state of Texas, and he signed the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836 representing San Antonio . Most historians consider Navarro to be the first Tejano to write about Texas history.