The stunning adobe mansion in McAllen known as Quinta Mazatlan almost didn't make it into the current century. Built in 1935 as a luxurious private residence, the Quinta is a classic example of the Spanish Revival style of architecture. At 10,000-square feet, it's also considered one of the largest adobe structures in the state. The mansion and surrounding 20-acre estate of manicured gardens and native Tamaulipan thornscrub habitat served as an ideal urban sanctuary in downtown McAllen. But none of that appeared to matter to developers as the property hit the auction block in the mid-1990s. Slated for demolition, the Quinta appeared to be headed for the history books. But concerned citizens of McAllen encouraged the city to intervene and today, under the care of the McAllen Parks and Recreation Department, Quinta Mazatlan shines like the city's crown jewel. Part environmental education center, part reception facility for business, special events, and entertainment, and surviving entirely intact, the Quinta is a restoration success story. It also provides the ideal urban birding site for the Rio Grande Valley's renowned World Birding Center. The birds love it, and no doubt so will you.