Victor Landa (2018, Nov 1). Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales applauds today’s approval of funds for the restoration of the Basila Frocks building as a step towards the revitalization of the near Westside. Retrieved from

“Today the San Antonio City Council voted unanimously to build a better city by honoring its past and by acknowledging the wealth of a community rooted in its history.

The Basila Frocks building, which was a bedrock of community and commerce for generations, has been an iconic presence on the corner of Martin and Zarzamora streets, in District 5, since it was built by Syrian immigrants—the Basila family—in 1929. It originally housed a second floor garment factory with retail businesses on the first floor.

For almost 90 years the Basila Frocks building has been occupied by a myriad of businesses: restaurants, night clubs, and grocery stores. And it’s also been a hub of community and political activity.

“Through the years the building has been the locus of the aromas of wonderful food, of the sounds of exciting jazz and the energy of political action—Henry B. Gonzalez held political organizing meetings there,” said Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales.”