Brophy Apartments

Here is an interestingly designed El Paso Apartment structure erected for Bisbee, Arizona's William H. Brophy in 1916. The building squeezes into a very sharp triangular corner at Olive and San Antonio, just east of Downtown El Paso, making use of space in a very creative fashion. It still stands today, albeit in ragged condition, and is the home to El Paso's Annunciation House (see

The building was designed by the El Paso architectural firm of Gibson & Robertson as a combination retail store building and apartments. The upper floor was initially planned to have three 3-room units, with storage on the first, along with retail on the corner (west) end of the building working its way back to mid-structure. Erection costs totaled $12,000 for this red-brick arrow. The building is an eclectic mix of both Spanish and Mission styles, with its humble Mission parapets scattered about the roof and the Spanish-tiled roof overhangs supported by wonderfully detailed beams. Again, just like the Mission Revival designed Gibson residence on Fort Boulevard, we see -no- arched doorways or windows. The firm can do arches, for example their brilliant Roger Bacon Seminary; but sometimes they just feel like teasing us. 

Although in poor (apparent) condition, the Annunciation House is engaged in restoring the property, according to signs taped to the doors. This is quite a beauty, especially after a reno; one of Gibson & Robertson's jewels in our city.

For information on the Annunciation House, an organization that has occupied the property since the 1970s, please visit their website at You will be glad you did, because they are an organization to be proud of. Their site also has additional photographs of the structure taken before the excessive tree growth seen in our photographs.


Text, modern photographs and research provided to the El Paso Sketch Club by Mark Stone. This historical narrative is derived from newspaper articles and City Directory entries accessed through the Library of Congress' Chronicling America project at and the University of North Texas (Denton) Digital Archives at