Ero Architects

Zapata County Museum of History

Zapata County
  • Client

    Zapata County

  • Budget


  • City


  • Sq. Ft.



More than 60 years ago, the original town of Zapata became submerged under water with the creation of Falcon Dam and Lake. Over 600 families were displaced and most of the buildings were destroyed. Zapata County decided to preserve its diverse and rich history. The community wanted a facility to house educational programs, interpretive exhibits, a permanent collection of historic artifacts and community spaces to investigate local history while promoting a sense of pride in our local history. Specifically, there was interest in preserving animals specimens, a botanical garden, geological and the energy industry histories and local citizen's role in wars, and religion.

Zapata County asked ERO to create a building that interprets Zapata’s rich history and incorporates historical references. ERO’s solution was a contemporary green design with touches of history everywhere. Laja stone walls decorate the north and west facades with window troneras and hacienda-style wooden doors. The original troneras were small holes in the walls which supported a controlled field of fire for muskets.

An aqua-blue multi-colored meandering walkway leading up to the museum entrance symbolizes the Rio Grande River. Translucent blue water and rippling clouds hang overhead as you enter the museum. Motion-activated lighting washes the wall, representing the underwater effect of Falcon Lake. A gazebo on-site for community gathering and entertainment replicates one from the original townsite’s central plaza. ERO’s museum design is truly a community gathering place to share its history and beautiful Chihuahua desert environs.

Next Project

Zapata County Technical and Advanced Education Center

Zapata County

We're interested in hearing from you. Please contact us.