The historic J.L. Putegnat Building was built around 1860, once a pharmaceutical building to the Putegnat family, who came to the new world close to 200 years ago.
“The Putegnat family was very prominent in France as apothecaries. There was even a member of the family that was involved in the founding of the school of medicine in Paris,” said Eugene Fernandez, Commissioner of the Cameron County Historical Commission.
Including Annie Putegnat who would go on to become Brownsville’s first principal, and now has a school named after her, and generations later, the family is honoring the Putegnat’s legacy by restoring the civil war era building with the expertise of architect Fernando Ballí.
“It started about 10 years ago with the Balli group doing the actual physical repairs and restoration of the building,” Fernandez said.