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Houston & Texas architecture and history
 

Architecture in Texas: 1895-1945

by Jay C. Henry

This book is the first comprehensive survey of Texas architecture of the first half of the 20th century. More than just a catalog of buildings and styles, the book is a social history of Texas architecture. Jay C. Henry discusses and illustrates buildings from around the state, drawing a majority of his examples from the 10 to 12 largest cities and from the work of major architects and firms, including C.H. Page and Brother, Trost and Trost, Lang and Witchell, Sanguinet and Staats, Atlee B. and Robert M. Ayres, David Williams, and O'Neil Ford. Nearly 400 black-and-white photographs complement the text. Written to be accessible to general readers interested in architecture as well as to architectural professionals, this work shows how Texas both participated in and differed from prevailing American architectural traditions.
 

The Astrodome: Building an American Spectacle

by James Gast

In the summer of 1960, a group of men in Houston set out to build the largest room in the world. That room would have to be large enough for a baseball game, sunny enough for grass to grow, and with air cool and clear enough for thousands of smokers to puff away in air-conditioned comfort. Led by a brilliant and colorful politician, this collection of architects, engineers, oilmen, scientists, and ballplayers created the Astrodome. This is the story of the creation and early days of the first domed stadium, highlighting the people who participated and the unprecedented solutions they developed for problems that had not previously existed. It places the building in its historic context among worldwide architectural and engineering accomplishments, as well as its cultural setting in mid-century America. A 2015 PH Good Brick Award winner
 

Booming Houston and the Modern House: The Residential Architecture of Neuhaus & Taylor, 1955-1960

by Ben Koush

This catalog from a 2006 Houston Mod exhibition on the residential work of Neuhaus & Taylor describes and documents Houston architect Harwood Taylor's early and prolific practice. This phase in his career culminated in his designs for a series of Miesian-inspired suburban courtyard houses and apartments built between 1955 and 1960 that were widely published in the local and national press. The book features an interpretive essay analyzing the design of the houses in their historical and cultural context and includes new and historic photographs, along with never before published architectural drawings.
 

Buildings of Texas: Central, South, and Gulf Coast

by Gerald Moorhead, James W. Steely, W. Dwayne Jones, Anna Mod, John C. Ferguson, Cheryl Caldwell Ferguson, Mario L. Sánchez and Stephen Fox

The architectural history of Texas spans more than 300 years of European settlement and 10,000 years of habitation by native peoples. The incredibly diverse natural landscape and equally varied built environment has produced an architectural heritage of national and international stature. This book, the first of two volumes devoted to the Lone Star State, covers the central, southern, and Gulf Coast regions (the earliest areas of Spanish and Anglo settlement and the majority of the counties that won independence from Mexico in 1836) and includes four major cities — Austin, Corpus Christi, Houston, and San Antonio. More than 1,000 building entries, including 351 illustrations and 50 maps, canvass the most important and representative examples of Spanish missions, log cabins, German stone houses, Victorian courthouses, Moderne stores, contemporary ranch houses, modern skyscrapers, postmodern retail strips, and incursions by internationally renowned architects.
 

The Campus Guide: Rice University

by Stephen Fox

This guide takes readers on an insider's tour of Rice University in Houston. It presents an architectural walk of the campus, revealing the stories behind the historic and contemporary buildings, gardens, and public works of art. Rice University's neo-Byzantine campus, created by Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson, also includes modern buildings by James Stirling and Michael Wilford, Ricardo Bofill, Cambridge Seven Associates, John Outram and Antoine Peacock.
 

Cinema Houston: From Nickelodeon to Megaplex

by David Welling

Cinema Houston celebrates a vibrant century of movie theatres and moviegoing in Texas's largest city. Illustrated with more than 200 historical photographs, newspaper clippings, and advertisements, it traces the history of Houston movie theaters from their early twentieth-century beginnings in vaudeville and nickelodeon houses to the opulent downtown theatres built in the 1920s and on to the multicinemas and megaplexes that have come to dominate the movie scene since the late 1960s.
 

The Country Houses of John F. Staub

by Stephen Fox

This ambitious study of Staub's work goes beyond a description of Staub's houses. Fox analyzes the roles of space, structure, and decoration in creating, defining, and maintaining social class structures and expectations and shows how Staub was able to incorporate these elements and understandings into the elegant buildings he designed for his clients. In the process, he contributes greatly to a fuller understanding of Houston's emergence as a premier American city. With color photographs by Richard Cheek.
 

Down in Houston: Bayou City Blues

by Roger Wood and James Fraher

In the clubs, ballrooms, and barbecue joints of neighborhoods such as Third Ward, Frenchtown, Sunnyside, and Double Bayou, Houston's African American community birthed a vibrant and unique slice of the blues. Ranging from the down-home sounds of Lightnin' Hopkins to the more refined orchestrations of the Duke-Peacock recording empire and beyond, Houston blues was and is the voice of a working-class community, an ongoing conversation about good times and hard times, smokin' Saturday nights and Blue Mondays. In this book, Roger Wood and James Fraher draw on dozens of interviews with blues musicians, club owners, audience members, and music producers, as well as dramatic black-and-white photographs of performers and venues, to present a lovingly detailed portrait of the Houston blues scene, past and present.
 

Fair Park Deco: Art and Architecture of the Texas Centennial Exposition

by Jim Parsons and David Bush

Fair Park Deco focuses specifically on the Art Deco art and architecture of Dallas' Fair Park — the public spaces, buildings, sculptures and murals that were designed for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition. Most of the chapters in the book represent different areas of Fair Park, with buildings and artwork effectively arranged in the same order that a visitor to the Texas Centennial Exposition might have seen them. Fair Park is one of the finest collections of Deco architecture in the country, but it is so much more: the embodiment of Texan swagger, it is a testament to the Texanic task of creating a dazzling spectacle in the darkest days of the Depression. This book, lavishly illustrated with dozens of vintage and original photos, brings the Centennial Exposition to life through its buildings, murals and statuary.
 

Highland Park and River Oaks: The Origins of Garden Suburban Community Planning in Texas

by Cheryl Caldwell Ferguson

In the early 20th century, developers from Baltimore to Beverly Hills built garden suburbs, a new kind of residential community that incorporated curvilinear roads and landscape design as picturesque elements in a neighborhood. This extensively illustrated book chronicles the development of the two most fully realized garden suburbs in Texas, Dallas's Highland Park and Houston's River Oaks. Cheryl Caldwell Ferguson sets the story of Highland Park and River Oaks within the larger story of the development of garden suburban communities in Texas and across America to explain why these two communities achieved such prestige, maintained their property values, became the most successful in their cities in the twentieth century, and still serve as ideal models for suburban communities today.
 

HILL COUNTRY DECO: MODERNISTIC ARCHITECTURE OF CENTRAL TEXAS

by Jim Parsons and David Bush

Using a host of vibrant images, Preservation Houston staff members David Bush and Jim Parsons' Hill Country Deco: Modernistic Architecture of Central Texas captures the essence of the Art Deco style of architecture as represented in the Hill Country of Texas. Hill Country Deco explores how the rich history of these structures collides with progressive notions of historic preservation for remodeling buildings and restoring façades. This collection of historical and modern photographs will encourage a newfound appreciation for Art Deco as seen in Central Texas.
 

Houston Lost and Unbuilt

by Steven R. Strom

Houston Lost and Unbuilt presents an extensive catalogue of Houston's 20th-century public and commercial buildings that have been lost forever, as well as an intriguing selection of buildings that never made it off the drawing board. The lost buildings (or lost interiors of buildings) span a wide range, from civic gathering places such as the Houston Municipal Auditorium and the Astrodome to commercial enterprises such as the Foley Brothers and Sakowitz department stores to neighborhoods such as Fourth Ward/Freedmen's Town. Steven Strom's introductions and photo captions describe each significant building's contribution to the civic life of Houston. The "unbuilt" section of the book includes numerous previously unpublished architectural renderings of proposed projects such as a multi-building city center, monorail, and people mover system, all which reflect Houston's fascination with the future and optimism that technology will solve all of the city's problems. A 2011 PH Good Brick Award winner
 

Houston Deco: Modernistic Architecture of the Texas Coast

by Jim Parsons and David Bush

Buy Houston Deco now for $23.10 plus tax
Signed copies available

When Houston's Gulf Building opened in 1929, the city's planners were eager to align the growing metropolis with the dynamism of the American West, and art deco buildings proliferated: courthouses, schools, even car dealerships had sleek, modern designs, and movie palaces incorporated art deco murals. This book grew out of efforts by the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance (now Preservation Houston), begun in 2006, to save some of these structures. The authors, who also did most of the color photography on every page, went through the city and its environs to chronicle existing structures. Some were well preserved, others in disrepair.
 

Houston's Silent Garden: Glenwood Cemetery, 1871-2009

by Suzanne Turner and Joanne Seale Wilson

Glenwood Cemetery has long offered a serene and pastoral final resting place for many of Houston's civic leaders and historic figures. In Houston's Silent Garden, Suzanne Turner and Joanne Seale Wilson reveal the story of this beautifully wooded and landscaped preserve's development-a story that is also very much entwined with the history of Houston. Accompanied by the breathtaking photography of Paul Hester, this book chronicles the cemetery's origins from its inception in 1871 to the present day. A 2011 PH Good Brick Award winner
 

Material Culture of German Texans

by Kenneth Hafertepe

German immigrants of the 19th century left a distinctive mark on the lifestyles and vernacular architecture of Texas. In this first comprehensive survey of the art and artifacts of German Texans, Kenneth Hafertepe explores how their material culture was influenced by their European roots, how it was adapted to everyday life in Texas, and how it changed over time — at different rates in different communities. The Material Culture of German Texans is about the struggle to become American while maintaining a distinctive cultural identity drawn from German heritage. Houses and their furnishings, churches and cemeteries, breweries and businesses, and paintings and engravings fill the pages of this thorough, informative, and richly illustrated volume.
 

The Other Great Migration: The Movement of Rural African Americans to Houston, 1900-1941

by Bernadette Pruitt

Between 1900 and 1950 nearly 50,000 blacks left their rural communities and small towns in Texas and Louisiana for Houston. Houston’s close proximity to basic minerals, innovations in transportation, increased trade, augmented economic revenue, and industrial development prompted white families, commercial businesses, and industries near the Houston Ship Channel to recruit blacks and other immigrants to the city as domestic laborers and wage earners. Using census data, manuscript collections, government records, and oral history interviews, Bernadette Pruitt details who the migrants were, why they embarked on their journeys to Houston, the migration networks on which they relied, the jobs they held, the neighborhoods into which they settled, the culture and institutions they transplanted into the city, and the communities and people they transformed in Houston.
 

Texas Furniture: The Cabinetmakers and Their Work, 1840-1880

by Lonn Taylor and David B. Warren
in two volumes

The art of furniture making flourished in Texas during the mid-19th century. To document this rich heritage of locally made furniture, Miss Ima Hogg, the well-known philanthropist and collector of American decorative arts, enlisted Lonn Taylor and David B. Warren to research early Texas Furniture and its makers. They spent more than a decade working with museums and private collectors throughout the state to examine and photograph representative examples. They also combed census records, newspapers, and archives for information about cabinetmakers. These efforts resulted in the 1975 publication of Texas Furniture, which quickly became the authoritative reference on this subject. Now updated with an expanded Index of Texas Cabinetmakers that includes information that has come to light since the original publication and corrects errors, Texas Furniture presents a catalog of more than 200 pieces of furniture, each superbly photographed and accompanied by detailed descriptions of the piece’s maker, date, materials, measurements, history, and owner, as well as an analysis by the authors. The book also includes chapters on the material culture of 19th-century Texas and on the tools and techniques of 19th-century Texas cabinetmakers; the index of Texas cabinetmakers contains biographical information on approximately 900 men who made furniture in Texas, and appendices list information on the state’s largest cabinet shops taken from the United States census records.
 

Texas Houses Built by the Book: The Use of Published Designs, 1850-1925

by Margaret Culbertson

Culbertson gives a history of Texas homes built from published plans, tracing the development of that type of architecture from the mid-19th century through the Victorian era, the heyday of house-plan catalogs, and into the 20th century. In addition to identifying design sources actually used in Texas, Culbertson provides personal background information on several of the original owners, many of whom were prosperous and respected members of their communities. By providing such contextual information about the houses and their owners, Culbertson shows that using designs published in magazines and catalogues was socially and culturally acceptable during this period. The book is an invaluable look not only at this unique and fascinating field, but also at Texas residential architecture in general in the 1800s and early 1900s.
 

Texas Zydeco

by Roger Wood and James Fraher

To most people, zydeco appears as quintessentially Louisiana as gumbo. Certainly, the music originated among black Creoles of southwest Louisiana. But the swamps of southwest Louisiana spill across the Sabine River into southeast Texas, and the music originally known as "la-la" quickly trickled west, too. There it fused with blues to create a new sound that came to be known, spelled, and recorded as "zydeco." Texas Zydeco describes how many of the most formative players and moments in modern zydeco history developed in Texas, especially Houston. As the new players traveled back and forth between Houston and Lafayette, Louisiana, they spread the new sound along a "zydeco corridor" that is the musical axis around which zydeco revolves to this day. Roger Wood and James Fraher spent years traveling this corridor, interviewing and photographing hundreds of authentic musicians, dancers, club owners, and fans. As their words and images make clear, zydeco, both historically and today, belongs not to a state but to all the people of the upper Gulf Coast.