Few American architects have had the opportunity to design an entire city. In the early 1940s, Alden B. Dow joined their ranks when Dow Chemical expanded its Freeport plant, prompting the construction of a new town for plant employees: Lake Jackson. In addition to model home designs, Dow produced plans for schools, churches, a movie theater and commercial buildings. His city plan and modern building designs formed the basis for the area’s growth in the decades that followed.
If you're looking for something new under the midcentury sun, Victor Lundy is a real find — an important yet underappreciated figure in the history of American architecture. Trained in both the Beaux Arts and Bauhaus traditions, he built an impressive practice ranging from small-scale residential and commercial buildings to expressive religious buildings and two preeminent institutional works: the U.S. Tax Court Building in Washington, D.C. (now on the National Register of Historic Places), and the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka.
In Lost, Texas: Photographs of Forgotten Buildings, architect and architectural photographer Bronson Dorsey takes us on a tour of abandoned buildings in Texas that evoke the mystique of bygone days and shifting population patterns. With a skilled photographer’s eye, he captures the character of these buildings — most abandoned and in a state of decay, though a handful have been repurposed as museums, residences or other functional structures.
In 1950, Greater Houston had just one freeway: the Gulf Freeway, the first sections of which were built immediately after World War II. Since then, more than 1,200 miles of freeways have been built in Houston and Harris County, and additional freeways are under construction. Highways have driven nearly every aspect of Houston’s postwar development, from the physical layout of the city to the political process that has transformed both the transportation network and the balance of power between the government and citizens.
Houston architect Arthur Jones helped to design some of the city's most familiar buildings and developments, including the Astrodome, Greenway Plaza, Allen Center and Rice Stadium. Despite Jones' prolific career with the firm Lloyd Morgan Jones, his designs are often overshadowed by the big-name national architects who worked during the Bayou City's postwar boom.
Between 1928 and 1933, the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas — later Texas A&M University — saw its campus transformed through the construction of 10 remarkable buildings developed under a master plan by college architect Frederick Giesecke and designed by Samuel Charles Phelps Vosper. The buildings, all of which survive, still delight the senses with color, sculpture and wit.
Texas isn't known for its Art Deco design, but the Lone Star State has more than its share — particularly in North Texas, where cotton, cattle and oil combined to create a rich variety of modernistic buildings, artwork and monuments in the 1920s, '30s and '40s. Preservation Houston's David Bush and Jim Parsons explore the region's Deco treasures in DFW Deco: Modernistic Architecture of North Texas, the pair's fourth book chronicling Art Deco in the Lone Star State.
On Tuesday, August 8, hear stories of Harris County's pioneer beginnings when Dan Worrall, the author of Pleasant Bend: Upper Buffalo Bayou and the San Felipe Trail in the Nineteenth Century, explains how a sluggish body of water and a rugged trail stirred an economic engine. Roughly following the route of today's San Felipe Road, the trail carried cotton from plantations along the Brazos and Colorado rivers across seemingly endless tallgrass prairie to Houston's port on Buffalo Bayou for shipment to the wider world. After Emancipation, African American families from those same plantations made their way east on the San Felipe Trail to begin new lives in Houston's Freedmen's Town.
From the days of the Republic, German immigrants left a distinctive mark on the architecture and lifeways of Texas that is still evident today. In his award-winning book, Kenneth Hafertepe shares a decade of research examining how German culture was adapted to everyday life in rural, small-town and urban settings from East Texas to the Hill Country.
The 20th century saw two great waves of African-American migration from the countryside into the city, changing not only the nation's demographics, but its culture as well. Join Preservation Houston on Thursday evening, October 20, as author and historian Bernadette Pruitt tells the story of The Other Great Migration as part of Preservation Houston's History in Print author series.
As Houston experiences increasingly dense development and rising housing costs, could the future of our neighborhoods include a step back to small houses?
During her presentation, author Donna Kacmar will demonstrate that small dwellings (under 1,000 square feet) are not just down-sized versions of big houses. Thoughtfully designed small houses can be integrated into their surroundings and reflect the priorities of the people who live in them. Using exceptional examples from around the country, Kacmar will offer insights for anyone interested in small-scale projects and illustrate how building small can be a deliberate design strategy in its own right.