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.
Join us for a special program Tuesday evening, October 16, as historians and early PH members Minnette Boesel, Barrie Scardino Bradley, Betty Chapman and Stephen Fox explore those and other topics from Preservation Houston’s four decades in a panel discussion moderated by PH Programs Director Jim Parsons. The panelists’ memories and insights, paired with images from Preservation Houston’s archives, tell the story of how preservation in Houston has matured since the late 1970s.
Houstonians Toya and Reuben Levi organized the Green Book Project to document African-Americans’ experiences traveling across the U.S. under Jim Crow through photos, interviews and documentation of existing sites listed in the Green Book. The Levis will discuss the history and legacy of the Green Book, as well as some of the Houston locations listed in the guide through the years, in this illustrated lecture.
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.
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.
In 2016, Houston firm METALAB won the international competition to redesign the iconic barges that carry millions of visitors along San Antonio’s Riverwalk. Join Preservation Houston the evening of Tuesday, June 27, as we welcome architect Joe Meppelink of METALAB, who will discuss the work that went into his group's winning design.