Q&A with Tere O’Connell, AIA

When the City of Austin decided to use East Austin’s historic Dedrick-Hamilton house as the basis for a new African American Cultural Heritage Facility, the job fell to Austin preservationist Tere O’Connell, AIA, to unearth details of the home’s history and how best to preserve it. O’Connell spoke with Texas Architect about the ever-changing priorities that drive demand for preservation work, and the challenge of preservation in a community where so much history either is lost or was never officially recorded. The interview was conducted by Patrick Michels. Historic preservation architect Tere O'Connell, AIA – photo courtesy Tere O'Connell From a preservation…

William Dupont, FAIA, Works to Preserve Hemingway’s Finca Vigia in Cuba

William Dupont, FAIA – photo courtesy UTSA William Dupont, FAIA, San Antonio Conservation Society Endowed Professor of Architecture and Director of the Center for Cultural Sustainability at The University of Texas at San Antonio, leads a consulting team who may be the only professional architects and preservationists allowed by both the U.S. and Cuban governments to work in Cuba. Even as the Obama administration has opened relations with the island nation, the opportunities for architects to work there are still almost nonexistent. Currently, Dupont is collaborating with a team of Cuban professionals at Hemingway’s Finca Vigia.  Hemingway lived at the house,…

Capturing the Alamo: A Database of Architectural History

Memorable first as the 18th century Mission San Antonio de Valero and later as the military compound that witnessed the historic Battle of the Alamo in 1836, the Alamo has changed form and use throughout its history. Created as an eminent specimen of New World Spanish ecclesiastic architecture, the mission's expanding complex of stone, mud, and wooden structures evolved greatly over time, serving as a military garrison and barracks, a hospital, a general store, and intermittent abandoned ruin.  Each successive shift in the Alamo’s use has been accompanied by various modifications to its buildings, ranging from whole additions to the eventual integration of HVAC…

Bringing It Home: AIA Brazos Presents TxA Citation to Bryan City Council

By Eva Read-Warden, AIA (Left to right) Eva Read-Warden, AIA, Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski, 2014 AIA Brazos President Andrew Hawkins, AIA, and members of the Bryan City Council – photo courtesy City of Bryan During the 74th Annual Convention and Design Expo in Fort Worth this past November, the Texas Society of Architects presented a Citation of Honor to the 1999 – 2010 City Council of Bryan for its members' cohesive vision resulting in a rebirth of historic Downtown Bryan. Although the award was accepted in Fort Worth by former city council member Ben Hardeman, on January 14, AIA Brazos chapter members had…