Preservation Texas Honor Awards
Award winners announced for the 2013 Preservation Texas Honor Awards.
Award winners announced for the 2013 Preservation Texas Honor Awards.
Ardis Clinton, AIA, is essential to the community at the Perkins+Will Houston office, and when she is not surprising the team with ice cream treats as reprieve from hot summer days or helping young interns with their licensure process, Clinton manages projects like the Galveston National Laboratory biodefense facility and then goes home to twin sons.
Surrounded by sandburs, the sea breeze, and a wide airstrip, the Fire|Beach House in Galveston is a surprising piece of contemporary architecture.
Preservation Texas recently announced its 2012 Honor Awards, which includes 10 awards and a special commendation recognizing the best of preservation in Texas. Individuals and projects in Austin, Dallas, Galveston, Houston, Marshall, San Antonio, and West Texas received awards.
Conceived as a primary fire and rescue support for Galveston Island, this Fire and Rescue Station was honored at the 2012 Texas Architects Studio Awards program, which annually recognizes excellence in unbuilt architectural design.
Still, two years after Hurricane Ike, the lingering effects of the storm are widely evident in many parts of Galveston. Ike, reportedly the third costliest hurricane ever to make landfall in the U.S., waylaid the island city on Sept. 13, 2008 with 110-mph winds and a 17-foot storm surge that officials estimate damaged more than 80 percent of the existing houses. In fact, according to a City of Galveston report issued one year after the storm, many of those properties were either abandoned or in need of replacement due to the extent of damage and/or lack of flood insurance.
Published late last year by Mitchell Historic Properties to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Hotel Galvez, this handsome volume blends the beloved landmark’s history with Galveston’s over the past century. Gary Cartwright’s narrative swirls back and forth through time to recount events and personages. Cartwright, author of the previous Galveston: A History of the Island, spins episodic tales of the hotel’s clientele, famous and infamous, and reminiscences of “ghosts and other guests.”
The concept for Fire and Rescue Station #4, planned for a site on Galveston Island three blocks from the Gulf of Mexico, merges the utilitarian program of an emergency command center with the casual atmosphere of a beach house.
Cynthia Woods Mitchell – like Ima Hogg, Dominique de Menil, and Jane Blaffer Owen – was an influential and discerning woman who changed the cultural and architectural landscape of the Houston area. Also like the others, Cynthia Mitchell had an eye for aesthetic perfection and a passion for beauty.
Schulenburg, situated about 100 miles west of Houston along Interstate 10, was founded in 1873 after Louis Schulenburg donated land surrounding the planned Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway. Typical of late-nineteenth-century railroad towns, Schulenburg developed a wide commercial street lined with several blocks of one- and two-story masonry buildings facing the tracks. Architecturally, the downtown is still intact today although only a few businesses remain open due to the routine exodus for the nearby highway.
Though ravaged by periodic hurricanes and economic doldrums for over a century, much of Galveston’s magnificent architecture survives. The island city’s glory days, the three decades that preceded the devastating storm of 1900, are recalled in its richly detailed commercial edifices and stately Victorian-era homes.
In 1993, developer Tofigh Shirazi bought the land where he would eventually build Beachtown. A self-professed “supermodernist kind of guy,” the Iranian-cum-Texan brought Andres Duany to the site four years later. Duany, one of the founders of the New Urbanism movement and a principal of Miami-based Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company, was then commissioned to master plan a 260-acre mixed-use community.
Following the devastation of Hurricane Ike in September 2008, an engineer emerged from under the battered substructure of Galveston’s First Presbyterian Church to apprise Rev. David Green of the damage. “Pastor, your church has no foundation,” he said, apparently without thinking his statement’s underlying irony. Yes, perhaps its structural foundation was in need of repair, but the spiritual foundation of First Presbyterian, a survivor of more than a century of catastrophic weather events, has never weakened.
While Hurricane Ike may have roared through Texas over a year ago, public interest remains high in planning efforts to protect the Houston-Galveston region against such violent storms. In response to that interest, the Rice Design Alliance sponsored a three-part civic forum during the summer.
Oiltanking Texas City is a terminal for receiving, storing, and distributing petroleum-based products. Approximately 100 acres in size, the site is located within the Texas City Industrial Park, a landscape of contiguous oil refineries and chemical plants that edge the west side of Galveston Bay. The overall site is dominated by shipping docks and sections of land dotted with storage tanks, laced together by interior roadways. At its southwest corner is the office building for the terminal’s operations. Comprised of almost 13,000 sf, the architecture of the Oiltanking office building stands as the relatively diminutive control point within a site of disproportionate scale.
In November 2004 the Association for Preservation Technology International (APT) held its annual conference in Galveston. The conference theme, “Raising the Grade for Preservation,” was a play on words easily understood by the participants who were familiar with the heroic aftermath of the Great Storm of 1900 that resulted in the building of a protective seawall, a seven-year effort that added several feet of sand across much of the city, and the lifting of many surviving buildings from the threat of future storms.
The new coastal development was designed by the planning and architectural firm of Duany Plater-Zyberk, noted master-planner of Florida’s Seaside and Rosemary Beach communities. Beachtown, conceived along similar New Urbanist ideals, is a 260-acre Traditional Neighborhood Development on the east end of Galveston Island.
In early October, residents of the Texas Gulf Coast were still cleaning up debris left behind by Hurricane Ike. When the hurricane slammed into Galveston Island as a Category 2 storm on Sept. 13, homes and businesses along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast were destroyed, and millions of people were left without power.
The study of the mid-nineteenth-century European immigration in south central Texas shows that the massive waves of different ethnic groups (including Czechs, Germans, Wends, Swedes, Poles, and French) arrived in Texas directly from Europe. They landed in Galveston and then spread into the rural areas of south central Texas. They brought with them a deep sense of religion and cultural heritage, and were quick to organize congregations and build their houses and churches in their new location, establishing cohesive communities.