Texas Architect November/December 2007

Published by the Texas Society of Architects since 1950, the magazine has consistently showcased outstanding architectural design from around the state and chronicled significant events relevant to the profession.

Sacred Places Unforsaken

by: Stephen Sharpe

Every Texan seems to know of an old church somewhere that has been abandoned and left to molder. Mention the topic and inevitably someone will recall the house of worship they attended as a child, maybe a magnificent edifice just off the downtown square torn down long ago or else an idyllic whitewashed clapboard chapel now tilting precariously in an overgrown field.

Photo by Erin Marie Hawkins
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Courthouse Emanates from His Concept But Without Predock’s Name as Designer

by: Ed Soltero, AIA

The U.S. Courthouse now under construction in this border city’s downtown will not look like the building designed by Antoine Predock, FAIA. In fact, Predock expects its appearance to be so different that he has officially requested that his name be removed from the project. And for the same reason, Predock may disassociate himself from the U.S. Courthouse he designed for Las Cruces, a project also currently being built.

Construction photo by Ed Soltero, AIA; illustrations courtesy GSA
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Sacred Roots

by: Anat Geva, PhD

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.

Bethlehem Lutheran Church Image Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey, HA BS TEX,75-ROUN T,2-
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Simply Familiar

by: Chris Schultz, AIA
Architect: Marmon Mok

On the verge of the dense riverside forest that defines the campus edge of Seton Home on the nearsouth side of San Antonio, the Bunny Raba Chapel imparts a comforting familiarity. The small chapel’s broad, sloping roof and its pronounced gable front brings to mind the children’s finger puzzle that accompanies the nursery rhyme: “Here is the church and here is the steeple; open the doors and here are the people.” For the teenage mothers and mothers-to-be living at Seton Home, such iconic imagery undoubtedly offers welcome solace to their tumultuous lives. Yet, the chapel’s outward simplicity belies an underlying sophistication in planning.

Chris Cooper and Dror Baldinger, AIA
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Fort Worth’s Favorites

by: Stephen Darrow, AIA

AIA Fort Worth, in celebration of the American Institute of Architect’s 150th anniversary, has launched a Web site (www.aia150.aiafortworth.org) designed to inform the public about the best architectural design in and around Tarrant County.

Photo by Greg Hursley; courtesy Leonard Chapel
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