Santa Elena Catholic Chapel

Norias Division of the King Ranch
Year Built – 1973
Architects – Juan Sordo Madaleno
Indicative of the generational split between young Regionalists and their Functionalist elders, the Mexico City architect, Juan Sordo Madaleno, a contemporary of Pani’s, employed broad wall planes of contrasting color, minus any folkloric associations, in the tiny Chapel of Santa Elena, commissioned by Helen Kleberg Groves in 1973 for the Norias Division of the King Ranch.

It is Sordo Madaleno’s only building in the United States and, like Barnstone’s Marti’s, a rare example of direct cross-cultural exchange in the border region.