Architecture

Of the Rio Grande Valley

John A. Knapp House

John A. Knapp House

ArchitectureWeslaco, TXYear Built - 1939 Architects - R. Newell Waters Text - Stephen FoxSouthern California proffered a new suburban house type: the California ranch house. The Weslaco architect R. Newell Waters produced a California ranch type house for the Weslaco...

Alan Y. Taniguchi House

Alan Y. Taniguchi House

ArchitectureSan Benito, TXArchitects - Alan Y. TaniguchiOne of Taniguchi designed houses in San Benito. It sits on large property adjacent to a beautiful resaca.

Eugene Darby, Jr., House

Eugene Darby, Jr., House

ArchitecturePharr, TXYear Built - 1965 Architects - Max Edwin Burkhart, Jr. Text and Photo - Stephen FoxAfter 1960, a new generation of architects began to emerge in Valley. Max Edwin Burkhart, Jr., a native of Iowa who grew up in Alamo and San Juan, produced such...

Midcentury Modern Homes in McAllen, Texas

Midcentury Modern Homes in McAllen, Texas

ArchitectureMcAllen, TXYear Built - 1959 Architects - Merle A. Simpson Text - Stephen FoxDuring a recent trip to McAllen to drive by the older neighborhoods looking for midcentury modern “jewels” we found these beautiful homes amisdt the lush tropical landscape so...

Zeb Rike House

Zeb Rike House

ArchitectureMcAllen, TXYear Built - 1960 Architects - Zeb RikeZeb Rike built this McAllen home for his family in 1960

John Stahl House

John Stahl House

ArchitectureMcAllen, TXYear Built - 1957 Architects -Richard S. Colley

Lloyd M. Bentsen House

Lloyd M. Bentsen House

ArchitectureMcAllen, TXYear Built - 19X Architects -Kenneth BentsenThe charisma of the California ranch house is visible in the expansive one-story house that the real estate developer, banker, rancher, and citrus grower Lloyd M. Bentsen and his wife Dolly...

Betty Bentsen and R. Dan Winn House

Betty Bentsen and R. Dan Winn House

ArchitectureMcAllen, TXYear Built - 1965 Architects -Kenneth Bentsen AssociatesThis regionalist resurgence was also evident in the house that Kenneth Bentsen designed for his sister and brother-in-law, Betty Bentsen and R. Dan Winn, in McAllen of 1965. Bentsen...

At Home with A Valley Modern Master

At Home with A Valley Modern Master

ArchitectureMcAllen, TXYear Built - 1960s Architects - Max Burkhart Text - Stephen FoxArchitect Max Burkhart’s house attests to his involvement with concrete construction in the 1960s and 1970s. Burkhart founded Valcon, a Pharr construction company specializing in...

Modern Meets Mexico in McAllen, Texas

Modern Meets Mexico in McAllen, Texas

ArchitectureMcAllen, TXYear Built - 1959 Architects -Merle A. Simpson Text - Stephen FoxMcAllen artist and art collector Ann Maddox Moore built this amazing modern house, designed by Merle A. Simpson, in 1959. Nestled at the end of a cul-de-sac that backs up to the...

Matamoros’ Midcentury Legacy

Matamoros’ Midcentury Legacy

ArchitectureMatamorosYear Built - 1950, 1951, 1956 Architects -Enrique León de la Barra, Augustín Reyes Escobar, Sergio Paredes Rangel, Ignacio López Bancalari, Frank Lloyd Wright Text and Photos - Stephen FoxAcross the border from Brownsville, Texas, is Matamoros,...

Casa López Padrón

Casa López Padrón

ArchitectureMatamorosSergio Paredes designed the Casa López Padrón not in Colonia Jardín but in Matamoros’s Zona Centro on Calle Sexta, the city’s principal north-south thoroughfare. Matamoros architects were called on to insert modern houses into mixed-use, urban...

Shaped Like no Other Packing Plant in the World!

Shaped Like no Other Packing Plant in the World!

ArchitectureRancho Viejo, TXYear Built - 1961 Architects - Alan Y. Taniguchi and Charles CroftAlan Taniguchi and his partner Charles Croft were especially identified with the use of thin shell technology in the Valley. Their House of Mo-Rose citrus packing shed of...

Mercedes Civic Center

Mercedes Civic Center

ArchitectureMercedes, TXYear Built - 1960 Architects - Gene P. Hobart Text and Photos - Stephen FoxAnother of the young generation of architects, Gene P. Hobart of Mercedes, like Taniguchi a native of California, suspended a folded plate concrete roof system from...

McAllen State Bank Building

McAllen State Bank Building

ArchitectureTexasville, TXYear Built - 1961 Architects - Cowell & Neuhaus, David Haid Associates Text and Photos - Stephen FoxThis building has lost its architectural greatness, so we have added this article under the “Lifestyles” menu of RGVMOD. We find this building...

McAllen Civic Center

McAllen Civic Center

ArchitectureMcAllen, TXYear Built - 1958 Architects - Zeb Rike & Associates, J. B. Hancock; Caudill Rowlett Scott, consulting architects Text and Photos - Stephen FoxThe Fort Brown Memorial Center touched off an architectural competition among Valley cities. McAllen...

Narro-Sánchez Clinic

Narro-Sánchez Clinic

ArchitectureMcAllen, TXYear Built - 1958 Architects - John G. York & AssociatesDr. Narro also commissioned York to design the Narro-Sánchez Clinic in McAllen of 1958, which featured an abstract tile mural by the artist Shirley Voekrodt.

Wilson’s Funeral Home

Wilson’s Funeral Home

ArchitectureMcAllen, TXYear Built - 1960 Architects - Merle A. Simpson Text and Photo - Stephen FoxMerle Simpson described the buildings he, York, Taniguchi, and other Valley architects designed–such as Simpson’s Wilson’s Funeral Chapel in McAllen of 1960—as examples...

Sanborn’s Insurance Co. Building

Sanborn’s Insurance Co. Building

ArchitectureMcAllen, TXYear Built - 1963 Architects - David P. AshcroftSuch Ashcroft designs as the circular Sanborn’s Insurance Co. pavilion on S. 10th Street in McAllen, next to the Fairway, and the Bailey H. Dunlap Memorial Library in La Feria of 1963 demonstrate...

Treviño-Garza Clinic

Treviño-Garza Clinic

ArchitectureMcAllen, TXYear Built - 1961 Architects - David P. AshcroftDavid P. Ashcroft, before commencing his own practice in McAllen, had worked for York, as it is evident from Ashcroft’s Treviño-Garza Clinic in McAllen of 1961.

McAllen State Bank

McAllen State Bank

ArchitectureMcAllen, TXYear Built - 1978 Architects - Neuhaus & Taylor of HoustonAfter the McAllen State Bank built the tallest building in McAllen in 1978 (designed by Neuhaus & Taylor of Houston), it vacated the Hugo Neuhaus-David Haid building, which has undergone...

At Home with A Valley Modern Master

At Home with A Valley Modern Master

ArchitectureMcAllen, TXYear Built - 1960s Architects - Max Burkhart Text - Stephen FoxArchitect Max Burkhart’s house attests to his involvement with concrete construction in the 1960s and 1970s. Burkhart founded Valcon, a Pharr construction company specializing in...

Aeropuerto Internacional General Servando Canales

Aeropuerto Internacional General Servando Canales

ArchitectureMatamorosYear Built - 1958 Architects - Luis MacGregor KriegerAeropuerto Internacional General Servando Canales, Matamoros (1958) Arq. Luis MacGregor Krieger Matamoros attracted a second young architect from Mexico City, Luis MacGregor Krieger, who was...

Hidalgo County Courthouse

Hidalgo County Courthouse

ArchitectureEdinburg, TXYear Built - 1954 Architects - R. Newell WatersIn 1949 R. Newell Waters had hired a young designer from Iowa, Merle A. Simpson, in order to maintain professional currency. Simpson designed the Hidalgo County Courthouse in Edinburg for Waters,...

MCM Religion in Weslaco

MCM Religion in Weslaco

ArchitectureWeslaco, TXYear Built - 1951 Architects - R. Newell Waters, William C. Baxter, John F. Ring, Associates Text and Photos - Stephen FoxGrace Church, Weslaco, 1951, R. Newell Waters Comparable to the streamlined neocolonial houses of Enrique León de la Barra...

Former First Baptist Church

Former First Baptist Church

ArchitectureSan Benito, TXYear Built - 1959 Architects - Bowman, Swanson & Hiester Address - 250 N. Crockett Street, San Benito, TXThe church was built in 1959 and designed by the architecture firm of Bowman, Swanson & Hiester of Harlingen. It is no longer a Baptish...

City Hall in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico

City Hall in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico

ArchitectureNuevo Laredo, MexicoYear Built - 1937-40 Architects - Arq. Alfredo Hurtado Serrano Text and Photo - Stephen FoxDuring the administration of Mexican president Lázaro Cárdenas (from 1934 to 1940), the long-neglected Tamaulipas border became the focus of...

St. Joseph The Worker Catholic Church

St. Joseph The Worker Catholic Church

ArchitectureMcAllen, TXYear Built - 1967 Architects - Julio Rafael GuerraDuring the 1960s, the architectural profession in the Valley began slowly to reflect the demographics of south Texas. In 1956, Julio Rafael Guerra of McAllen became the first Mexican American in...

A Door Worth Crossing – Matamoros’ Puerta Mexico

A Door Worth Crossing – Matamoros’ Puerta Mexico

ArchitectureMatamorosYear Built - 1963 Architects -Mario Pani, Hilario Galguera Text and Photos - Stephen FoxDuring a recent lecture for the Lower Rio Grande Valley chapter of the American Institute of Architects, Stephen Fox presented this information about “La...

Matamoros’ Architectural MCM Jewel

Matamoros’ Architectural MCM Jewel

ArchitectureMatamorosYear Built - 1969 Architects - Mario Pani Text and Photos - Stephen FoxThe Centro Artesanal in Matamoros, built in 1969 in the second phase of PRONAF development, after Mario Pani ceased to be affiliated with PRONAF, was as dramatic in its use of...

Modernist Churches in Northern Mexico

Modernist Churches in Northern Mexico

ArchitectureMatamorosYear Built - 1941-46, 1953 Architects - Enrique de la Mora e Ing. Armando Ravizé Rodríguez Text and Photos - Stephen FoxBasílica de la Purísima, Monterrey, 1941-46, Arq. Enrique de la Mora e Ing. Armando Ravizé Rodríguez Although proponents of the...

Plan Regulador de Matamoros

Plan Regulador de Matamoros

ArchitectureMatamorosYear Built - 1958 Text and Photos - Stephen FoxPani’s plan regulador for Matamoros was consistent with the modernist planning logic of Nueva Ciudad Guerrero. It aimed to transform the edges of a 19th-century Creole city into an exemplar of...

Santa Elena Catholic Chapel

Santa Elena Catholic Chapel

ArchitectureNorias Division of the King RanchYear Built - 1973 Architects - Juan Sordo MadalenoIndicative of the generational split between young Regionalists and their Functionalist elders, the Mexico City architect, Juan Sordo Madaleno, a contemporary of Pani’s,...

Casa del Sol

Casa del Sol

ArchitectureTexasville, TXYear Built - 1961 Architects - Alan Y. Taniguchi and Charles B. CroftHarlingen’s Casa del Sol is the work of young architects Alan Y. Taniguchi and Charles B. Croft – 1961- It boasts a radial, thin shell concrete roof that evokes a sombrero,...

Basic Elements of Modern Architecture

Basic Elements of Modern Architecture

Architecture“Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says, (I know his name, no matter)—so much less! Well, less is more, Lucrezia: I am judged.”Robert Browning was the first to pen the phase “less is more” in his 1855 poem Andrea del Sarto Called “The Faultless...

The Bauhaus: An introduction to Modernism

The Bauhaus: An introduction to Modernism

ArchitectureIn conceiving the interior as a work of art, the artist must first think of it as a space, as the overall form and the interrelationship of the space-enclosing surfaces.” -Hemann Muthesius, The English House (1904) This quote was written by Amanda Dameron,...

Finding Inspiration in Palm Springs

Finding Inspiration in Palm Springs

ArchitecturePalm Springs, CAIf there is one thing I remember about Disney World is the impeccable landscapes. There was a show on one of the cable networks that reported on this characteristic featuring the staff and maintenance standards they follow to keep this...

The Kamrath House in Houston

The Kamrath House in Houston

ArchitectureHouston, TXYear Built - 1951 Architects - MacKie and KamrathWe had the amazing opportunity to tour this beautiful home on the banks of Buffalo Bayou in the River Oaks subdivision of Houston during DOCOMOMO‘s annual symposium. The house was designed by...

San Antonio Library

San Antonio Library

ArchitectureSan Antonio, TXThis building is commonly referred to as the “Big Enchilada” in San Antonio, Texas. It was designed by Mexican Architectural firm of Legorreta and Legorreta. Next time you visit San Antonio check it out – it is an interesting – and award...

Frank Lloyd Wright Kraus House

Frank Lloyd Wright Kraus House

ArchitectureKirkwood, MSI think every person remembers very well the first time they visited a Frank Lloyd Wright designed house. We visited this house during a recent trip to St. Louis, Missouri. If you are ever in that area plan ahead and visit. Visits are strictly...

Brownsville MCM Fan Shares her Former Dallas Home with RGVMOD

Brownsville MCM Fan Shares her Former Dallas Home with RGVMOD

ArchitectureBrownsville, TXFacebook friend Esther A. Siller shares photos of the midcentury modern home she left behind in Dallas, Texas when relocating to the Rio Grande Valley. Having lived in Dallas for 30 years, Esther spent the last 6 years in this midcentury...

Great News for Bauhaus

Great News for Bauhaus

ArchitectureBrownsville, TXThis past month of August, I had the privilege of visiting the Bauhaus Archives and Museum in Berlin. If you love modern architecture like I do, you can understand why this was the highlight of my trip. The building’s architecture which was...

Spanish Colonial

Spanish Colonial

ArchitectureBrownsville, TXYear Built - 1920sThe exotic tropical paradise “myth” was created to market the region to new Anglo settlers. In Brownsville, Spanish colonial architecture is still very much present. This home is from the mid 1920s and is located on West...

Dutch Colonial

Dutch Colonial

ArchitectureBrownsville, TXYear Built - 1920sThis Dutch Colonial home is currently going through a well-planned renovation. It was built in the mid 1920s on West Levee Street.

First Suburban Fire Station in Brownsville

First Suburban Fire Station in Brownsville

ArchitectureBrownsville, TXYear Built - 1920sConcrete friezes and Spanish Colonial architecture adorn the firs suburban fire station in Brownsville, Texas. It is located on West Levee Street and dates from the mid 1920s

Kowalski – Dennett House in Brownsville

Kowalski – Dennett House in Brownsville

ArchitectureBrownsville, TXYear Built - 1893 Architects - S. W. Brooks Text - Stephen Fox Photos - RGVModThe Kowalski-Dennett House is one of Brownsville’s rare surviving Victorian houses. It is also rare because documentation of its design and construction survives....

Border Brick Style in Downtown Brownsville

Border Brick Style in Downtown Brownsville

ArchitectureBrownsville, TXThe Hide Yark Building from the 1880’s in downtown Brownsville has recently undergone an amazing restoration and now houses the Half Moon Saloon. Owner George Ramirez is the proud owner and a lover of good music. The Half Moon Saloon is...

Brownsville’s Early Hospital

Brownsville’s Early Hospital

ArchitectureBrownsville, TXYear Built - 1909 Architects - Archer & Archer Architects Address - West Levee Street, Brownsville, TX

Salomé McAllen and William Scanlan House

Salomé McAllen and William Scanlan House

ArchitectureBrownsville, TXYear Built - 1940 Architects - Frank E. TorresThe house of Salomé McAllen and William Scanlan in Brownsville of 1940 was designed by Frank E. Torres, an architect born in Matamoros and trained at the University of Texas, who had worked in...

Grand Country Estate

Grand Country Estate

ArchitectureBrownsville, TXYear Built - 1940 Architects - A. H. Woolridge and Frank E. TorresOne of the two grandest houses built in Brownsville in the Depression decade was this country house, designed by Brownsville architects A. H. Woolridge and Frank E. Torres for...

Rio Hondo Home

Rio Hondo Home

ArchitectureRio Hondo, TXYear Built - 2019 Architects - Megamorphosis Design, Inc of Harlingen, Texas

Brownsville Home

Brownsville Home

ArchitectureBrownsville, TXYear Built - 2019 Architects - Megamorphosis Design, Inc of Harlingen, Texas