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Bēhance

PHOTOGRAPHY: MODERN ARCHITECTURE, AUSTIN, TX 3

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  • After a long hiatus from the series (set one and set two) and a long holiday weekend with nothing better to do, here is a third helping of examples of Art Deco, Moderne and Mid-Century Modern Architecture in Austin, Texas.

    (Note: And once again, my apologies for no interior shots.  Being the Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S., and being mostly government buildings, there was no way to get into these buildings if I wanted too.  I hope to schedule some time to check out the interiors, in particular the Greer and State Archive Buildings, and add to this project when I can.)

    Photos 1 & 2: The J.J. "Jake" Pickle Federal Building, designed by Austin architectural firms Page Southerland Page and Brooks & Barr.  Built in 1964-65, and named after a U.S. Congressional Representative from the area, the building houses a suite of offices – the “LBJ Suite” – that were used by President Lyndon B. Johnson during his term in office.  (Interior shots, including those of those offices, can be found here.)  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Photos 3 & 4: Façade of Kruger’s Jewelers.  No references found as to when the current building was built, but most likely late 1940’s to mid-50’s.  The styling an example of North American downtown storefronts from that period.
  • Photos 5-7: The Dewitt C. Greer State Highway Building revisited (see set one).  Still administrative headquarters of the Texas Department of Transportation, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Photos 8 & 9: The State Insurance Building, designed by architectural firms Broad & Nelson, Fehr & Granger and Pierce & Pierce.  Built in 1961, it is currently home to several state government offices, including those of the Office of the Governor, but strangely not the Texas Department of Insurance.
  • Photos 10-12: The Texas Archives and Library Building, designed by architectural firm Adams and Adams.  Built in 1959-60, is still headquarters to that state commission.  Note: The seals on building’s exterior and front doors represent the six nations that presided over Texas: The Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of France, the Republic of Mexico, the Republic of Texas (an independent country from 1836-46), the Confederate States of America (1861-1865) and the United States of America (1846-1861 and 1865-present).
  • Photos 13 & 14: Old gas station at corner of San Jacinto & 15th.  Could not find reference, but most likely built in late 1930’s to mid 40’s.  Currently owned by the state, and has been rented out to small businesses, the most recent being a Tex-Mex restaurant.
  • Before finishing, it must be said that the buildings here and in the previous sets are just a few examples of modern architecture here in Austin.  There are plenty more examples throughout town of varying quality.

    It’s just that Austin’s seems more subdued.  Where as in my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, which has loads of (highly) visible & recognized modern architecture due to the oil money that used to run the town, Austin’s seems to be overlooked (or worse, ignored, or even worse, built over) due to the tech/real estate boom money that runs Austin today.

    There are people here who care, but my hope is that wealth and ignorance won’t blind others any further.

    Finally, remember this from set two?
  • Broken out windows, general neglect.  Well…Photos 15 & 16: Control Tower of former Robert Mueller Airport REVISITED!
  • Much better!  Refurbished exterior.  New glass throughout.  (Article of the restoration here.)  Still nothing really being done with it though.  Still would have liked to have seen Mueller remain an airport than some overpriced, bland “Urban Village”.  But this is a start.
  • THE DEWITT C GREER STATE HIGHWAY BUILDING, AUSTIN, TX, 2012