Architecture of Texas

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The architecture of the U.S. state of Texas comes from a wide variety of sources. Many of the state's buildings reflect Texas' Spanish and Mexican roots; in addition, there is considerable influence from mostly the American South as well as the Southwest. Rapid economic growth since the mid twentieth century has led to a wide variety of contemporary architectural buildings.

Texas U.S. state in the United States

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, and has a coastline with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a European country located in Southwestern Europe with some pockets of Spanish territory across the Strait of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

Mexico Country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometers (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 129 million people, Mexico is the tenth most populous country and the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states plus Mexico City (CDMX), which is the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the country include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana, and León.


Traditional architecture

The Alamo Mission San Antonio aka Alamo.jpg
The Alamo

The first European buildings in Texas were a series of religious Spanish Missions established by Catholic Dominicans, Jesuits, and Franciscans to spread the Christian doctrine among the local Native Americans, and to give Spain a toehold in the frontier land. The missions introduced European livestock, fruits, vegetables, and industry into the Texas region. In addition to the presidio (fort) and pueblo (town), the misión was one of the three major agencies employed by the Spanish crown to extend its borders and consolidate its colonial territories. In all, twenty-six missions were maintained for different lengths of time within the future boundaries of the state. The San Antonio de Valero Mission known for the Battle of the Alamo is a prime example of this kind of architecture.

Native Americans in the United States Indigenous peoples of the United States (except Hawaii)

Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii and territories of the United States. More than 570 federally recognized tribes live within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaskan Natives, while "Native Americans" are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. The US Census does not include Native Hawaiians or Chamorro, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".

Europe Continent in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Asia to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.

Livestock Animals kept for production of meat, eggs, milk, wool, etc.

Livestock is commonly defined as domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce labor and commodities such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, leather, and wool. The term is sometimes used to refer solely to those that are bred for consumption, while other times it refers only to farmed ruminants, such as cattle and goats. Horses are considered livestock in the United States. The USDA classifies pork, veal, beef, and lamb as livestock and all livestock as red meat. Poultry and fish are not included in the category.

Each Texas county has a distinct courthouse. These buildings reflect many different styles of architecture.

Bexar County Courthouse United States historic place

The Bexar County Courthouse is a historic building in downtown San Antonio, Texas, USA.

James Riely Gordon American architect

James Riely Gordon was an architect who practiced in San Antonio until 1902 and then in New York City, where he established a national reputation. J. Riely Gordon is best known for his landmark county courthouses, in particular those in Texas. Working during the state's "Golden Age" (1883–1898) of courthouse construction, Gordon saw 18 of his designs erected from 1885 to 1901; today 12 remain.

Romanesque Revival architecture style of building employed beginning in the mid-19th century

Romanesque Revival is a style of building employed beginning in the mid-19th century inspired by the 11th- and 12th-century Romanesque architecture. Unlike the historic Romanesque style, however, Romanesque Revival buildings tended to feature more simplified arches and windows than their historic counterparts.

Capitol building

The Texas State Capitol Texas State Capitol building-front left front oblique view.JPG
The Texas State Capitol

The Texas State Capitol, located in Austin, Texas, is the fourth building to serve as the seat of Texas government. It houses the chambers of the Texas State Legislature and the office of the Governor of Texas. Originally designed by Elijah E. Myers, it was constructed from 188288 under the direction of civil engineer Lindsay Walker, and a $75 million underground extension was completed in 1993. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. It is the largest State Capitol building, but smaller than the National Capitol in Washington, D.C. [1]

Texas State Capitol Seat of government of Texas

The Texas State Capitol is the capitol building and seat of government of the American state of Texas. Located in downtown Austin, Texas, the structure houses the offices and chambers of the Texas Legislature and of the Governor of Texas. Designed in 1881 by architect Elijah E. Myers, it was constructed from 1882 to 1888 under the direction of civil engineer Reuben Lindsay Walker. A $75 million underground extension was completed in 1993. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

Austin, Texas Capital of Texas

Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. It is the 11th-most populous city in the United States, the fourth-most-populous city in Texas, and the second-most-populous state capital city. It is also the fastest growing large city in the United States and the southernmost state capital in the contiguous United States. As of the U.S. Census Bureau's July 1, 2018 estimate, Austin had a population of 964,254 up from 790,491 at the 2010 census. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,168,316 as of July 1, 2018. Located in Central Texas within the greater Texas Hill Country, it is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways, including Lady Bird Lake and Lake Travis on the Colorado River, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, and Lake Walter E. Long.

Governor of Texas head of state and of government of the U.S. state of Texas

The governor of Texas is the head of the executive branch of Texas's government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Texas Legislature, and to convene the legislature. The governor may grant pardons in cases other than impeachment or in the case of treason, with permission by the legislature. The current governor is Greg Abbott.

Contemporary architecture

In addition to Texas's traditional architecture the state also has noteworthy contemporary buildings. Many world class architects and Pritzker Prize winners have left their enriching marks on Texan cities and landscapes. Frank Lloyd Wright had four buildings in Texas, [2] while Tadao Ando's Modern Art Museum and Louis Kahn's famous Kimbell Art Museum are permanent landmarks of the city of Fort Worth. Other super architects such as I.M. Pei and Philip Johnson have numerous works across the state. Among their famous works one can mention the Fort Worth Water Gardens, Amon Carter Museum, Chapel of St. Basil, Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, and Thanks-Giving Square. In Austin, Gordon Bunshaft's Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum (also a Pritzker Prize winner) is particularly noteworthy, while Steven Holl, Robert A. M. Stern, Richard Meier, and César Pelli are other architect legends who designed buildings that grace the Dallas and Houston areas. Sir Norman Foster's Dallas Center for the Performing Arts is the latest addition to such architectural landmarks in Texas.

Architecture The product and the process of planning, designing and constructing buildings and other structures.

Architecture is both the process and the product of planning, designing, and constructing buildings or any other structures. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art. Historical civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements.

Frank Lloyd Wright American architect

Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer, and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures, 532 of which were completed. Wright believed in designing structures that were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. This philosophy was best exemplified by Fallingwater (1935), which has been called "the best all-time work of American architecture." His creative period spanned more than 70 years.

Tadao Ando Japanese architect

Tadao Ando is a Japanese self-taught architect whose approach to architecture and landscape was categorized by architectural historian Francesco Dal Co as "critical regionalism". He is the winner of the 1995 Pritzker Prize.

Some facilities even harbor the marks of multiple architects. Houston's Museum of Fine Arts for example, was designed by Pritzker Prize winner Rafael Moneo, landscape architect extraordinaire Isamu Noguchi, and the pioneering master of Modern Architecture Mies van der Rohe.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Art Museum, Institute, Library, Sculpture Park in Houston, TX United States

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), located in the Houston Museum District, Houston, is one of the largest museums in the United States. The permanent collection of the museum spans more than 6,000 years of history with approximately 64,000 works from six continents.

Rafael Moneo Spanish architect

José Rafael Moneo Vallés is a Spanish architect. He won the Pritzker Prize for architecture in 1996 and the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 2003.

Isamu Noguchi artist

Isamu Noguchi was a Japanese American artist and landscape architect whose artistic career spanned six decades, from the 1920s onward. Known for his sculpture and public works, Noguchi also designed stage sets for various Martha Graham productions, and several mass-produced lamps and furniture pieces, some of which are still manufactured and sold.


Skyline of Downtown Houston Panoramic Houston skyline.jpg
Skyline of Downtown Houston

Texas is also home to some of the tallest skyscrapers in the United States. The Houston skyline has been ranked fourth-most impressive in the United States when ranked by breadth and height, [3] being the country's third-tallest skyline and one of the top 10 in the world; [4] [5] however, because it is spread over a few miles, most pictures of the city show only the main downtown area. Houston has a system of tunnels and skywalks linking buildings in downtown. The tunnel system also includes shops, restaurants, and convenience stores.

Images shown below are the eight tallest buildings in Texas.

See also

Related Research Articles

Kevin Roche Irish-born American architect

Eamonn Kevin Roche was an Irish-born American Pritzker Prize-winning architect. He has been responsible for the design/master planning for over 200 built projects in both the U.S. and abroad. These projects include eight museums, 38 corporate headquarters, seven research facilities, performing arts centers, theaters, and campus buildings for six universities. In 1967 he created the master plan for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and henceforth designed all of the new wings and installation of many collections including the recently reopened American and Islamic wings.

Index of Texas-related articles

The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the U.S. state of Texas.

Ally Detroit Center Skyscraper and office building in Detroit, Michigan, USA

Ally Detroit Center, formerly One Detroit Center, is a skyscraper and class-A office building located downtown which overlooks the Detroit Financial District. Rising 619 feet (189 m), the 43-story tower is the tallest office building in Michigan and the second tallest building overall in the state behind the central hotel tower of the Renaissance Center, located a few blocks away. Although the Penobscot Building has more floors above ground (45), those of Ally Detroit Center are taller, with its roof sitting roughly 60 feet (18 m) taller than that of the Penobscot. Its floor area is 1,674,708 sq ft (155,585.5 m2).

Architecture of Houston

The architecture of Houston includes a wide variety of award-winning and historic examples located in various areas of the city of Houston, Texas. From early in its history to current times, the city inspired innovative and challenging building design and construction, as it quickly grew into an internationally recognized commercial and industrial hub of Texas and the United States.

History of Dallas (1975–85)

This article traces the history of Dallas, Texas (USA) during its real estate boom from 1975 to 1985.

One Shell Plaza skyscraper

One Shell Plaza (OSP) is a 50-story, 218 m (715 ft) skyscraper at 910 Louisiana Street in Downtown Houston, Texas. Perched atop the building is an antenna that brings the height to 304.8 m (1,000 ft). At its completion in 1971, the tower was the tallest in the city.

The Beck Group

The Beck Group is a company that provides architecture, construction, real estate development and sustainable design and consulting, as well as finance and technology services. The company is based in Dallas, Texas and also has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Denver, Fort Worth, Houston, Mexico City, Monterrey Mexico, San Antonio, and Tampa. The Beck Group serves a diverse range of industries, including corporate, healthcare, entertainment, religious, and education, with sustainability as an emphasis. They also provide services based on the use of their software product, DESTINI.

Pennzoil Place

Pennzoil Place is a set of two 36-story towers in downtown Houston, Texas, United States. Designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee and built in 1975, Pennzoil Place is Houston's most award-winning skyscraper and is widely known for its innovative design.

George Rodney Willis, was an American architect associated with the Prairie School and the Oak Park, Illinois studio of Frank Lloyd Wright who thereafter had a successful career in California and in Texas.

John Mauran American architect

John Lawrence Mauran, FAIA was an American architect responsible for many downtown landmarks in St. Louis, Missouri. He was also active in Wisconsin and Texas.

Alfred C. Finn American architect

Alfred Charles Finn was an American architect. He started in the profession with no formal training in 1904 as an apprentice for Sanguinet & Staats. He worked in their offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston. His credits during his tenure residential structures, but firm was a leader in steel-frame construction of skyscrapers.

Byrne Construction Services

Byrne Construction Services is a Fort Worth, Texas based construction company providing construction manager and general contractor services. In addition to its Fort Worth headquarters, Byrne has a full service office in San Antonio.

Architecture of San Antonio

Architecture in the American city of San Antonio, Texas comes from a wide variety of sources, but many of the city's buildings reflect Texas' Spanish and Mexican roots; with some influence from French builders, among others. Relatively rapid economic growth since the mid twentieth century has led to a fairly wide variety of contemporary architectural buildings.

Lang & Witchell

Lang & Witchell was a prominent architectural firm in Dallas, Texas, active from 1905 to 1942.

Thomas Edward Stanley II was a Dallas-based American architect. He is known for his modernist glass and steel designs for buildings such as 211 North Ervay (1958) with architect Wyatt C. Hedrick and the First National Bank Tower (1965) with architect George Dahl. He is also known for his use of minimalist classical designs for buildings such as the Sanger-Harris department store (1965) in Dallas, Texas and the Cambridge Tower (1965) in Austin, Texas.


  1. Texas Capitol Archived 2013-10-18 at the Wayback Machine . State Preservation Board, Caretakers of the Texas Capitol. Last accessed January 10, 2008.
  2. "Frank Lloyd Wright - Texas (All-Wright Site - Frank Lloyd Wright Building Guide)". Archived from the original on 2009-10-28.
  3. The World's Best Skylines Archived February 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Egbert Gramsbergen and Paul Kazmierczak, 2006
  4. Calculated Average Height of the Ten Tallest (CAHTT) Archived 2012-02-11 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Tallest Cities of the World? SkyscraperPage Forum, August 30, 2006