Date of this Version
Great Plains Quarterly 32:1 (Winter 2012).
In 2008, Jim Parsons and David Bush, staff members of the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance, published Houston Deco: Modernistic Architecture of the Texas Coast, a photographic sampling intended to draw attention to the region's surviving examples of buildings erected between the 1920s and the late 1940s in the modernistic styles popularly known as Art Deco and Art Moderne. Hill Country Deco applies this model to Central Texas, covering an area considerably beyond the geographical Hill Country to include San Antonio and Austin as well as towns in the prairie lands to the east. Like its predecessor, Hill Country Deco is intended to raise awareness of modernistic architecture by presenting striking photographs of a wide range of examples, humble and monumental, organized by building type: commercial, theaters, residential, institutional, and commemorative (monuments inspired by the 1937 Texas centennial). The selection of images includes telling architectural details, interiors, and a sampling of murals created for post offices and other public buildings. The supporting text consists of a cursory introduction, basic captions and section headings, and an appendix with capsule biographies of some of the architects and artists.