Wednesday, December 8, 2010

10 in '10 : #2 - St. Martin's Lutheran Church


Photo credit: Grace Cynkar
St. Martin's Lutheran Church
Architect: Jessen, Jessen, Millhouse and Greeven (1960)
Contractor: Archie C. Fitzgerald
606 West 15th Street, 78701

St. Martin's Lutheran Church is significant because of the history of it's congregation and due to the prominence of the architects. The congregation was founded in 1884. It's first church was constructed at the same time as the capitol. By 1959, the congregation had grown to be one of the five largest Lutheran Congregations in the state of Texas. Jessen, Jessen, Millhouse and Greeven was a prominent architectural firm in Austin. The church building was one of several religious structures designed by the firm. The church is in a modernist interpretation of the romanesque style. The exterior character defining feature is the large vaulted roof of the structure.

Photo credit: piarch.comText: Grace Cynkar Edited by: Ken J.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

10 in '10 : #1 - Gethsemane Lutheran Church


This post kicks off a series of 10 posts where we show off our favorite projects that were documented in 2010. They are in no particular order.

Gethsemane Lutheran Church
Architect: Eugene Wukash (1962)
200 West Anderson Lane, 78752

The Gethsemane Lutheran Church is located on a 10-acre lot just off highway 183. There are two buildings on the campus. The Sanctuary itself is a double height structure built into a hill. The sanctuary building runs north to south with the narthex at the northern end resting on top of the hill so that the congregation may enter directly into the sanctuary. Tile mosaics on the wall above the entry to the sanctuary are beautiful but cannot compete with what awaits inside. The 36 ft. wall of dalle-de-verre glass forms the southern wall and was crafted by Gabriel Loire of Chartres, France and reassembled on site. As the hill drops away to the south, it reveals a bottom story beneath the sanctuary used for church offices and meeting rooms. A 12,000 sq. ft. educational wing connects to the narthex. Running perpendicular to the sanctuary, one enters the wing through the eastern side of the narthex. Tile mosaics on the floor of the lower level entry depict bible verses. The educational wing holds several classrooms and a nursery used for the church’s day care facility. An exit at the eastern end of the hall opens on to the church playground. On the far, eastern side of the playground sits the children’s ministry building. This building and the sanctuary are the two original 1963 structures. The educational wing and narthex were added in 1979. The children’s ministry building, like the sanctuary is built into a hillside. Approaching from the educational wing it appears to be only a single story. Once next to the building, however, one can see a second, lower story opening on the northern face of the hill.

Sanctuary interior
Photo credits: Grace Cynkar Text: Grace Cynkar, edited by Ken J.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Preservation Happy Hour!

Please come to our joint happy hour with Preservation Texas at Snack Bar!

Austin Modern at the Westgate Tower

Mid Tex Mod worked closely with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to host home tours and cocktails at the Westgate Tower.

The Westgate Tower was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places just a couple of days before the event. Approximately 300 attendees of the National Trust for Historic Preservation conference came to this celebration of a newly minted landmark and of modernism and recent past preservation.

Read more about the Westgate Tower on PreservationNation.

View photos from the event on

Many thanks to the National Trust for Historic Preservation Western Regional Office and Modernism + Recent Past Program, Mid Tex Mod volunteers, the UT Student Historic Preservation Association, and other sponsors of this event.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The University of Texas at Austin Student Historic Preservation Association and Mid Tex Mod are pleased to invite you to strap on some rented shoes and have a ball at Highland Lanes!

It's bowling night! Please join us Friday, October 1st from 7-9 PM for some mid-century style fun.

Cost is $12.50 per person (includes shoe rental)

Highland Lanes is located at 8909 Burnet Road, just south of the 183 overpass.

Please RSVP to so we can get an idea of how many lanes will be needed.

For more information about Highland Lanes, please visit:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Geo Dome and Film Screening Event

Geo Affair
July 24, 2010 at 06:00 PM
This weekend in Taylor, Texas at the Zidell House in celebration of the recently completed Geodescic structure and to help the revitalization of Robinson Park. Included in the festivities will be a screening of "A Necessary Ruin," filmmaker Evan Mather’s documentary capturing the life and death of visionary F. Buckminster Fuller's Union Tank Car Dome in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Set on six acres, The Zidell House property features courts for Bocce, P├ętanque, and Horseshoes, all within earshot of the stage. The Resistance Ensemble, Edward Burch, Frank Smith, and The Happen-Ins, are all playing for the occasion. Several local food and drink providers will be on hand as well.

The event will also feature two video installations by acclaimed Swedish sensation Sven Broden, a dance performance from Ghostbuster by the Weed.

Directions and more information

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Houston's Astrodome: Demolition or New Life?

The fate of the Astrodome hangs in the balance with three options presently under consideration.

This link provides an opportunity to review options being discussed and to comment:

Articles on the options being discussed:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Corpus Christi's former Memorial Coliseum

The following video on Corpus Christi's Memorial Coliseum was produced by students in Dr. Monica Penick's Modernism and Recent Past Preservation class at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. Unfortunately, demolition has already begun on this magnificent and historic thin shell concrete structure.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Landscapes for Living: Postwar Years In Texas

The Cultural Landscapes Foundation will be holding a symposium and tour focused on postwar landscapes in Texas: