Hill Country Deco: Modernistic Architecture of Central Texas

With its emphasis on modernity, Art Deco architecture was extremely popular with commercial enterprises dealing in the latest trends and fashions. The relative ease of installing a modernistic storefront over an existing façade made remodeling a popular option for store owners. By the end of the 1930s, most of the major retailers in San Antonio and Austin had redesigned their downtown stores in Art Deco or Art Moderne style, which also spread to suburbs, small cities and towns in the region.

The focus on machine-age design was particularly well-suited to automobile-related businesses such as car dealerships and garages. American oil companies adapted the style in the 1920s when they began standardizing the design of their sales outlets and upgrading filling stations to service stations. Many examples can still be found off the interstates along the region's old U.S. highways.

Click on the name or thumbnail image of any building for more information.

  Humble Oil service stations, San Antonio
1928-30, John F. Staub
  Plaza Hotel Garage, San Antonio
1928, Ayres & Ayres
  Van Horn Drug Store No. 1, San Antonio
c. 1928
  Gene Meador Packard, San Antonio
1929, Ayres & Ayres
  Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. Store No. 177,
San Antonio

  San Antonio Express News Building
1929, Herbert S. Green
  Smith-Young Tower, San Antonio
1929, Ayres & Ayres
  Alamo National Building, San Antonio
1930, Graham, Anderson, Probst & White
  Austin National Bank
1930, Page Brothers
  Blum's (later Frost Bros.), San Antonio
1930, Harvey L. Page with Ralph H. Cameron
  Central Power & Light Building, Gonzales
1930, John M. Marriott
  Chapline Building, Austin
  Mutual Deposit & Loan Co./Fidelity Mortgage Co., Austin
1930, Hugo F. Kuehne
  Texas Power & Light Building, Taylor
  E.Y. White, Inc., San Antonio
  F. & W. Grand-Silver Store, San Antonio
  First National Bank of New Braunfels
1931, Giesecke & Harris with Jeremiah Schmidt
  Scarbrough's, Austin
1931, Wyatt C. Hedrick and Edwin C. Kreisle
  Leo Mendlovitz Department Store, New Braunfels
1932, Jeremiah Schmidt (attributed)
  Woodlawn Telephone Exchange, San Antonio
1932, I.R. Timlin
  Borden's Creamery, San Antonio
1933, Ayres & Ayres
  Hom-Ond Food Store No. 1, San Antonio
1935, Max M. Sandfield
  Fredericksburg National Bank
1936, Edward Stein
  Fulton Community Center, San Antonio
  Pease Veterinary Clinic, Austin
  Schreiner Cash Food Store, Kerrville
1936, Adams & Adams
  Cavin Filling Station, San Antonio
c. 1937
  Guaranty State Bank, New Braunfels
1937, Phelps & Dewees with Jeremiah Schmidt
partially demolished
  Brown Building, Austin
1938, C.H. Page & Son
  Ebensberger Funeral Home, Boerne
1938, Adams & Adams
  Gilmore Pharmacy (later Olmos Pharmacy), San Antonio
  Frank Bros., San Antonio
1939, Ayres & Ayres
  Golden West Master Service Station No. 5, San Antonio
  Joske's, San Antonio
1939, Bartlett Cocke

S.H. Kress & Co. 5¢-10¢-25¢ Store, San Antonio
1939, Edward F. Sibbert


Sammie's Place (later Hut's Hamburgers), Austin


Taylor Motor Co.
c. 1940


Austin Daily Tribune Building
1941, Shirley Simons, Sr. and Page, Southerland & Page


Earl Abel's Super-Drive-In, San Antonio
1941, Lloyd Shoop


Deason Radio Co., San Antonio
1941, G.M. Becher


Richter's Bakery, San Antonio
1941, Charles T. Boelhauwe


Scheffler Service Station, Alamo Heights

  General Neon Advertising Co., San Antonio
  Guaranty Finance Co., Austin
1946, Roy L. Thomas
partially demolished

Victor Stanzel Co., Schulenberg


Neisner's, San Antonio
1947, Ayres & Ayres


Austin National Bank


Casa de Mexico International Building, San Antonio
1948, N. Straus Nayfach


Palomino Club Building, Austin
c. 1948


O.R. Mitchell Motors, San Antonio
1950, Bartlett Cocke


King's Texaco Service Station, Gonzales
1951, Walter Dorwin Teague