Hill Country Deco: Modernistic Architecture of Central Texas

Modernistic institutional buildings generally fall into one of two categories: locally funded projects begun before the Great Depression and federally funded projects constructed during the Depression. The earlier projects, such as the State Highway Building and the San Antonio Public Library, tended to be more elaborate; later projects, including a variety of small town municipal buildings and county courthouses, were more austere.

As the Depression deepened, the Roosevelt administration invested heavily in public works projects in an attempt to stimulate the economy and provide jobs. In central Texas, nearly every town of any size ended up with at least one federally funded project. Post offices were the most commonly constructed buildings, especially in small towns. Many featured murals created under the direction of the Treasury Department's Section of Painting and Sculpture. Well-preserved examples can be found throughout the Hill Country.

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

  Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio
1926, Atlee B. & Robert M. Ayres with George R. Willis and Emmett T. Jackson
  San Antonio-Casino Club Building, San Antonio
1927, Kelwood Co.

Colored Branch of the
San Antonio Library and Auditorium

1930, Seuter & Simons


San Antonio Public Library
1930, Herbert S. Green


Thomas A. Edison High School, San Antonio
1930, Harvey P. Smith


Building 100 ("Taj Mahal"), Randolph Field
1931, Ayres & Ayres

  Travis County Courthouse, Austin
1931, Page Brothers
  Central Catholic High School, San Antonio
1932, Henry Dreisoener
  Thomas Jefferson High School, San Antonio
1932, Adams & Adams
  State Highway Building, Austin
1933, Adams & Adams with Lang & Witchell
  Municipal Building, Seguin
1935, L.M. Wirtz
  City Hall, Taylor
1935, E.H. Leinbach
  Stinson Field Administration Building, San Antonio
1936, Henry T. Phelps
  Guadalupe County Courthouse, Seguin
1936, Wirtz & Calhoun
  Becker Elementary School, Austin
1936, Giesecke & Harris
  Blackshear Elementary School, Austin
1936, Giesecke & Harris
  Taylor High School Gymnasium
1936, Hugo F. Kuehne
  U.S. Post Office, Kerrville
1936, Ayres & Ayres
  United States Court House, Austin
1936, C.H. Page & Son
  Horace Mann Junior High School, San Antonio
1937, Ayres & Ayres
  Kerrville City Hall
1937, Phelps & Dewees
  Austin Municipal Building
1938, Page & Southerland
  Central Fire Station No. 1, Austin
1938, Kreisle & Brooks
  Hermann Sons Grand Lodge, San Antonio
1938, Leo M.J. Dielmann
  Lampasas Junior High School
  Seguin Recreation Building
1938, Robert H.H. Hugman
  U.S. Post Office, Giddings
1938, Louis A. Simon (supervising architect)
  U.S. Post Office, Smithville
1938, Louis A. Simon (supervising architect)
  Gillespie County Courthouse, Fredericksburg
1939, Edward Stein
  Martha Roberson Hall, San Antonio
1939, Phelps & Dewees & Simmons
  Robert E. Lee Elementary School, Austin
1939, Roy L. Thomas
  U.S. Post Office, Elgin
1939, Louis A. Simon (supervising architect)
  U.S. Post Office mural
("The Pony Express Station"), Lockhart

1939, John Law Walker (artist)
  U.S. Post Office frescoes (San Antonio's Importance
in Texas History
), San Antonio

1939, Howard Cook (artist)
  Alamo Stadium, San Antonio
1940, Phelps & Dewees & Simmons
  Vocational Agriculture Building, Gonzales
  Gonzales Auditorium, Gymnasium
and High School Building

1941, John M. Marriott
  First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Gonzales
1942, Rudolph Nagel
  River Walk murals, San Antonio
1942, Ethel Wilson Harris (designer)
  State Health Building, Austin
1943, John Linn Scott
  Bexar County Coliseum, San Antonio
1949, Bartlett Cocke with Atlee B. & Robet M. Ayres
and Phelps & Dewees & Simmons
  Memorial Fire & Police Station, Segin
1949, Marvin Eickenroht
  Power Plant No. 2, Austin
1950, Burns & McDonnell
  Travis Park Methodist Youth Building, San Antonio
1950, Henry J. Steinbomer
  St. Austin's Catholic Church and Rectory, Austin
1953, Walter Cocke, Jr. & Company