In the 1970s and 1980s, Houston emerged as a center of postmodern architecture in the United States. Local patrons, made wealthy by the oil economy and facing few restrictions in real estate development, supported some of the era’s leading architects, including Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Michael Graves. At the same time, local architects and theorists such as Howard Barnstone and Peter Papademetriou used the principles of postmodernity to interpret their city and its buildings as pluralist and multicentered, while photographers portrayed the region’s ordinariness and diversity. As Kathryn E. O’Rourke describes in Houston Is Almost All Right: Postmodernism on the Texas Gulf Coast, the image and idea of the city was further transformed by the rise of historic preservation and pronounced demographic changes. Read from the vantage points of several intersecting disciplines and taken as a single region with nearby Galveston, Houston emerges as a significant case study
Houston Is Almost All Right: Postmodernism on the Texas Gulf Coast
Kathryn E. O'Rourke's research focuses on twentieth-century architecture in the Americas. She is the author of Modern Architecture in Mexico City: History, Representation, and the Shaping of a Capital and editor of O'Neil Ford on Architecture. Her current book project is titled Archaism and Humanism in Modern Architecture.
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Kathryn E. O'Rourke; Houston Is Almost All Right: Postmodernism on the Texas Gulf Coast. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 September 2020; 79 (3): 308–330. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jsah.2020.79.3.308
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