Neutra's Kraigher House is alive and kicking in Brownsville!
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The last time we stopped by Richard Neutra's Kraigher House in Brownsville, Texas, it was scarily boarded up. Since I was in town for business and staying around the corner earlier this week, I dropped in for a visit to how the house was doing. I'm happy to report that the house is doing fine! The boards are gone and the house is currently being used as an art and design training studio.
Although I'm not a big fan of Neutra as a person, the dude could architect, and I am quite fond of this house. Built in 1937, the design shows that Neutra had moved past his dedication to pure functionalism that dictated his earlier work. The public side is artfully proportioned and massed. The fully-glazed southern facade takes more of a functional stance. I wasn't able to tour the innards, but I stole a few photographs through the windows.
Folks point to William Lescaze's Magnolia Lounge (1936) at the state fairgrounds in Dallas as the first International Style structure in Texas. However, with its use of porthole windows and glass block, that lounge appears transitional between Streamline Moderne and International Style. I give the Kraigher House props for being the first International Style Modern structure in Texas.